Born in Beattyville, Ky., on March 8, 1920. He grew up attending a one room school in Walker's Creek then walked to the St. Helen's High School. He attended the University of Kentucky from 1937-41. And entered the military as a fighter pilot whose first combat experience was with the famed Flying Tigers over China and Burma during World War II, as a Wing Commander, and as a high-ranking staff officer, he was involved in every major fighting effort of his country from World War II to the Vietnamese struggle. He was Deputy Chief of Staff of the Seventh Air Force in Vietnam, and at the time of his retirement in 1969, was a Brigadier General. He was decorated with the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Legion of Merit with Cluster, the Bronze Star, and the Air Force Medal with five Clusters. He also received the Air Force Commendation Medal with Cluster. Following his retirement he served for a time as a consultant to the General Electric Company. James W. Little was named to the Hall of Distinguished Alumni on November 6, 1970. (source UK Alumni Association)
Support The Three Forks Historical Center by making a donation today!
Learn more about General Little and the two buildings built by the General in the Big Andy area of Lee County. One is the Peddler Fork Inn, which was once a restaurant and now owned by his daughter Mary who now operates it as a bed and breakfast retreat. The other is the General's Cabin, a cabin in the woods build by the General and now operating as a vacation rental owned by his daughter Joy.
Below in this post is a Three Forks Historical Center Artifact Spotlight video featuring Donnie Benton and Teresa Mays, of Beattyville, KY. They are Season 8 Cast members of the Discovery's Channel "Moonshiners" Show. Donnie and Teresa, aka The Beattyville Hillbillies, talk about two moonshine stills that are on display at the museum. Thank you Donnie and Teresa for your support and for sharing this great information about the moonshine still artifacts in the museum. Visit the website www.threeforkshistoricalcenter.com for videos, news, and happenings at the museum. Thanks for watching.
By: Dedra Brandenburg
The Three Forks Historical Center held a spring fundraiser on Friday, March 29th and it was a beehive of excitement and activity. I was a little nervous when Josh Smith told me on Friday morning that they had thawed out 100 lbs of fish for the evening fish fry. This was more fish than they use for the annual Old Engine and Tractor Show in August. Volunteers gathered at the museum around 2pm to arrange tables and get organized in order to start cooking.
The display of desserts was a jaw dropping site. I had not seen so much dessert in one place in all my life and I belong to the local Beattyville Baptist Church who have pot luck meals once a month... we Baptist love our sweats! It was getting close to the event time and people kept bringing in desserts for the table, then the desserts overflowed the table, then some of the desserts went into the silent auction because they didn't fit on the table. All the deserts were donated by locals in the community and you have those signature items that everyone knows who baked it and they watch for them. For example, you can always spot the peanut butter divinity pin wills by Geneva Duncil or delicious cakes by Michael Johnson. Everyone always looks for fudge candy by Sheri Lanham or chocolate dipped strawberries by Linda Smith.
Counter top space was also hard to come by when the silent auction items kept rolling in. There were soap baskets, Nellie Meadows prints, knives, Yeti tumblers, coffee baskets and more. We even had a pair of roller skates, donated by Tom Jones. They were men's size 10 and a very nice brand. Tom had told Bob Smith that he owned the roller skates long enough to fall on his rump a few times and decided to give them up. Thank you to everyone who donated items and for everyone who bid on items.
There was a steady flow of people all evening who came to the fish fry. At one point there was a line out the door and visitors had to wait for a fresh batch of fish and hush puppies to cook. No one seemed to mind waiting as there was a lot to look at in the museum and people easily stuck up conversations in line. There were defiantly more people who came through the line than there were seats at the table. Families would take their dinner to go or find a picnic table outside. I estimate there were 180-200 visitors to go through the line and support the museum by buying fish dinners.
The guest who found seats in the Veteran's wing of the museum were entertained by bluegrass and gospel bluegrass music by the Hilltop Pickers. I play upright bass in the band and looking out at everyone, could tell people were really enjoying the evening. Reva Crabtree, Barbara Begley, Georgie Pearl Gabbard, Dale Haney, Bonnie Dunahoo, Shirley Reese, and others sang along to almost every song the band played. Songs that we played included "Fox on the Run", "Rabbit in a Log", "Holding up the Ladder", "Seven Sundays in a Row", and "In the Pines". One lady asked us for a group photo and permission to record us because she wanted to send it to her family in Texas.
Below are a few photos from the evening. There are not many photos because my phone died early on and others were so busy cooking, serving, or playing music that they didn't get the opportunity to snap a lot of photos. With community contributions, the silent auction, and dinner sales the museum raised around $3,000 in funds which will be used to pay the bills and keep the museum doors open. The museum board appreciates everyone who came out to the event and for every donation that is generously given by the community. Be sure to keep an eye out for future museum events and news throughout the year.
Bob Smith, president of the Three Forks Historical Center talks about a bottling plant that was located in Beattyville in the early 1900s. The Roxa Kola Bottling Company was a subsidiary of Ale-8-one and had bottling plants in Lexington, Winchester, and Beattyville. Ale-8-one is a large part of Eastern Kentucky pride and history. Read about the Ale8 One Percent program with the Red River Gorge Climber's Coalition, where 1% of returnable bottle sales go to local nonprofits.
This video is a Three Forks Historical Center Artifact Spotlight of L&N Railroad Maps of Heidelberg, Lee County, Kentucky. Shirley Reese talks about what she remembers of the town. To hear more about the history of Heidelberg, KY check out the Lee County Oral History/Storytelling recordings.. #supportmuseums #threeforkshistoricalcenter
John McIntosh, at the Three Forks Historical Center showcases an item in the museum that touches his heart, and his stomach. He has treasured memories of his mother cooking on a similar stove. Listen to John speak about how this wood burning iron stove operated. Consider giving a donation to the museum in Beattyville, KY to help keep the doors open for generations to come. If you are interested in this stove and historical cooking methods, be sure to listen to the Lee County Oral History group talk about cooking traditions.
Three Forks Historical Center Artifact Spotlight: Jessica Treadway, teacher with Wolfe County Schools, and member of the Beattyville/Lee County Tourism Commission talks about one room school systems. She highlights artifacts such as a school desk, a hand bell, a chalkboard, and a 1929 teacher record book from the Big Andy Ridge area of Lee and Wolfe Counties. Learn more about the consolidation of schools in Lee County and listen to stories of what it was like teaching in a one room school house from our Lee County Oral History/Storytelling recordings. There is a great audio clip by retired teacher Mrs. Edith Little that is wonderful to listen to. Consider Consider giving a donation to the museum in Beattyville, KY to help keep the doors open for generations to come. www.threeforkshistoricalcenter.com
The Three Forks Historical Center will be hosting a spring fundraiser on Friday night, March 29th, 2019. It is sure to be a fun time for family and friends so please mark your calendars and plan to come out and support the museum. The event will begin at 5:00pm with a tasty fish fry dinner! For $8.00 a plate you can have a wonderful fish diner complete with coleslaw, hush puppies, baked beans, homemade dessert and a drink. There will also be a silent auction going on so be sure to check out all the items on display and place your bid. The museum board asked The Hilltop Pickers to come and play at the event. They play bluegrass and gospel bluegrass music so come and enjoy some old time tunes. If you would like to donate an item to the silent auction please contact Bob and Linda Smith at (606) 464-2888. All proceeds from the fish fry and auction will go to the Three Forks Historical Center fund.
The Hilltop Pickers
All the members of this local group attend Beattyville Baptist Church. They share a love of bluegrass and bluegrass gospel music. The band often plays at local events such as the Woolly Worm Festival and the Natural Bridge Artisan Festival. They were recently a part of the 2018 Fall Sharathon for Mountain Gospel Radio. Once a month they play music for the residents at the Lee County Care and Rehab Center in Beattyville. The group is comprised Michael Johnson, Larry and Kim Oliver, Joe and Debbie Piercy, Randall Brandenburg, and Dedra Brandenburg. Also members of the band include their sheet music librarian Anita Brandenburg and "bus driver" Rose Roberts. The Hilltop Pickers have a love for the community and for the Lord.
Photos from the last museum fish fry during the Old Engine and Tractor Show, August 2018.
The Three Forks Historical Center in Beattyville, KY preserves artifacts that are irreplaceable due to their historical significance. Not only do the artifacts reflect local histories but also national events. In this video, Bob Smith, President of the Three Forks Historical Center, showcases the American Flag that was flown at half mast the remainder of the year following the Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor in 1941.
Kentucky Entertainment Television (KET) visited Beattyville in 2018 and filmed a Veterans Day tribute for their program. The video was published on November 8th and was shown on KET stations. Bob Smith, president of the Three Forks Historical Center talks about the Veterans wing in the museum and the Veterans Memorial Wall located in Beattyville, KY. Follow this link to War Memorial names located on the monuments for those killed in active duty, provided by Kentucky Genealogy Trails.
Welcome to the blog page of the Three Forks Historical Center in Beattyville, KY.
Museum Board Members
Want to get involved? Ask the board members how you can volunteer to help the museum.
Edna G. Crabtree
Everett Lee Marshall