If you were playing along with our summer scavenger hunt Tuesday on Facebook, you saw the Mother Goose house featured in our first clue! Located in Hazard, the Mother Goose House has been a local landmark since its completion in 1940. The oddly shaped structure has been used as a dairy bar, gas station, private home and even an inn.
While places like the Mother Goose House and the House Made of Coal below have been around for generations, new arts activities and attractions are always developing throughout the eastern region of Kentucky. In Hazard, the Pathfinders of Perry County recently received a grant from ArtPlace America,a national collaboration among 14 foundations dedicated to strengthening the field of creative placemaking, to develop temporary installations, performance spaces and more in the city’s downtown district.
With such a unique heritage in public art, eastern Kentucky is the perfect place for a summer day trip. Below, we’ve suggested a few places to start.
The Mysterious Tiny Doors – In March, residents of Hazard were delighted when mysterious tiny doors started appearing overnight on buildings around downtown. The first, a tiny white door with windows and columns, appeared on the side of the Hollon and Collins law office building and is an exact replica of the office’s front door. In the months since, doors resembling a hobbit hole, a small radio station and even a small courthouse entrance have popped up. While the original artist is a mystery to the public, the community of Hazard has embraced the idea and local artists have joined in on the fun. To date, there are more than 16 tiny doors to be found with the number growing!
The House Made of Coal – The House Made of Coal was built in 1926 using 42 tons of bituminous coal. Despite being damaged in a 1988 storm, it stands today and is home to the Bell County Chamber of Commerce in Murfreesboro. Next door, visitors can learn more about the area’s mining heritage through the outdoor Bell County Coal Mining Museum that features mining equipment from the 1960s.
Jenny Wiley’s Grave – The heroine who escaped Native American captors in pioneer days used the River Creek, now named Jenny’s Creek, in Johnson County to find her way back home. Her final resting place is located in River, Ky., and sits behind the River volunteer fire department.
World’s Second Largest Seated Lincoln – In addition to the other unique arts offerings that eastern Kentucky boasts, the region is home to the world’s second largest seated Abraham Lincoln statue. The statue, commissioned by a local lawyer, is located in Stanville and is slightly smaller than the seated Lincoln statue in the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.
Other roadside attractions in Eastern Ky:
Tiny working post office, Sawyer: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/32340
Red Bird Petroglyphs, Manchester: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/39111
Alex Newby, Communications Assistant