Mayor Jim Gray is Running for the U.S. Senate

Lost Lexington author Peter Brackney and the author of the book's foreword, Mayor Jim Gray, in the Mayor's Office.  
On November 4, 2014, Mayor Jim Gray was re-elected mayor of Lexington. Also on that date, my book Lost Lexington was published. I was fortunate enough that the good Mayor penned the foreword to that book.

Though his family and he have had their success in the development and construction sector, Mayor Jim Gray is a friend to historic preservation. He is a leader who does not cut corners, but instead looks for forward-thinking, long-term solutions.

Did I mention that Mayor Gray is a supporter of preserving our cultural heritage?

5 in ’15: The Best of the Kaintuckeean in 2015

The majority of posts on this site focus on Lexington, Kentucky history and historic preservation. But looking back at 2015’s most popular posts on the Kaintuckeean revealed a couple of fascinating details. One big overservation was that 4 of the 5 most popular posts were about subjects outside of Fayette County. That’s because, well, “Kentucky Kicks Ass.”

And 2 were from Nicholasville! So read on and discover the posts. Last year, I included the page of my book, Lost Lexington, in the rankings. Though it would have been #3 this year, I opted to include only posts. But thanks for continuing to love the book!

#1: Graded School Ruins Along the Dawkins Trail

The Ivyton School in Magoffin County can be spotted from the junction of the Dawkins Trail and the Mountain Parkway.
Read More: Graded School Ruins Along the Dawkins Trail

This Christmas, Remember The Christmas Truce

Oh, the snowflakes fell in silence
Over Belleau Wood that night
For a Christmas truce had been declared
By both sides of the fight. 

These lyrics from one of Garth Brooks' songs inspired my intrigue in the Christmas Truce of World War I ever since the song was released nearly 20 years ago. And while I'm passionate about Kentucky history, I'm admittedly unversed on world history of the 20th century (an indictment on both what we teach in American schools and on my own collegiate course selection). So I took Garth at his word.

But stories of the Christmas Truce originated following the holiday in 1914 in the early years of The Great War, while the Battle of Belleau Wood didn't occur until 1918. And the clincher is that the Battle of Belleau Wood happened in June. Garth was wrong.

The common notions regarding the Christmas Truce, which I'd been taught to believe, were wrong.

Which is why I was quite pleased to find myself seated next to Terri Crocker at the Kentucky Book Fair last month. She is the author of The Christmas Truce (University Press of Kentucky, 2015; $40.00). A New Yorker by birth, Crocker is a PhD candidate at the University of Kentucky where she also works as a paralegal. Her historical passion and investigative nature are what make The Christmas Truce such an excellent work.

Recognizing and Preserving Our "Venerable Trees"

I first learned of Tom Kimmerer and his work during the late summer and into the fall of 2014 with the news related to a Ball Homes’ development near Harrodsburg Road and Military Pike that threatened a nearly 500 year-old bur oak. The developer hired Kimmerer to create a preservation plan for this ‘venerable’ tree which stands on a bluff above the old South Elkhorn schoolhouse. For the tree preservation plan, Ball Homes earned an award from the Lexington-Fayette Environmental Commission.

Although the preservation of historic buildings has been at times fiercely discussed over the past half-century in Lexington (at times more passionately than at others), the fight over the preservation of historic trees has not drawn the same level of attention. But the preservation of the Old Schoolhouse Oak may be a game changer.

And the premier guidebook for the preservation of trees was recently published by the University Press of Kentucky. The author, not surprisingly, was Tom Kimmerer. Kimmerer’s Venerable Trees: History, Biology, and Conservation in the Bluegrass is a self-described "celebration of the long relationship between people and trees and a cautionary tale of what happens when we neglect that relationship."

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