Friday, July 16, 2010

One of 8,000

Heading into town from Boonesborough in the 1950s you crossed the Kentucky River using a very narrow, metal bridge, which looked to me much liked one of my toy erector sets. Heading up Boonesborough road you would wind and twist and climb until things leveled off past the reservoir, soon reaching a rectangular green sign which stated: "Welcome to Winchester", on the top line, and "Pop. 8,000" on the bottom line. Welcome to Winchester had a sort of musical ring to it, and I would try to make up songs using the words. Wow I thought, I was one of these 8,000!

Boonesborough road would end, and you had to turn right or left onto Main Street. Where you had to turn, there was a large, red bricked, Catholic Church on the corner. Catholics and my Protestant world did not seem to talk much. The Catholics had their own school, and apparently their own world, for I did not meet a Catholic my own age until high school.

Turning left onto Main Street, just a half block down on the left was a very large, Gothic style Methodist church. Immediately turning right onto Hickman street you would climb a short hill to the crest where the largest Christian Church stood. I got to know this building fairly well since it was were the "boys of 84", that is, boy scout troop 84 met for many years. Now directly across the street stood Hickman Street School where my mam maw, aunts, uncles, dad, and I all attended. Not at the same time of course, for Hickman Street had been there a very long time!

Now moving on down main street, just another half block you came to the large, brown stoned Presbyterian Church which set a little back from the road. An alley moved up the side where you reach the back of Hickman Street School and the parking lot of the largest Baptist Church in Winchester known as Central Baptist Church.

Let's see now, Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, and Christian all within spitting distance to one another. At the time, I would have been around 9 years of age, I did not realize how this represented pioneer Kentucky! Folks from Maryland wanted their religious freedom. (Mostly Catholics). Folks from Pennsylvania(those Scots-Irish) wanted their religious freedom (mostly Presbyterian, Baptist, and Methodist). Folks from Virginia who were being run out of town by the established Church of England wanted their religious freedom. (Mostly Baptist). Folks from North Carolina had already claimed all the land south of the Kentucky River. Moving north, here we all were! Living and building this little town, including a lot of churches. Wow I thought, "Welcome to Winchester", "Pop. 8000".


  1. Like what I SEE and like what I read. Thanks. Five lines of JONES family and only one may link someday.

  2. Do you mean that you have five different JONES family lines? Man what a treat!