Lowe’s lends a hand at Holly Rood

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, November 1, 2023

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Holly Rood, located at 28 Beckner Street in Winchester, is a testament to local history and historic preservation as the one-time home of former Kentucky Governor James A. Clark.

Recently, the Lowe’s Home Improvement store off Bypass Road paid a visit on Tuesday, Oct. 24, to ensure everything is up to standards at the mansion for the foreseeable future.

“We were really thankful that Lowe’s stepped up and said, ‘We’ll do this for you,’” said curator Debbie Barnes. “In the ten years that I’ve been here, I think this is the only time that a company came in and [asked], ‘What can we do for you?’”

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Pete Penichet, the store manager with Lowe’s, has long relationships with those at Holly Rood, including Barnes and Steve Justice of the Clark County-Winchester Heritage Commission.

Noticing Justice at Lowe’s one day looking at range ovens, a conversation came up, with Penichet later asking if he could observe the range ovens present at Holly Rood.

It didn’t take long for an idea to form.

“He came up here and walked through it, and he said, ‘We want to help…and I think I’ve got people who will come and volunteer,” Barnes said.

Through a Lowe’s Hometowns grant, which positively impacts communities via restoring and revitalizing public spaces, Penichet took a team of 12 volunteers to Holly Rood.

“We felt like this was the best organization this year that had approached us for it,” Penichet said. “It really worked out well for the team.”

Along with replacing the range ovens inside, the volunteers also added range hoods.

They also did some outdoor work, including laying mulch, pulling weeds, trimming bushes and pressure washing the back deck.

“The amazing thing is he didn’t get wet. We usually leave here looking like drowned rats”, Barnes added. “They really just did all the landscape work that it would have taken. [Of] the volunteers here, the youngest one is, I think, 66 [years old]…We were really thankful that Lowe’s stepped up.”

As a historical sight and a venue that hosts weddings, parties, meetings, and other public and private events, having reliable appliances and a clean outdoor atmosphere is essential for Holly Rood.

Asked what he found most worthwhile, Penichet was quick to respond.

“Just helping out the community and getting out on a beautiful day and coming together as a team,” he said.