Saturday, October 10, 2009

554. Not quite the golden triangle

Today was supposed to be spent in southwestern Jefferson County at a community festival helping the candidate I am supporting for Mayor of Louisville-Jefferson County Metro in next year's Democratic Primary. But Mother Nature changed my plans, flooding the festival grounds with yesterday's rains causing the event organizers to cancel the festival.

As such, I got some free time out of it and took to the roads.

My first stop was Lakeview Park in Franklin County, east of the high school on US460. My maternal grandmother's remaining sisters and brothers and their families gathered for a reunion in the very brisk weather under the Hank Hancock Pavilion of the park. My grandmother was the first of her siblings to pass away back in 1976. Since then two more have crossed over. Today the rest were to be found, ranging in age from 69 to 89. My grandmother, were she alive, would be 93.

Everytime I go to one of these affairs I am reminded that like my grandmother's siblings, I too am aging. I joked with more than one of my cousins - actually all 2nd or 3rd cousins as my brother and I have have no true 1st cousins - that I didn't know anyone there under 40 - and I didn't. I had to ask whose kids are whose, and sometimes had to ask whose kids the parents of those kids were.

There was food and drink galore and someone brought an outdoor chimney which provided some much needed heat for the old and young alike. After a full meal and a half, along with a piece of pie, I departed northward out of Franklin County along US127, a very well built highway constructed in the 1970s with wide lanes and wider shoulders. Here and there remnants remain of the former road, especially where one can venture off to the small commnuities of Swallowfield in Frankin County and Monterey in Owen County, which I did. Monterey, by the way, was originally called Williamsburg and was renamed in 1847 in honor of the Mexican city of that name and its role in the Mexican War.

About 25 miles separate Frankfort from Owenton, the Owen County seat. You arrive in Owenton on the southeast side of town where US127 meets the multiplexed KY22/KY227. A note about KY227. When I was younger, it was numbered as US227. However that designation came to an end as the route both started and finished in one state, which sort of keeps it from being a federal highway. The southern part of US227, from Paris to north of Richmond was renumbered as KY627. The northern leg, from Georgetown to Carrollton retained the 227 number, but as a state highway.

The Owen County Court House, shown here in a photo taken by Dave Redden, is off to the west of US127/KY227 on Seminary Street. I stayed north on Main Street leaving the little town where Main Street forks off to the left avoiding the Adams Street Hill. At the community of Long Ridge, more or less an intersection, northbound US127/KY227 are joined by westbound KY36. KY36 is one of the longer state routes in Kentucky, crossing from Frenchburg in Menifee County, through eight more counties before coming to an end at the Milton-Madison Bridge in Trimble County.

About nine miles north of Owenton, KY227 departs the federal route and heads west to the tiny little community of New Liberty, one of the oldest communities in the Commonwealth, dating to sometime before 1800. New Liberty was incorporated in 1827, which is one year before Louisville received its charter from the General Assembly. The oldest church in the county was gathered there about 1806, and remains so, now called the New Liberty Baptist Church.

From New Liberty, KY227 courses westwardly along a ridge through the Dallasburg community which is (apparently) served by the Wheatley Post Office. The street map shows a community named Wheatley, but if one is there I didn't see it. Eventually the road heads toward the confluence of Eagle Creek and the Kentucky River, and the hardscrabble town of Worthville, which is located about four blocks off where KY227 presently runs. Originally the highway fed onto Kyle Street in this little burg, which seems to serve mostly as a staging area for the CSX railroad system. The town is about three blocks wide and maybe 3/4 of a mile long along both sides of the railroad, as shown in the picture. There remain the remnants of an old town - a line of two and three story brick buildings attesting to a once vibrant railroad town. Very little is left other than the railroad yard.

I followed KY227 to its western terminus at US42 in the Carroll County seat of Carrollton. Turning south I ventured one block over (northward) to Main Street which runs along the Ohio River. This street allows a view of the back side of the courthouse and its ample lawn. This is also the original "main" street of the town. A few blocks west is another confluence, that of the Kentucky and Ohio rivers. US42 crosses over the mouth of the Kentucky on a blue two lane bridge built in 1952 into the town of Prestonville.

Someday I will write about the Preston family of Kentucky. This Prestonville and our Preston Highway, along with Prestonsburg in eastern Kentucky and Preston's Landing in Trimble County, are all related. William Preston and his family have roots all up and down the Ohio River and he was from the family of one of Louisville's founders, a family which orginated in Virginia and before that in Ireland. But, I digress.

From Prestonville, I followed the Left Bank of the Kentucky River for a few miles upriver along KY55 and KY389, the latter of which intersects with Interstate 71 at Milemarker 43. From this point I returned home, completing the inside circle of the golden triangle, going "not quite" to Lexington, thence northward "not quite" to northern Kentucky, and returning thence to Louisville.


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Jeff said...

Please do write about the Prestons. I'm very curious to read about the.

The Archives at Milepost 606


Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Never married, liberal Democrat, born in 1960, opinionated but generally pleasant, member of the Episcopal Church. Graduate of Prestonia Elementary, Durrett High, and Spalding University; the first two now-closed Jefferson County Public Schools, the latter a very small liberal arts college in downtown Louisville affiliated with the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. My vocation and avocation is politics. My favorite pastime is driving the backroads of Kentucky and southern Indiana, visiting small towns, political hangouts, courthouses, churches, and cemeteries. You are welcome to ride with me sometime.