Bob Smith talks about ration books from WWII and their importance in a time of economic disparity while fighting a war on two fonts. He references the COVID-19 crises and talks about how ration books and happenings in the past are relatable to the events today.
Bob Smith is the President of the Three Forks Historical Center and owner of the Three Forks Tradition Newspaper along with his wife Linda Smith and son Josh.
More videos on our website. www.threeforkshistoricalcenter.com
The Three Forks Historical Center is located in Beattyville, KY.
Paul Wheeler Treadway was honored on March 1st, 2020 during Lee County's 150 Year Celebration Ceremony. He was recognized as the oldest man in the county. This audio interview occurred days before the ceremony. Mr Treadway will turn 100 in August 2020.
Paul Wheeler Treadway was born in Cressmont, KY on August 24th 1920. His father, Edwin Treadway was a carpenter and bridge foreman working for the lumber mill that was located there. The family moved to Heidelberg into his grandfather’s house when Paul was four years old where he attend the “free” school in Heidelberg. Mr. Treadway graduated from Heidelberg High School in 1938 with 12 classmates. Mr. Treadway remembers riding the passenger train for fifteen cents to Beattyville where his father worked in the courthouse as County Clerk and served a term as Judge Executive in 1938. In 1939 he married Phyllis Howell from the Beartrack area. He found a job in Richmond and worked three years at the Bluegrass Ordinance before moving to Ohio where he worked at General Motors for 30 years before retiring. In 1984, Mr. Treadway and his wife moved back to Heidelberg and repaired the old home-place. Shortly after, they moved to his current residence in Beattyville. Mr. Treadway is the father of two sons, Paul Eddie and David and a grandfather to five; Leisa, James, Mark, Jennifer, and Jodie. He also has six great grandchildren and two great, great grandchildren.
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.
Museum President Bob Smith talks about a USA flag passed down through his family that once was flown on the USS Arizona. He also talks about a photo of the iconic battleship.
Read more about the ashes of veterans here..
Museum President Bob Smith talks about a donation of WWI Commemorative Plates made by the Rockcastle Supply Company who had a plant in Cressmont, Lee County, KY. He gives background information about the area logging company, community of Cressmont at the time, and the railroad around 1919-1920. Plan a visit www.visitleecountyky.com.
Visitors who come into the Three Forks Historical Center have found unique items that they can tell us more about. Here is a video with a visitor, Larry Fraley from West Liberty, KY talking about a Possum Pelt Board. Also there was a visitor, David Cook from Michigan who came to find information about his great grandfather Robinson's Lumber Company in Beattyville, KY. Follow the blog at www.threeforkshistorialcenter.com. Plan a visit www.visitleecountyky.com
Saturday, December 7th was a busy day for the City of Beattyville and the Three Forks Historical Center. The day started out with a Santa Workshop at the museum where children and families came in to write a letter to Santa, do an ornament craft, and decorate a cupcake like a reindeer. The museum also had 8 business vendors set up so while children did their crafts with the help of Mrs. Clause, an Elf, and some volunteers from Tourism and the DBA, parents shopped around the different tables. Bob Smith read the Christmas Story to the children and then Santa arrived at 12pm for photos. It was a fun morning at the museum to kick off the Christmas Spirit event that lasted all day till the parade through town that night and the Kiwanis Treat bags.
On Monday, November 11, 2019 the Lee County Republican Women club will be hosting a luncheon at the Three Forks Historical Center from 11am-1pm honoring Lee County Veterans. All Veterans, Veteran Families, and active military are invited to this appreciation luncheon. The women in the club will serve soups, sandwiches, deserts, and drinks.
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