30 May 2013

Frankfort, Kentucky

30 May 2013--Got into Kentucky on Tuesday...has a rather drab license plate, but OK on the state flag.


Kentucky was the 15th state in the Union, admitted in 1792, and this was the American flag at that time. Like West Virginia, Kentucky used to be part of Virginia, so at one time Virginia must have been huge.  We also found out that Kentucky is the 4th poorest state in the country, while West Virginia is the 2nd poorest.  We were told that because of the Appalachian area, the median incomes of any state involved with it are dragged down.

The RV Park where we are staying is called "Grandma's", and this is "Grandpa" with his pet miniature donkeys.  He has a bunch of them on land he owns adjacent to this park (which he also owns). This one pulling him is 3 yrs old and the only one he has trained to pull the cart.  The mother and baby are on his land...the baby is only 1 month old and adorable!

Yesterday, we drove into Frankfort, the capital city, and did a whirlwind tour of the new and old capitol buildings, the history museum, and even Daniel Boone's grave site that overlooks the city.  (The moral of that story is that this is another long one--haha.)

This is the front of the "new" capitol, built in 1910, and the long walkway/stairs that lead up to it.


The back of the building and from an overlook several miles away.


Very detailed work on the front of the building, but most interesting is the writing I attached.  Check out the 3rd line from the bottom, talking about the Indians...not exactly politically correct back in the day...haha.

Huge trees and gardens surround the whole building, but I thought these trees were the most interesting. This 1st one, just starting to bloom is a "yellow poplar".  It has big flowers on it and I just thought that was different...looks like a regular tree till you look closer.

And here is the famous "Magnolia" tree.  I always think of the movie "Steel Magnolias" when I see one.  Like the poplar tree, the flowers are really pretty and really big.

As you enter the rotunda of the building the 1st thing you see here is a prominent statue of Abe Lincoln, who was born here.  And as you look closer, on the left side of the picture as you look it is another statue, this one of Jefferson Davis, who was also born here.  


As you look to the dome, you see that every second or so the color of it changes...haven't seen that anywhere else before.


The inside of the building is every bit as pretty, if not more so, than the outside.  There are 2 main stairways on the far left and right of the building that lead to the House and Senate, with pictures above each.  They both depict scenes with Daniel Boone in them, the 1st one of him is when he 1st viewed the Bluegrass section of the state when he came here in 1769, and the 2nd picture depicting the signing of a treaty in 1775 that he did with the Cherokee Indians for the Transylvania Company.  Much of the land that he got in this treaty ultimately became Kentucky, so it was no small feat.


Overlooking the rotunda are these 4 paintings depicting different aspects of the state.

This is on the 2nd floor, where you can see from end of the building to the other at the top of the stairs.  At each end are the House and the Senate chambers, respectively.  Nothing to write home about, but not the worst we have seen.  This is another "part-time" legislature...they only meet 30 days a year in odd years, and 60 days in even years.  As far as we can remember, only Massachusetts claims the "full-time" legislature so far...not sure any of it makes any difference!


This is the State Reception room, the most interesting aspect of which is obviously the placement of the mirror and chandelier.

Moving right along, from the capitol we walked over to the Governor's Mansion.  Not to fear now...tours are only giving 2 days a week so we didn't get to tour it and therefore you don't have to suffer through the pictures.  haha  It has beautiful gardens outside, has 25 rooms, and was patterned after Marie Antoinette's villa.

Now on to Daniel Boone's grave site.  There will be more about him a little later, but I thought there were 2 interesting things we learned here.  One was that he was actually born in Pennsylvania...I feel like at least 3 other states have made that claim...haha, and 2nd is that he actually died and was originally buried in Missouri.  A worker at the Capitol and a historian that gave us a later tour of the "old" capitol, both said that due to a lot of grave robbers, Kentucky took him out of Missouri and reburied him here in 1845.  (Hallie, what's with the lowlifes in your state?--haha)  His grave site is in a place of prominence at a rather large cemetery and directly overlooks the Capitol.  That is the Kentucky River in the Capitol picture.


And now on to the State History Museum.  Like in West Virginia, this is another large and lengthy museum, so believe me when I say I left out a ton of stuff.  (It kills me to do so because so much of it is so interesting to me, but I know not everyone shares my enthusiasm--haha).  

They started 12,000 years ago, but I will touch on only the most interesting stuff from back then.

I thought this was interesting and shows that great rituals surrounding death existed even back then.  I like that they didn't mourn death, but instead celebrated it...don't we wish we could do that today!?


Incredible that in the space of 40 years approximately 4 million people were reduced to nothing.


And here is a whole bunch about Daniel Boone...from losing his claim to 100,000 acres, to a warrant for his arrest, from different professions, to the fact that he was a Quaker.


A few more fun facts.  Everyone knows that Kentucky is known for horses, the Kentucky Derby, and Bourbon.  But did you know that Kentucky Fried Chicken started here?  Or that Duncan Hines, of baking goods fame, was born here?  How about that the Louisville Slugger is made here?  It also has more deer and turkeys per capita than any other state in the country.  Just thought you would want to know.

The liquor thing started a long time ago and Kentucky is now the largest producer of Bourbon, accounting for 95% of the world's production.

Crazy that they had toll roads back then, and also that they had them for decades.


Not surprising that the people didn't like them, and with everyone having guns they were determined to changed it!  haha


A book on ballroom dances...interesting that dance teachers were more in demand than professors!!!  Not much has changed..haha

Love these 2 home remedies.  The 1st is for headaches, while the 2nd is for measles.  I can't help but wonder that no one questioned making blisters on your head to get rid of a headache!!!  That's too funny!


The birthplace of the religious right???  Nothing like a good ole revival!!!


I swear history keeps repeating itself, huh?  I love that the opponents of immigration created their own "Know-Nothing" Party.  Is that something you would want to join?  Just wondering.


A slave is interviewed in 1863.  Can you imagine losing your kids like this?

And here we have the Civil War again, and like West Virginia we have people in the state on both sides of the issue and both sides of the actual war.  Kentucky, like Missouri, started out the war claiming neutrality.

As I said earlier, Jefferson Davis and Abe Lincoln were both born in Kentucky, and from what the historian told us Davis is every bit as popular as Lincoln here.  He said that if politicians don't pay "homage" to him and confederacy they would never be elected here.


First I heard of this...Mary Todd Lincoln had 2 brothers who fought for the Confederacy, and her sister-in-law lived in the White House with her and Abe after one of them died.  The historian said that Mary was called all kinds of names back then, including traitor, and therefore Abe was, too.


Funny that Kentuckians consider themselves southerners, but southerners don't believe that about Kentuckians.  Serves them right for trying to play both sides of the fence!  haha

I could be wrong, but I don't think other state museums we have been to had as much on the KKK as Kentucky does, to its credit.


The historian told us that these Constitutional Amendments weren't ratified by Kentucky Legislators until 1976.  Shameful!

How frightening!


There's just something really interesting about "moonshiners"...love the "rogue" aspect!  haha


So I know this has been long, but I really did leave a ton out of the history...now on the "Old" capitol.  This will be quick, and relatively painless!  haha  This is the outside of the building, and as you look out the front door into downtown.


The stairway that leads to the House and Senate is a self-supporting stairway, meaning there is nothing under them holding them up.  The only other staircase like it in the country is in a chapel in Santa Fe, NM, which Cathy and I have surprisingly seen.  We felt pretty cool when we were able to tell the historian that we have been in that chapel (haha).  The 2nd pic is the House...nothing spectacular in either chamber.  This building was used from 1830-1910.


A billboard on a store down the street from our RV park.  I love the Lady Liberty, tobacco and lingerie all in one shot.  "One stop shopping" it appears!  haha

So that was our very long day...loved the old Capitol and the History Museum.  Tomorrow we are going to a cave where you can go Zip-lining inside...can't wait!!!


  1. My head is spinning.......
    I will never catch up if the next 3 are as long as this one!

    Very interesting though, who would have thought Kentucky has so much history to offer!!!!

  2. I know what you mean Ellen, but the stuff was so interesting we loved it. And I really did leave out a bunch of stuff. Sadly, you are the only one who commented...is no one else reading it, any of it? Or just not interested? Anyway, thanks for taking the time to comment...you, Marie and occasionally Hallie are my only regular readers and I really do appreciate your enthusiasm!