Monday, January 30, 2012

Mending Wall

A section of our 220+ year old dry stone wall fell down last November (not to be confused with the modern stone wall that was taken out by a Range Rover in December). We'd been expecting problems with that section of the wall, built by William Croghan as a retaining wall on the south and west of his mansion house. It had developed a lean to the west, pushed out  by the roots of an ill-sited tree. 

Now the tree has been removed, the stump ground out, and wall repairs have commenced, on this bizarre warm and sunny January day. Master stonemason Neil Rippingale is here rebuilding the wall from the base up, using no-mortar techniques that have been honed over centuries. It will take a few days to repair. The rest of the wall needs some attention too, and we plan to continue the work of maintenance and repair over the next several years.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Confessions of a Costumed Interpreter

One of our young costumed interpreters, Clare Egan, has written a post about her experiences on the blog of the Kentucky Historical Society - it's right here: . Congratulations, Clare!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

SUV vs. Sign = a mess

Last week an SUV skidded on Blankenbaker Lane next to our driveway, and the resulting crash was not good for our main entrance sign. Fortunately no one was seriously injured, but much of the stone base for the sign, constructed five years ago, is now halfway down the hill towards River Road. The sign itself is bent a little, and the "cust" fell off  the logo on one side. Our staff was able to force the sign back into position, so people can still find the entrance. The sign's installers and stone masons are offering estimates, insurance will cover it, but in the meantime the entrance to Locust Grove looks sad. We'll try to get it fixed as fast as possible. Visitors don't seem to be deterred.

Take care on Blankenbaker Lane, people! Winter is coming, respect the road!

Friday, November 18, 2011

New Americans

Today the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky met here at Locust Grove, for the purpose of swearing in 73 new citizens of the United States.

It's not a great picture, but it was a great day. People from 34 different countries came, documents in hand, with their families and supporters, to become Americans. They came from Cuba, Bosnia, Scotland, Belarus, Columbia, Nigeria.... it was inspiring. Some had come by free choice, others had come to America as refugees after horrific struggles.

The children's chorus from the Chance School sang the national anthem, the Pledge of Allegiance was recited, each new American swore to uphold the Constitution, speeches were made by former Congressman Romano Mazzoli and Locust Grove Director Carol Ely, and the event was over.

Each new American left not only with citizenship papers, but with tickets to return to Locust Grove for a visit on another occasion.

We were very honored to have shared in this day.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Locust Grove, Media Superstar

We've been so busy here that we've ignored this blog. Last weekend was the best 18th Century Market Fair in the history of 18th Century Market Fairs - just shows what perfect weather will do! We had news crews here from WAVE and WLKY interviewing the re-enactors and filming the battles - see the video here.

Locust Grove will also be featured in the next bridal issue of Louisville Magazine - the photo shoot, on a rainy weekday, brought models and stylists and photographers to the site, with yards of white tulle and exotic footwear, a very fashion-forward day on the grounds! We can still smell the hairspray...

Today we have a photographer and reporter from the food section of the Courier-Journal here, talking with chef Mark Williams of Brown-Forman, who will be offering a Thanksgiving program for us on the 12th of November, featuring local foods.

It's a beautiful place to be, especially at this time of year. Come over, rest, breathe.