Pig Pickin’ honors, raises funds for historic preservation

Published 10:30 am Tuesday, September 26, 2023

On Saturday evening, a large crowd turned out to chow down on some barbecue and honor historic preservation at the Clark County-Winchester Heritage Commission’s Pig Pickin’ for the Past.

“I think this was the best turnout we’ve had. This is our fifth year, but I think this is the best one,” said commission member Steve Justice.

Not only were guests treated to dinner provided by the Pooh’s Que and the Clark County Constable’s Association, but they also could bid for donated items at the silent auction.

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“We had a lot of great silent auction items. A lot of people were very generous this year,” Justice said.

The commission was formed in 1976 by residents dedicated to keeping Holly Rood, the home of Gov. James Clark, from the wrecking ball. They succeeded, and the organization has cared for the mansion ever since.

The event serves as its primary fundraiser, and Justice explained what the donations will go toward doing.

“The majority of it will probably go to Holly Rood and the other part, we’ve done a lot of things,” he said. “We did our first scholarship, Ethan Meadows. We recognized him…We also put up a few historical signs and put up some headstones at James Clark’s monument.”

The event also recognized individuals who contributed to the cause of historic preservation in Clark County.

Alyson Layne-Davidson and Matthew Davidson were honored for their work on their home located at 315 South Maple Street – locally known as the Samuel Taylor House.

“We moved to Winchester in 2017, and we always liked the house – we first moved to a different property – and then we always saw it walking by. Then, when it came for sale, we ready to move on at that point, we took a look and we liked it,” Alyson Layne-Davidson said about how the couple came to be involved with the property.

Matthew Davidson said that the house was “in great shape overall” but that, like many older homes, some parts of it “needed more maintenance than others.”

One of the areas that needed work was the front porch, which has columns dating back to 1905.

“They were made out of wood and rotting at the bases,” Matthew Davidson said. “We knew that would be a maintenance issue but did not realize it would be so soon. We started looking into that and realized that it needed a much larger effort than we originally planned, which led to a major renovation of the front of the house.”

There are some benefits to owning an older home.

“It is built to last. It has been around for over 200 years. The walls on the outside are a foot thick of brick,” Alyson Layne-Davidson said.

And owning the home has connected the couple to the area’s past.

“So many people have lived in it. We are the next people who are the stewards of the house. It is not about us; it is about the house and its life and continuing to have its story,” Matthew Davidson said.

James Miller, owner of the Elks Building located at 61 South Main St., was also honored. The building is currently the home of the Winchester-Clark County Chamber of Commerce.

For more information on the heritage commission, visit its Facebook page: www.facebook.com/clarkcowhc.