Sunday, January 04, 2009

New Books about Hopkinsville, KY History

History of Christian County, KY

Chris Gilkey and William Turner published two new local history books this year, and Dennis got them for me this Christmas. They are in the "Images of America" series by Arcadia Publishing, and the titles are:

William Turner is the official Christian County Historian. All the photos in both books are from his collection. He's about 70 years old, I estimate, and he's been collecting bits of Christian County history for most of his life. As I recall, it was a picture postcard collection (his aunt's, I think) that got him interested in history as a boy.

Mr. Turner grew up here and became a history teacher at Hopkinsville High School and then a professor at Hopkinsville Community College. He's now retired from the college, but stays busy with the Pennyrile Museum in Hopkinsville and the Christian County Historical Society.

Chris Gilkey is around 30 years old. He teaches history at Hopkinsville High School and is active in the Christian County Historical Society. He also helps Mr. Turner with anything that involves the internet, because Mr. Turner doesn't use computers. Isaac had Mr. Gilkey as a teacher in high school and enjoyed his classes.

Firefighting in Hopkinsville includes images of the rural volunteer fire departments of Christian County, including the little fire station in our community. In the photo, our firetrucks are parked in front of the building, and the caption tells the make and vintage of each truck. The image is recent, but black-and-white, as are all the images in both books.

Mr. Turner has been very involved with the Woody Winfree Fire and Transportation Museum these last few years. I'm sure the firefighting book is a byproduct of the research he's done while getting the fire museum going.

Related posts:
Hopkinsville's Fire Station and Transportation Museum
Hopkinsville's Clock Tower


Beth said...

This looks like something else to add to my library. I hope you have a wonderful New Year, Genevieve.

Genevieve said...

The book Christian County is interesting, but you probably won't see many familiar buildings in it.

From the book's introduction: "Christian County is a presentation through images of structures spanning a construction period from before 1800 to 1915. They are all gone, destroyed by wind, fire, or human neglect and demolition." In other words, the buildings in the book exist only in photographs.

Hopkinsville in the Arcadia "Then and Now" series and Hopkinsville in the Arcadia "Postcard History" series will have some buildings you'll remember from your time in Hopkinsville, I think.

William Turner was a co-author of both of these books. He worked with Chris Gilkey on the "Then and Now" book and with Donna Stone (director of the Pennyroyal Museum in Hopkinsville) on the "Postcard History" book.

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