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.

Rediscovering Lexington's 146 East Third

Before and After Renovation - 146 East Third Street, Lexington, Ky. Author (left) and Linda Carroll (right)
A growing engineering firm is moving from one restored property on East Third Street to another, larger space. Both properties have been beautifully restored, but that hasn't always been the case.

The new office at 146 East Third Street was acquired by the current owners, John Morgan and Linda Carroll, in 2009. On August 3, 2011, the structure was part of a #BGTdeTours walking tour of East Third Street. Following that deTour, I wrote this writeup:

Walking into 146 is like walking into a true construction zone. Originally built in 1847, this property was sold in 1849 to Daniel Wickliffe, the editor of the Lexington Observer and Reporter. Wickliffe would later serve as the Secretary of State under Governor Robinson. In the mid-1900s, the property was a Moose Lodge and was later converted into apartments. Morgan & Carroll acquired this property in late 2009 and have not yet begun restoration, so many remnants of its days as a tenement remain.

And a construction zone it was. The building was in less than stellar shape, but a complete transformation has taken place. Four years after first exploring 146 East Third Street, the #BGTdeTours program is returning to see the amazing restoration.

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