LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
A proud segment of Laurel County will be opening its doors to the public next week as the Laurel County African American Heritage Center (LCAAHC) is set to host its first open house since 2005.
The LCAAHC will be having an open house on Wednesday, June 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will begin at the actual Heritage Center located at 119 Short Street in London and continue to the LCAAHC’s Grow Appalachia gardening site located at 1401 Griffin Street.
According to the LCAAHC’s official invitation to the public, an open house will allow people “to view the exciting showcases of historical items, and bookshelves of knowledgeable books containing the history of African-American families around Laurel County.”
Salena Henson, who works at the Heritage Center, said there are plenty of historical mementos for people to examine and discover.
“We have hats, dolls, pictures, military items, certificates, old school books and lots more,” Henson said. “There are several African-American families around Laurel County. As they come in, we will answer questions about a specific family and see if we have any documents or pictures of them.”
The Heritage Center also has 45 family garden sites throughout Laurel County in conjunction with the Laurel County Jail garden and two other community gardens. Wednesday’s tour will include a trip to one located in downtown London on Giffin Street.
Henson maintains the tour of the Grow Appalachia garden will provide participants with a great example of a high tunnel styled plant system. High tunnels are impermanent, hangar-styled greenhouses built with relatively inexpensive materials.
“People can see the high-tunnels and irrigation as well as the solar-powered system that powers the pump for the irrigation,” Henson said. “This is to let people be aware of what we’re about. Lots of people benefit from our Grow Appalachia Program – last year alone we grey over 65,000 pounds of food in Laurle County.”