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Annual Local History Week starts Monday

For 15 years, the Clark County Public Library led into Labor Day weekend with its Local History Week.

This year is no different, though things will be a little more casual this year.

CCPL reference librarian Andy Gary said the events started as a way to promote the library’s local history room.

“We noticed just before Labor Day, we saw a lot of people coming in to research their families,” he said.

During that same time, he said they noticed a lot of family reunions listed in the newspaper and realized they were getting ready for family reunions over the holiday weekend.

“We thought that would be a good time,” he said.

Initially, the library offered programs on three nights, but expanded to four as interest grew.

Each night, the program begins at 7 p.m. and will feature a different speaker or re-enactor, Gary said. Each presentation should last about 45 minutes with 15 minutes or so for questions at the end.

“When we started out, we had local historians,” Gary said. “We started broadening it as it got more popular. We also branched out of ‘what is local.’ We keep it as close to home as we can, but sometimes we’ll expand to Kentucky.”

This year’s speakers include:

—Dr. Amanda Higgins from the Kentucky Historical Society, who will speak Monday about travel in Kentucky for African Americans during the Jim Crow era.

— Ronald Wolford Blair, a Civil War scholar who will present a program about Col. Frank Lane Wolford, Cavalry Commander of the First Kentucky, and his Wild Riders Tuesday.

— Mel Hankla, who will portray George Rogers Clark, a Revolutionary War hero, and namesake of Clark County Wednesday.

— Eastern Kentucky University professor Jacqueline Hamilton will speak about strong women in Kentucky’s history on Thursday.

The programs are free and begin at 6:30 p.m. with light refreshments. Attendance will be limited to about 50. Registration is required by calling the library at 744-5661 or using the library’s Evanced system at www.clarkbooks.org.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0051.

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