Tag Archives: Ashland KY

The Ashland Tragedy

One Christmas morn in eighty-one, Ashland Kentucky that quiet burg, Was startled the day had not yet dawned When the cry of fire was heard. For well they knew two fair ladies Had there retired to bed. The startled crowd broke in, alas, To find the girls both dead. And from the hissing, seething flames […]


The Singin’ Fiddler of Lost Hope Hollow, a persona

Jean Thomas called him the “first primitive, unlettered Kentucky mountain minstrel to cross the sea to fiddle and sing his own and Elizabethan ballads in the Royal Albert Hall in London.” She presented to the American public a man she said spent his life in the mountains, never to come into contact with the modern […]


Jean Thomas: Kentucky’s Traipsin’ Woman

She had hosted Susan Steele Sampson, wife of Kentucky’s governor, the previous year at her first American Folk Song Festival, held at the Traipsin’ Woman Cabin. Now, in August 1931, Jean Thomas found herself invited to the Governor’s mansion in Frankfort to discuss the creation of an American Folk Song Society and an annual festival […]


Ashland, KY’s Highlands Museum & Discovery Center Celebrates 30 Years

In the early 1980s the Tourism Committee of the Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce decided the city needed a museum to represent the local history of Ashland and its surrounding area. The Kentucky Highlands Museum Society, Inc. was incorporated in the early 1980s and found its first location in the landmark Mayo Manor, a house in Ashland’s historic residential district. A team of volunteers assembled the first exhibits, which included Native American artifacts, aviation history, the 1937 flood, and local industry. The Kentucky Highlands Museum officially opened its doors on September 16, 1984.

The museum moved to its current home in the former Parsons Department Store building, opening on September 19, 1992. It broadened the scope of its original mission and focus on historical exhibits to also include interactive educational activities for children. In 1999, the museum formally adopted its current name, “Highlands Museum & Discovery Center, Inc.,” to reflect this expanded vision. The addition of the Discovery Center and inclusion of educational activities attracts school groups from throughout the tri-state region of Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia.

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