All are invited to attend the Laurel County Historical Society's open house this Saturday, October 12, from 1 p.m. through 3 p.m. Visitors will get to see historical relics, learn about their heritage, and learn how to become a member of the society.

"The Laurel County Historical Society exists primarily to preserve the history of Laurel County and the rest of the region," said Jane Sparkman, president of the Laurel County Historical Society. "We've been around since the 1960s. Over the years, we've accumulated all these items little-by-little."

The organization offers historical pictures, books, census reports, cemetery reports, family history, maps and many other items. One such item is an older pump-type organ, which Sparkman cites as her favorite as she had one like it growing up.

"I can't tell you all the different items we have, but we have a wide selection of things that can help you trace your roots," Sparkman continued. "Sites such as Ancestery.com have kept people from feeling the need to come here in person. Of course, the primary records here are much better for searching or genealogical lines."

The Laurel County Historical Society is volunteer-operated and funded exclusively through memberships and donations.

"Membership is $15 a year. With that, you get a newsletter that comes out four times a year, and of course, the use of the library any time. But you don't even need to be a member to use the library," said Sparkman.

Additionally, photos, documents and other items are accepted as donations so long as they are historical to Laurel County.

"Donations are always welcome and can be made by visiting or sending them by mail," said Sparkman. "We acknowledge donations in our newsletter unless someone prefers not to be acknowledged. Our donations are usually small amounts from people that just want to help, but we're always grateful for donations, no matter the size."

The Laurel County Historical Society is located on 310 West 3rd St. in London. They can be reached over the phone at (606) 864-0607 or online at www.laurelcountykyhistoricalsociety.org. The Laurel County Historical Society is open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m.until 3 p.m. or by appointments.

"I would love to see people in our community to be more interested in our Historical Society because it's important to take an interest in your heritage. We put a lot of work into this and we'd love to share it with our community," said Sparkman. "As I said, we're volunteer staff, and it'd be a big help for more people to volunteer."

dcombs@sentinel-echo.com

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