Kentucky's Oldest Presbyterian Church

Walnut Hill Presbyterian Church in Lexington, Ky. Jason Sloan
For the next edition of #BGTdeTours, you have the opportunity to explore the oldest Presbyterian church in Kentucky. The site is the Walnut Hill Presbyterian Church which is located on Walnut Hill Pike near Old Richmond Road.

The church was formed on land given it by General Levi Todd, Mary Todd Lincoln's grandfather, in 1785. That year, a log structure was erected for the pioneers. One of the first ministers, Rev. James Crawford, is buried in the church cemetery. In 1791, Crawford created a school of Latin, Greek and the Sciences at Walnut Hill. Crawford is among the 85 individuals interred at the church cemetery.

Amidst the 1801 "great revival" that overtook Kentucky in religious fervor, the church at Walnut Hill was demolished and the extant stone structure replaced it. Originally and until an 1880 remodeling, the stone sanctuary had "eight square windows on two levels that allowed light to enter the sanctuary at the ground level as well as in the galleries that surrounded the inner room on three sides."

A Review of The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia

Over 150 writers contributed to The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia which is being published this month by the University Press of Kentucky. Editors Gerald L. Smith, Karen Cotton McDaniel, and John A. Hardin have compiled what is being described as "a foundational guide to the black experience in the Commonwealth."

The beautiful 596-page tome is not without its flaws. Although the entry on "slave trade" did note that Lexington and Louisville "became centers of the slave commerce," there was no entry dedicated to the markets themselves. An informed entry on "Cheapside" would have been an excellent addition - the full dialogue on this subject seems to be missing which has spawned a political issue in and of itself. Another addition I would have preferred to have seen would have been a place index. Connecting the dots of multiple references within the text to a particular Kentucky town or county would have assisted local researchers, though the information is probably easily gleaned from a digital version of the text.

Lost Lexington & Kentucky Historical Society's "Food for Thought"

Each month, the Kentucky Historical Society hosts its Food for Thought luncheon series in Frankfort. This month, I'll be speaking about and reading from my book, Lost Lexington, to share back stories of the places in Lexington that once were - but have been lost to history. The event is on August 19 and begins at noon at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History.

Celebrate National Farmer's Market Week with Lost Lexington and Homegrown Authors

What better way to celebrate National Farmer's Market Week than coming to see me on Saturday morning?

That's right, it's National Farmer's Market Week through August 10. And on August 8 - from 9 am until about noon, I'll be at the greatest Farmer's Market of them all: the Lexington Farmer's Market at Cheapside Park! (OK, I'm a little biased. But definitely one of the best!)

I will be there do discuss and sign my book, Lost Lexington, as part of the Homegrown Authors series by Morris Book Shop and the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning. And I'll be joined by another local Kentucky author, Ben Woodard, who has some awesome stories to tell. He's been writing children's books with his latest being Bubbles: Big Stink in Frog Pond.

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