Around Town: Investigating history

September 12, 2004|ANNABEL GIRARD

Civil War devotees will be interested in the "History Detective" which airs at 9 tonight on KET1.

The show takes a look at true stories about historic sites, artifacts and told tales using an inquisitive team of fact-finders.

Tonight, the team will investigate (much like crime investigators) a preserved Western-style saddle believed to have been used by John Hunt Morgan, a Confederate general who made raids on Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio in July 1863.

Morgan and his "Morgan Raiders" were captured during that raid. Wes Walden of Paris is the great-grandson on John Walden, one of the raiders.


Walden has a saddle passed down to him and the family lore is that it belonged to Gen. Morgan. "History Detectives" will help Walden determine if he really can make that claim. The investigation goes to the Civil War Museum of the Western Theater in Bardstown, Northern Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky. If the saddle really did belong to Morgan, it would be considered the "Holy Grail of Civil War memorabilia," according to the investigator.

These two Web sites give more detailed information about Morgan: and The second site is maintained by descendants of Morgan Raiders.

The show is always interested in history mysteries. If you have one, contact the show at

Bits of the Past

Ah, the problems faced by city dwellers. In 1893, the newspaper reported that the city had a "hog law." There was a question about the law being enforced, however. "There is something wrong somewhere, say people who can see and smell."

In 1888, a landmark was on the way out. The Kentucky School for the Deaf was home of a windmill used to pump water. A steam pump was being installed to do the same work.

In 1923, R.E. Noel, was in town for the Danville Exposition. The visit was newsworthy because he was the first child born in Boyle County. His birth on April 18, 1842, came 24 hours after Boyle County was cut off from Mercer. He grew up to become a Baptist minister and built a Baptist church in Junction City. The Confederate veteran was living in Stanford at the time of his visit to the Exposition.

Contact Me

To share your pet peeves or random acts of kindness, write me at The Advocate-Messenger, P.O. Box 149, Danville 40423; e-mail to; or call 236-4667 or (800)428-0409.

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