The flood alert for the area went from moderate flooding alert with a crest of 24 feet to a major flooding alert in 5 hours time with waters cresting at 35 feet. In Beattyville, it was a few inches larger than the flood of 1957. All of town was submerged in river waters and mud by Monday morning March 1st. All through the night rescue teams had worked tirelessly to evacuate residents in danger of the riding floodwaters. There was not enough warning for businesses to get their valuables out such as their computers and account books. The water receded by Wednesday and everyone gasps at the damages. Once the images and stories of the flooding hit the news and social media, groups and individuals starting donating their time, supplies, and most of all prayers for everyone effected.
The Three Forks Museum did not escape harm. The waters rose to about 2 to 2.5 feet high inside the building. The log benches from the front porch were recovered from over 100 yards away. The museum board members waited until water receded on the Wednesday afternoon to go inside and assess the damages. The first priority was to empty the closets and pick up everything off the ground. Then we worked at emptying the bottom shelves of the display cases and setting everything out in the sun to dry. Next is was bringing in 2x4s to lift and place the display cases off the floor for air to circulate underneath. We also bought four dehumidifiers to place around the building and in the bathrooms were drywall is present. Thanks you to WSKV 104.5fm and Grace Baptist Church for donating totes and fans. Also for delivering the dehumidifiers we purchased from Lowes in Winchester. Also thank you to Tony Pence and the fraternity from Morehead State University who came down to help.
Commonwealth Systems were in the area doing free HVAC assessment and we were able to have Nick come over to look at our system. The key to drying everything out would be warm dry air so we needed our units working. Nick came back another day and dismantled and cleaned both outdoor units and installed a new fan motor into one. More repairs are needed to the HVAC as the heating elements are shot. We are in need of new flame sensors, thermocouples, and igniters.
On the floor we placed the Floor Sweep compound. John David was concerned about adding more water in there and he though this compound would keep the dust down and we could scrub it around to pick up the dirt before mopping. It has worked wonderfully so far. We also put a call out for Murphy's Oil Wood Soap, as the majority of the museum walls are wood. There were also pianos, and other furniture that will need a good cleaning.
With everything we can get into totes, the next step is to clean out the garage area so we can use it for storage until we can get the main museum cleaned and straightened back up. Thank you to all the volunteers who have came to help so far. John David Sipple, Kenneth Issacs, Suzy Booth, Kim Oliver, Anita Brandenburg, Kendra Savage and her son Maddox, Kristy Dunaway and her daughter Lacy, Sheerree Nations, Emma and Larry Adams, Trina Gipson, Shirley Reece, Ila Cox Nickel, Amy Parrott, and more. Also thank you to everyone who has brought supplies. Bob & Linda Smith, Evelyn Jenkins, Allison and Luke Catron of Georgetown, Shanna Charles, Jim Cable, Ernie Childers, Linda Botner, Yvonne Stamper, Marcella Fox, Masters of Disaster, and more. Sorry if I didn't get everyone's names.
Below is a slideshow of photos. Donations Appreciated. We are trying to apply for any funding we can find for non-profits. There is a lot more work to be done and volunteers are welcome and appreciated. If you would like to help call Dedra at 606-560-9059. Donations can be mailed into P.O. Box 1033, Beattyville, KY 41311 or use the PayPal link on this website to make a donation online.
Without question, the year 2020 was difficult for families, jobs, and everyone's mental and emotional health. To bring some joy to the holiday season, the Christmas Spirit Committee put together an enjoyable evening for the community. With many sponsors, the funds were used to light up the museum, Main Street, and the North Fork Bridge. Characters dressed up and danced as the cars went by in a reverse parade. Elvis sang from the porch of the museum and his music made it into everyone's car radios by way of a FM transmitter. The Grinch was as tall as the porch roof and waved at kids from on top of his stilts. Santa and Mrs. Clause handed out candy canes and chocolate to families who drove by. Down on Main Street at the courthouse, the Beattyville Kiwanis Club did a drive through treat bag giveaway. They have been giving away Christmas treat bags for 100 years and continued the tradition this year. For a night, it almost seemed that the world was back to normal. The kids also loved looking at all the fire trucks lined up on the property. Thank you Beattyville/Lee County Fire Dept for participating.
Here is a video slideshow of the decorations and activates during Christmas Spirit 2020.
Tell us what you think about this new museum logo design. Soon we will have t-shirts and long sleeved shirts for sale. There has already been a printing of stickers. We are also looking into magnets.
About the design:
The year 1992 is significant for it was that year, the museum board received the state approved construction plans for the structure of the main museum building. The military green and stars on each side represent the military wing of the museum.
Ms. Sherree Nations has been searching for heirloom seeds over the last 10 years. Talking to 20 to 30 older residents about heirlooms seeds, she kept being told “I used to have some”. A year ago, she received beans that had been saved and passed down through the Goe family, descendants of Daniel Boone from the Old Landing area in Lee County.
Heirloom seeds are handed down from one family member to another for many generations. It takes 50 years of producing the same plant unchanged, in order to consider it heirloom.
The beans themselves are a type of goosey bean. These beans named after the originating folk lore story of being taken from the craw of a goose. It is still common to see Canadian grease migrate though this area. Knowing the history of Native Americans and the travels of Daniel Boone through Old Landing to Fort Boonesborough, Nations immediately began the process of contacting a seed specialist at the Baker Creek Seed Company, Martin Walsh, to have them tested and preserved. International seed specialist travel all around the world collecting and preserving rare seeds.
In an article Nations sent to the Baker Creek Seed Company’s along with 10 of these rare beans to preserve in their seed library, she gave the seeds the identifying name of “Old Landing Settlers Goosey Beans”.
Over this past growing season 2020, Nations was able to plant and watch these Old Landing Settlers beans grow. She picked a mess for tasting and has herself described them as delicious.
“To think that these beans, which were on my farm table could be the exact unchanged beans that were harvested and placed on the farm table of Daniel Boone and his family is amazing.” said Nations.
When asked how such seeds have become so rare to find, Nations explained that few families now grow crops for food like they used to do. The elder farmers in the area, when asked about heirloom seeds or goosey beans, respond that their fathers and grandfathers used to grow and save them. Because of the downturn in family farming over the years, the practice of drying and saving seed to plant for the next season has all but disappeared.
According to the book “Kentucky Heirloom,” The seed business began to change in the 20th century as multi-national companies bought out small seed companies and bred varieties best suited for mechanical harvest, long-distance transportation and long shelf life.
Nations resides in the Beartrack area of Lee County and anxiously awaits news from the Baker Creek Seed Company. She expressed great interest in finding more heirloom seeds in the Lee County and surrounding county area in order to preserve them and their family stories that go with them.
If anyone has any family heirloom beans that have been passed down through generations of your family please contact Ms. Nations at 606-208-4777. To learn more about the Baker Creek Seed Company visit www.rareseeds.com.
Article written by Dedra Brandenburg & Teresa Mays, Beattyville/Lee County Tourism, Downtown Beattyville Alliance & Locally Made Farmer’s and Artisan Market.
The Three Forks Historical Center has needed new gutters for a year now. The back of the building's galvanized gutters had rusted clear through and discussions from the museum board indicated that the guttering needed to be replaced at a larger size.
On Tuesday, Sept 15th new gutters and downpipes were installed in half a day by Richard Marcum and his crew. The antique brown continuous gutters look great but there was one hiccup. The timbers behind the flashing on the porch to the Veteran's wing entrance had rotted out so bad there was nothing to connect the new gutter too. Water had been going under the metal flashing and soaking the wood underneath.
Calling for help, the board contacted Josh Caudill of Beattyville, to come and take a look at the damage. After some problem solving and a couple of hours, he cleaned out the rotted wood, replaced a few timbers and now it is ready for new metal and guttering. Thank you Josh for your time and willingness to help.
Here are a few photos.
Bruce Gordon, a railroad date nail collector, of Booneville, KY has been collecting date nails for over 40 years. He has loaned his award winning L&N Railroad Date Nail collection to the Three Forks Historical Center for display. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and collection with the museum! #datenails #LNRR #visitleecountyky #supportmuseums
This year will be the 15th Annual Three Forks Old Engine, Tractor Show & Fish Fry. It will be hosted at the Three Forks Historical Center on HWY 11 North, Beattyville, KY.
All day Saturday, September 12th, 2020 there will be a display of old tractors and engines. Registration starts at 9am. The first 25 engines to register will receive a dash plaque. The show will go on throughout the day with participants parading their antique tractors down Main Street at 3 p.m.
The fish fry will follow directly after the tractor parade. The meal will consists of fried fish, hushpuppies, cole slaw, french fries, baked beans, desert and drink. The cost will be $8.00. Children 6 and under eat free.
Accepting donations to place into a silent auction fundraiser. If you have items to donate please call 606-464-2888 or 606-464-5038. Silent auction will close on the event day at 5pm.
Raffle tickets available for purchase on a 9-11 Commemorative Coin Set.
Farmers, Arts and Crafts vendors are welcome to set up. If you would like to set up, give us a call at (606) 464-2888.
Come out and support the museum! Follow the Facebook Event Page Here:
Event Setup: There will not be a buffet line or dining tables inside the museum. A meal ticket will be available for purchase at the front door. Meals will be placed in to go containers and dining tables will be placed outside. Visitors are welcome to browse inside the museum using social distancing and masks. In the case of weather, there will be a drive-by order and pick up meal plan put in place.
On Sunday, March 1, 2020 there was a great crowd at the courthouse steps in Beattyville, KY for the Kickoff Ceremony of Lee County Celebrating 150 years.
Lee County was honored at the 150 Year Celebration Ceremony on the state and national level by political leaders. Representative for US Senator Rand Paul, Regina Jones, read a congratulatory message from the senator. Andria Begley, representative for US Congressman Hal Rogers, red a congratulatory message from the Congressman. KY Representative Cluster Howard presented Lee County with a Legislative Citation that was passed in the KY House of Representatives marking the occasion. Also on a national level, Donna McClure, Representative for US Senate Majority Leader and Kentucky's Senior Senator Mitch McConnell, read a US Congressional Record that was presented to the President of the United States, on the US Congressional floor by Senator McConnell to mark to occasion.
The honored speaker was KY Senate President Robert Stivers who have a wonderful speech on Lee County, mentioned the highlights of his experiences with our community over the years, such as the Woolly Worm Festival, The Purple Cow Restaurant, and the Jones Ford Auto Sales Lot.
The final section of the ceremony was awarding community recognitions on people, groups, and places that have been a part of our community and endured over the last 150 years. The Sesquicentennial research committee did a lot of hard work in a short amount of time on identifying the recipients.
The oldest operating business in Lee County was recognized as the Peoples Exchange Bank, which was established in 1912 and still operating today.
The oldest living man was recognized as Paul Wheeler Treadway who is 99 years old and will turn 100 on August 24th. He was born in Cressmont, KY lived in Heidelberg through this school years. Moved to Richmond and worked at the Kentucky Ordinance then moved to Ohio to work at General Motors where he retired and moved back to Lee County in 1984. Mr Treadway is the father of two sons and he has five grandchildren and six great grandchildren. He is also blessed with two great great grandchildren.
The oldest living woman was recognized as Elizabeth Fox McIntosh was 99 years old and her birthday was October 9, 1920. She lived on Fox Hollow and went to school in Owsley County. She married Clint McIntosh in 1935 and they built a house on Fairground Ridge to raise their family. She attended Pine Cress Church and enjoys watching Mrs. Margaret on WLJC. She raised 6 children, 12 grand children, 30 great grand children and 24 great great great grandchildren.
The oldest living veteran in Lee County was recognized as Mr. William Abner Jr. At 97 he was born on July 15, 1922. At the age of 20 he was called to serve after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He served in the 3rd infantry division under General Gorge Patton in WW2 from 1942-1945. The 3rd Division was part of the Western Task Force that landed in North Africa on November 8, 1942. By September, he was in Italy 12 miles south of Rome. Mr. Abner was wounded during the Battle of the Bulge. After being wounded, he was reassigned to the Army Air Corp to a fighter squadron, where his job was to oversee installing engines in planes. Mr. Abner was the recipient of 5 Bronze Stars, awarded for heroic achievement in 5 major battles in enemy territory, a Purple Heart for being wounded in the Battle of the Bulge and 4 Citations, one for taking out a machine gun. We are very proud of Mr. Abner’s service to our county. He is our very on living Lee County Hero.
The longest married couple was recognized at Ottis and Hilda Judd who have been together for 73 years. Ottis Judd was born on 9-23-1924 at Lone, KY, in Lee County. His wife, Hilda Spencer Judd was born 6-8-1926 in Perry County, but moved to Lee County around the age of 12 and lived in the Canyon Falls area. Ottis serving in WWII and was stationed in Europe. He returned home December of 1945. By this time, Hilda was living in Beattyville and was a waitress at the Purple Cow Restaurant. In late March of 1946, Ottis asked Hilda to go for a ride with him to find the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow that was visible at that moment. They went for the ride and stopped at Canyon Falls that evening for a church service. They got married on May 6, 1946—73 years ago. They lived in Beattyville while Ottis worked at the Ford garage. Using wood from the Judd farm at Lone, Ottis built a house for them on McGuire Avenue where they have lived out their lives. Ottis and his brother, Sanford, were the founders of the original Judd’s Garage which was located beside Riverview Cemetery. He ran a bulldozer for the rest of his career, building ponds, roads, house seats, oil locations, and cleaning up many farms all over several counties. Ottis and Hilda were very instrumental in the forming of the Beattyville Church of the Nazarene. Hilda was a stay at home Mom for several years while also helping with the bookkeeping for the garage. She eventually worked as a Library Aid in the Lee County School System, from which she retired. They were blessed with two sons, Danny and Jerry, who both graduated from Lee County High School. Danny served in the Air Force and eventually retired from Toyota in Georgetown, KY. Jerry graduated from the University of Kentucky and retired from St. Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington, WV after many years as a pharmacist. Ottis and Hilda enjoy four grandsons, three great grandsons and three great granddaughters.
The oldest Congregation in Lee County was recognized as the Beattyville Christian Church.
The early History of the Beattyville Christian Church recounts that in the fall of 1840, Samuel Rogers, an evangelist held successful meetings in a warehouse type building in Proctor. The warehouse was furnished for church meetings. For many years, the congregation meet there or in member’s homes. Then a deed was obtained for property where the current church now sets. A frame church was erected there in 1894. The present brick church was dedicated in September 1959. In the year 1990, the Beattyville Christian Church half its Sesquicentennial Celebration..150 years of history of its congregation. Today, the Beattyville Christian Church celebrates 180 years being the oldest contenting congregation in Lee County.
The oldest standing church in Lee County was recognized as the St. Thomas Episcopal Church.The Episcopal Church was established in the 1870’s. In 1887 Bishop Thomas Dudley lead the congregation in the purchasing of an acre of land for the building of a new stone church. Bishop Dudley laid the cornerstone in 1896. The building was completed in 1903 and the church was consecrated as St. Thomas. In 1974 Governor Ford designated the St Thomas Episcopal Church as a Kentucky Historical Landmark. Its membership contains several descendants of the early St. Thomas Church. Family descendants include the Lyons, McGuires, Smiths, Beach, Pack, Hobbs, Blackey, Firesteens, Jamisons, Sales, Porters, Adkins, and Jennings Families.
The Oldest Standing Residence was recognized as the Durbin cabin built in 1825, which still stands on the bank of the KY River a half mile from Old Landing. The Durbin family has a long history in Lee County. John and Joe Durbin moved from Madison County into Lee County around the year 1815. Both were married and had large Catholic families. Joe Durbin built his first cabin on the Kentucky River about a half a mile from Old Landing in 1825, which is still standing today. John and Joe Durbin each had at least 10 children. They bought a tract of land of land in Contrary Creek. Descendent of the John and Joe Durbin families today carry on the Catholic roots in Lee County.
The oldest organization in Lee County was recognized as the Proctor Lodge #213 of the Free and Accepted Masons. The Masonic Lodge of Proctor #213 was chartered in Proctor, Kentucky on August 27th, 1851. The first master mason was John G McGuire and the first secretary was Elisha Bowman Treadway, who is the great grandfather of our oldest citizen Paul Treadway. Later the lodge, was moved to Beattyville in 1902, where it met in different locations. One building burnt and later the Lodge would later build a two story frame building where they would meet for several years. On December 27th, 1940 the 19 members from the Heidelberg Lodge #877 merged with Proctor lodge. In 1952 the members voted to build a new building, which is their present location, on Main Street. In December 2014, St. Helens Lodge #684 merged their 54 members with the Proctor Lodge. The lodge currently as over 150 members.
There was also an award given, the Sesquicentennial Spirit Award. This award was given to Mrs. Linda Smith. She began talking about the upcoming Sesquicentennial a little over 3 years ago. She has encouraged others to get onboard with their ideas on how to celebrate 150 years of Lee County history. She has worked tirelessly and is the driving force behind 2020’s, 150 year celebration.
A lady was recognized in the crowd for attending the celebration. Mrs. Edna Fraley Thomas, who will turn 99 years old on May 7th. She is so close to being a Centurion that the committee wanted to also recognize her. Mrs. Thomas grew up on the hill behind the People Exchange Branch Bank at South Fork road and remembers walking across the bridge to school with her good friend Catherine Congelton. The other girls called them “Country Girls” because they came from across the bridge. She married Stanley Thomas and they moved to Pine Grove in a house that they built. She worked 13 years for the Dr. Combs Dental office and raised 7 children, 12 grandchildren and numerous great grand children.
A prayer of blessing on Lee County was given by Pastor William Owens and the audience walked down to the Beattyville Christian Church Activity Center for cake, punch, and bluegrass music.
It was a great start to Celebrating 150 years. Here are some photos from the event. Follow upcoming event on the 150 Year Celebration Facebook Page.
On Monday night, February 17th, 2020 former Lee County High School Bobcat basketball players and family members of Coach Heber Dunaway walked onto center court. There with the community in the stands, the Lee County Board of Education, renamed the building the Heber Dunaway Gymnasium. Former Coach Dunaway players who spoke included John Paul Gabbard and former UK Basketball player Larry Stamper. #leecountyky150 #historyinthemaking #heberdunaway #leecountyschools
HGTV "Help us bring back our town"! This video was submitted Feb 7, 2020 to the HGTV Hometown Takeover contest. It is a message that educates the audience about our community, our heart, and our perservence. Thank you to everyone who helped in the making of this video on such short notice. You are the ones who made it possible. #HGTV #beattyville
About: The City of Beattyville, KY has faced many challenges over the last few years having lost jobs and industry. But as a result of that, our community has come together to refocus on our strengths and look at new and inventive ways to grow our community through technology, tourism and small business. Our community has been labeled, by some National Media Outlets, as one of the poorest towns in America, but we are rich in many ways; rich in community, rich in history, and rich in natural beauty. Beattyville’s unique location, in scenic Eastern Kentucky, at the confluence of the Kentucky River, near high sandstone cliff lines that attract tourists and World Class rock climbers, offers opportunity without measure. Boasting a small town atmosphere with rich cultural and historic roots, we are known as the birthplace of the Kentucky River. With recreation and the natural landscape of our community representing strong community assets, tourism readily arises as a suitable economic development approach. Locally-owned small businesses could attract a tremendous number of visitors to Beattyville. Therefore, community leaders envision great benefits from encouraging entrepreneurship in the private sector, especially in the area of tourism. With advancing technology and a global market made possible by the internet, businesses related to recreation and tourism could also lay the foundation for economic growth. Rock climbers need camping supplies, lodging, and equipment. People using outdoor recreation trails for riding ATVs, mountain biking, horseback riding, or hiking would also need supplies, equipment, food, and lodging. Boating and restaurant businesses have great opportunity as the Kentucky River is developed for boating and fishing. Beattyville needs venues for starting small businesses such as these. Having an incubator for entrepreneurs to test the sustainability of their company would help to initiate growth in small business development. Our Main Street is made up mostly of locally-owned small businesses, some of them being there for more than 50 years. A recent inventory of our Main Street buildings showed we currently have 18 empty buildings in our Main Street district, 10 of which are assessed by the Lee County Property Valuation Administrator as “poor” condition. The brownfield site is a large stone building built in 1939 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The WPA was an ambitious employment and infrastructure program President Roosevelt created in 1935, during the bleakest years of the Great Depression. The blight from this building has a negative economic impact, it hides the scenic landscape and detracts from tourism growth. Concern over contamination discourages redevelopment of this and the empty commercial space next to it. Remediating hazardous material from this site will remove this threat from the environment and impediment to redevelopment. Site cleanup will lead to redevelopment and create a new tourist related business and create new jobs. The clean up will contribute to a healthier community. Our community lacks the resources needed to address the issues with this blighted building. Renovating and leasing this building to a tourist based business would produce revenue, create jobs and eliminate blight from the property. Assistance provided through HGTV Hometown Takeover, would provide much needed resources to bring this property and other Main Street properties, back into productive reuse.
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