Welcome to the blog of the Henderson, Ky., Depot Community Room. The Community Room strives to promote a better understanding of Henderson, Ky., history and culture through special programs and exhibits. Our exhibit hall features the collections of the Henderson County Historical and Genealogical Society. The Community Room is funded by the City of Henderson, Ky., through the Henderson County Tourist Commission.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

This month marks the 150th anniversary of the first shots fired in the Civil War. The Depot Community Room will begin its commemmoration of this turbulent time in history on Thursday, April 7, at 6 p.m. Author Ray Mulesky will tell us the epic story of how a Henderson Confederate boldly captured Newburgh, Ind.. It was the first town north of the Mason-Dixon line to fall into Confederate hands, and had ramifications for Henderson and western Kentucky as well as southern Indiana.

Mulesky's books, including Thunder From a Clear Sky books will be available for purchase and signing after the talk.

The Depot Community Room is located at 101 N. Water St. in Henderson, Ky. We are funded by the City of Henderson through the Henderson Tourist Commission. The Depot Community Room works closely with the Henderson Historical and Genealogical Society to provide high-quality exhibits and events relating to Henderson's history.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Come See the Depot Trains

Did you know the Depot Community Room has a working train set? Kids absolutely love it! So if you want to get out of the house the next few days and take the family someplace WARM, FUN and EDUCATIONAL then bring them by our place, at the intersection of First and Water Streets. While the kids are enjoying the large model train set as it circles town and enters the tunnel, parents can browse the exhibits and learn a few tidbits about Henderson's history!
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Henderson's first historian had a sense of humor

In writing his definitive "History of Henderson County, Kentucky" in 1887 Edmund Starling recorded for posterity the important people, places and happenings of the day. But Starling had a sense of humor, which reveals itself throughout the book. Following is an excerpt about the latest 1858 fashions that gave us a chuckle:

"Prior to the fall of this year, fashion had induced all of the gentle sex (meaning women) to deform themselves in matter of dress. Hoops were fashionable, and the more enormous the hoops, the more fashionable the wearer. The nearer the model of a five gallon demijohn a lady could approach, the nearer she succeeded in reaching the climax of disfigurement and the demands of fashion.

"In those days there was but one hack in Henderson County, so in times of parties and swell occasions, young men, who doubted the policy of having their sweethearts foot it (walk) frequently called into reqeuisition the family buggy. Although such a vehicle, in these days, would be amply convenient for three persons, het, in 1858, when the lady of hoops had seated herself, there was really no room for the gentleman and he was therefore compelled to submit to circunscribed space, ride the horse, or else content himself with the footman's seat behind. A full dress lady of 1858, seated in one of the Delker Phaeton Copany's modern make of buggies, would be a sight sufficient to frighten a whole army of timid men. It was a horrid fashion, and thank heavens the French connoseurs in the fall of that year gave to the female world a dress more modest and becoming. "

Thursday, March 10, 2011

April 2 is first Historic Downtown Walking Tour of Season

You only have to walk down Main or Elm Street to realize Henderson is a town full of historical charm. Have you ever wanted to know about some of the places you see as you're driving down those streets? Have you ever wondered about the people who left their footprints here over the last 200 years? Then join us on one of our Saturday Historic Downtown Walking Tours!! Tours are held the first Saturday of the month starting in April.

April 2, 10 a.m., the Depot
May 7, 10 a.m., the Depot
June 4, 10 a.m., the Depot
July 2, 10 a.m., the Depot
August 6, 10 a.m. the DepotPost Options
September 3, 10 a.m. the Depot

The Depot Community Room is supported by the City of Henderson through the Henderson County Tourist Commission.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

National Women's History Month!

Thelma Johnson (Photo Courtesy The Gleaner)
Thelma Johnson, who was elected to the Henderson County Board of Education in 1978 and served until 1986, was the first black official elected to any public office in Henderson County. She was so well-respected by her peers, that she was elected the board chair-person in 1981. The fith of six children born to parents who worked as domestics, she made up her mind early on that she was going to be a teacher, and she did just that, serving as a beloved teacher for a number of years.

When Johnson was elected to the school board she said she was “scared to death” because now she had to “worry about doing a good job on the school board.”  The other four members of the board were white males. But Johnson need not have worried. She easily gained the respect and admiration of many in the community, black and white.

She was thereafter named to the board of Methodist Hospital, adding that to the volunteer work she was already doing for senior citizens and for such agencies as the League of Women Voters, Redbanks nursing home, American Red Cross, Friends of the Library and the Green River Area Development District’s Council on aging. When she was elected for a second term on the school board, the new board voted her its chairwoman. Being a pioneer in the community was nothing new to Johnson --She had also been the first black University of Kentucky extension agent in western Kentucky. The Chamber of Commerce named her “Distinguished Citizen of the Year” in 1984 and she is well-remembered as a champion of education and service.

Source: The Gleaner, Yesterday’s News by Frank Boyett.

2011 Historic Preservation Photo-Essay Competition

Preservation in Your Community:
From Endangered to Enlivened

To celebrate Historic Preservation Month in May, the Kentucky Heritage Council and Preservation Kentucky, Inc. are pleased to announce the 13th Annual Statewide Photo-Essay Competition for all Kentucky school-age students – with this year’s theme Preservation in Your Community: From Endangered to EnlivenedStudents are asked to take at least three photos and write an essay demonstrating an example of preservation in their city, town, neighborhood, or in rural areas. This example should highlight a historic building or site that was previously endangered by demolition, an act of nature or neglect.
Students should explain what the threat to the historic building or site was and how the owner or community has resolved the threat and rehabilitated or preserved the historic building or site.  Factors, such as the importance of the building or site to the community's sense of place and history as well as the steps the owner/community had to take to preserve the building or site, should be considered in the essay.
Rehabilitation can be underway currently or the project can be completed at the historic building or site.  Planned rehabilitation or preservation (in the future) is not eligible.  Examples of sites that might be endangered include houses, commercial buildings, downtown buildings, churches, courthouses, schools, farms or barns.  The building or site must be in the immediate community where the student lives.
Students are encouraged to reflect on why it is important that older buildings and sites continue to serve a useful purpose through rehabilitation.  Students may also want to explore how threats to the historic building or site they select can be seen in other parts of the community.  Students should use their photo-essay as a case study to offer suggestions to community members as possible solutions for other endangered sites.  In other words, what lessons learned from the preservation of this building or site can be used to help other buildings or sites in need of preservation?
Each entry should include at least three photos taken by the student on or after August 1, 2010, with an accompanying original essay addressing the theme as outlined above.  Entries will be judged on creativity, visual appeal, unique approach, presentation and originality.
Students are required to submit a copy of their photo-essay to at least one local decision-maker (mayor, city council or commission member, county judge-executive, magistrate, school board member, etc.) in addition to contest judges.  Students are asked to note this person's identity on the official contest entry form (at right).
Entries may be submitted via email or regular mail. Details are outlined in the eligibility requirements, below.
Judges representing the Kentucky Heritage Council and Preservation Kentucky will select first-, second- and third-place essays from students in three categories:
Primary (Grades 1-5)Intermediate (Grades 6-8)
Secondary (Grades 9-12)
The winner of each category will receive a cash award and be invited to present their winning photo-essay in a brief PowerPoint presentation during the Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation Preservation Awards, which will take place in May.  Second- and third-place winners will also receive a prize and be recognized during the ceremony.  All competition participants will receive a certificate of recognition.  The school submitting the most entries to the 2011 competition will also be recognized during the ceremony and receive an award for participation.
The Kentucky Heritage Council serves as the State Historic Preservation Office.  Preservation Kentucky, Inc. is the statewide, nonprofit historic preservation organization.  Preservation Kentucky relies on support of its members to fulfill its mission of preservation education and advocacy.  The Kentucky Heritage Council and Preservation Kentucky hope that the 13th Annual Historic Preservation Photo-Essay Competition will stimulate young peoples' interest in historic preservation and provide an opportunity for students to interact with their local decision-makers about the importance of preserving their community’s local heritage.

Eligibility and Guidelines

The competition is open to any student enrolled in Grades 1 through 12 (public, private, or home schools, including extracurricular groups such as 4-H) as of the date the essay is submitted.  (NOTE: Students whose parents serve on or are employed by the Kentucky Heritage Council or whose parents are employed by or serve as board member of Preservation Kentucky, Inc. are ineligible to participate in this competition.)
Deadline & Requirements:
1. Deadline. Essays must be received by email or postmarked no later than Friday, April 15, 2011.  Entries received via email or postmarked after that date will not be eligible.
2. Essay Length. Essay length should be 100-1,000 words.  All essays must be typed and double-spaced.  Handwritten essays will not be considered.  No essays will be returned.
3. Essay Content. Students should identify, document and photograph a historic building, site or structure located in their community and then write an essay describing the property and explaining why the historic resource is significant and should be preserved and protected for future generations.  Entries will be judged, in part, on their "persuasive quality," the student's ability to convince readers of their point of view.  Entries will also be judged on the incorporation of the theme and of researched and documented facts (for example, from an interview, magazine, newspaper or book) about the historic building, site or structure.
A brief synopsis of the theme to be incorporated in student essays follows:
a. Focus on a previously endangered building or site that has been or is being rehabilitated or otherwise preserved.
b. Buildings or sites can be houses, barns, farms, commercial buildings, downtown buildings, schools, courthouses, etc.  The building or site should be at least 50 years old or older and be located in the student's community.
c. Note how the building or site was endangered and what happened that led to its preservation.
d. What steps did the owner or community take to preserve the building?  How can others in the community or elsewhere learn from what happened in this instance?  In other words, what would you advise others in a similar situation to do?
4. Photographs or Other Illustrations. Students must include at least three original color images of the historic building, site or structure described in the accompanying essay.  Email submissions with digital images are encouraged; however, for entries submitted by mail, images must be embedded within the essay text and included on an enclosed CD.  If a student does not have access to a camera or if this requirement causes a hardship, judges will accept another illustration (drawing, sketch, painting, etc.) of the subject property.  All photographs or illustrations must have been completed by the student on or after August 1, 2010. Entries will be judged, in part, on the quality and content of the photographic images or illustration.  No photographs or illustrations will be returned.
5. Entry Form. Students must submit a signed entry form along with their essay and photograph. An official entry form follows.
6. Local Decision-Maker Contact. Students are required to submit a copy of their photo-essay submission to a local decision-maker (mayor, city council or commission member, county judge-executive, magistrate, school board member, etc.) and identify that person on the official entry form.
7. Where to Submit Photo-Essays.
To submit via mail: Enclose two hard copies of the original essay with at least three embedded photos, a CD with Jpeg or TIFF images, and one copy of a completed official entry form and mail to:
Kentucky Heritage Council
Attn: 2011 Photo-Essay Competition
300 Washington Street
Frankfort, KY 40601
Images for mail-in submissions: The maximum photograph or illustration size should be saved as a TIFF or Jpeg on an enclosed CD.  The CD should be labeled with the entrant's name, school, and the title of the image.  When saving the images on CD, please indicate what the judge is viewing with an explanatory label, e.g. front view of building.  Each photograph or illustration included on the CD should be embedded within the essay text.
To submit via email: Essays must be submitted as attachments in MS Word or PDF format.  A signed entry form should also be scanned and attached to the email.  Each email submission should include attached photos or illustrations, the essay, and the entry form. Please do not email these items in separate emails. Email to info@preservationkentucky.org. Please title the email: 2011 Photo-Essay Submission
Images for email submissions: Photographs or illustrations should not exceed 100dpi and should be saved in a Jpeg or TIFF format.  For judging or publication purposes, judges may request a higher-quality image.  When saving the images, please indicate what the judge is viewing with an explanatory label, e.g. front view of building.

Prizes, Selection of Winners, and Notification

1. Prizes. Cash and other prizes will be awarded for first-, second- and third-place photo-essays in each of the three contest categories: Primary (Grades 1-5), Intermediate (Grades 6-8) and Secondary (Grades 9-12).  Each prizewinner and competition participant will also receive a certificate of recognition.  The top three students in each category will be recognized during an awards ceremony to be scheduled in mid- to late May 2011 in Frankfort.
2. Publication. The first-, second- and third-place essays and accompanying photographs or illustrations become the property of the Kentucky Heritage Council and Preservation Kentucky, Inc. and will be published in their newsletters and on their websites, heritage.ky.gov and preservationkentucky.org.
Both the Kentucky Heritage Council and Preservation Kentucky retain the right to publish or excerpt from any of the submitted essays and print or copy any of the photographs or illustrations in their newsletters or on websites prepared by either organization.  Essays and/or photographs may also appear in other newsletters or publications.  Students will be fully credited in all such publications. Students should keep a copy of their submission for themselves, as the essays and images will not be returned.
3. Selection and Notification. Members and staff of the Kentucky Heritage Council, and board and staff of Preservation Kentucky will judge photo-essay entries and select the first-, second- and third-place winners in all three categories.  Notification of award selections will be made no later than Friday, April 29, 2011.
Upon notification, Preservation Kentucky staff will coordinate PowerPoint arrangements with the top finisher in each category regarding his or her role in the awards ceremony.

A Word to Teachers and Parents

The Kentucky Heritage Council has information about historic places in Kentucky to help students better prepare for writing their essay and photographing historic buildings, sites and structures.  For more information or if you have questions about any of this material, visit the Heritage Council website or call Preservation Kentucky at 502-871-4570.
For More Information
Diane ComerKentucky Heritage Council
(502) 564-7005, ext. 120
Rachel KennedyPreservation Kentucky, Inc.
(502) 871-4570