November 27, 2013

Traces of Laurel: A Few Final Excerpts



(The above was written with punctuation and spelling as it appeared in the Mountain Echo. I had to manually change some of the spelling back to the original because my computer wanted to correct it. Ah, technology.)

April 10, 1874:  “There was a shooting scrape, yesterday, between _______, _______ and _________, in which five shots were fired.  They were in the street, near Wren’s grocery, and the crowd was thick as a bee swarm.  Strange to say no one was hit.  This shooting shows a reckless disregard for life, and also furnishes further proof that the carrying of concealed weapons should be made a penitentiary offence.  Judge Randall fined each party $10 for contempt of court, and the grand jury will undoubtedly get an indictment against each, and then the evidence being so plain, into jail they will go.  Let the law be enforced.  When the firing began we thought it was our old friend, __________ for he came out of the crowd with Polly’s mare by the bridle, swearing he could whip anything on the ground.  Just such running, dodging and hiding you never witnessed.  Several of our brave boys mounted their horses and left for their wives and little ones.  From what we learn about the matter, whisky, as usual, was at the bottom of it.”

 All 22 volumes of the “Excerpts from the Mountain Echo” (1873-1907) may be purchased at the Laurel County Historical Society for around $260, or you may buy each volume separately.  No excerpts exist for the year 1906 because there is no microfilm for that year.  These books make excellent Christmas gifts for those interested in Laurel County’s history.


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Interviews with Laurel Countians over the age of 80 have begun. Subjects are only asked to answer a few questions about their childhood and youth and their connection to Laurel County.  If you or someone you know would like to participate, contact the society at 606-864-0607 during library hours, or 606-224-3767 at other times. Email the historical society at or Jan Sparkman at


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The Laurel County Historical Society is located at 310 W. 3rd St., London, (formerly the Laurel County Health Department).  The library is open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 12 noon.  For further information, contact 606-864-0607 during library hours, or 606-224-3767 at other times.  Email the society at or Jan Sparkman at

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
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