Sunday, August 9, 2009

BARDSTOWN, KENTUCKY



Traveling to Bardstown, KY would be a long day - 299 miles (we're retired). But we made it to White Acres Campground, and wouldn't you know it, there is a traveling antique car meeting in town. These weren't stationary cars - they entertained themselves and others by traveling local country roads every day. About 50 cars - all under 1919 Models, were in tip-top shape and we really enjoyed talking to the owners. I'm ready to buy an antique car. We're going to be here a couple of days so we decided to take the Trolley Ride for a couple of hours, go to the historic Bardstown Museum, Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History, and the Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral, created in 1808. Along with the dioceses of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, Bardstown was chosen as one of the original dioceses because of the migration of Catholic settlers to the west, concentrated in central KY.

No, I had no idea of the historical significance of Bardstown, KY, the second oldest city in KY. No, I did not know this was the beginning of the Bourbon Trail, but it's kind of hard to ignore it once you arrive. There is even a famous whiskey museum connected to the Catholic diocese museum. The museum has a 50 year collection of rare artifacts.

I also was unaware of Stephen Foster's huge significance in Bardstown, and KY. We enjoyed touring "My Old Kentucky Home", a stately Georgian Colonial mansion, known as Federal Hill, c.1818. It was the home of Judge John Rowan whose Pittsburg cousin, Stephen Collins, Foster, visited in 1852 and was inspired to write the song. The house and grounds was sold to the State of KY in 1922 and became a state park, campground, golf course and gardens.
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