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Kentucky by Heart: Testing your knowledge of Ky’s history, culture and geography with a ‘County Quiz’


By Steve Flairty
KyForward columnist

Though I’m not sure I’ve been to all 120 Kentucky counties, I believe it is pretty close to that number.

I’ve found that if you study the history, culture, and geography of each, you’ll learn some quite interesting trivia, though the people who make up those counties would not prefer to call them “trivial matters.” Ha.

I thought it would be fun for my readers to test their own knowledge of these places, so I’ve been researching our counties and have come with questions for each. I’ll present 60 this week and the other 60 next week. As best as I know, there is only one right answer for each. To check your answers, email me at sflairty2001@yahoo.com with “Kentucky County Quiz Part 1” in the subject. I’ll promptly respond…but take a shot at ‘em before you give up! You might also want to make this a family activity.

Here goes!

What Kentucky county…

…includes the town of Grant’s Lick? (#1)

…had its courthouse destroyed by fire in 1872 and 1901, resulting in the loss of county records? (#2)

…is the location of Happy Top Mountain? (#3)

…is the home of writer Wendell Berry? (#4)

…was the home of the iconic Appalachian novelist, James Still? (#5)

…is where the hard rock band, Black Stone Cherry, was formed in 2001? (#6)

…is where a 2011 Medal of Honor winner was born? (#7)

…is where Robert H. Grubbs, co-recipient of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was born? (#8)

…was the last of the original nine counties established that formed the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 1792? (#9)

…is the location of the archaeological site, Ramey Mound? (#10)

…is known as “The Saddlebred Capital of the World”? (#11)

…is where Margaret Garner lived as a slave and became the inspiration for Toni Morrison’s book, Beloved? (#12)

…includes the communities of Sunrise, Shawhan, and Oddville? (#13)

…calls Bardwell its county seat? (#14)

…is the location where the first successful hand transplant was performed? (#15)

…is the birthplace of Johnny Depp? (#16)

…is the birthplace of former Kentucky governor Louie Nunn? (#17)

…is the site of Pleasant Hill, or Shakertown? (#18)

…originated and still bottles the soft drink, Ale-8-One? (#19)

…is where the original “Aunt Jemima,” Nancy Green, was raised? (#20)

…had Farmers and Clearfield as its first two settlements? (#21)

…lost 31 of its residents as a result of an F5 tornado on April 3, 1974? (#22)

…is where country music singer Tom T. Hall was born? (#23)

…is noted for its “Wooden Bridge Festival” in the community of Island? (#24)

…did Medal of Honor winner Andrew Jackson Smith, born into slavery, reside? (#25)

…is the location of Wolf Creek Dam, built in 1952, creating Lake Cumberland? (#26)

…is the location of the Kentucky Veteran and Patriot Museum? (#27)

…has the gravesite of the great-grandparents of department store founder J.C. Penny? (#28)

…includes the communities of Elsie, Logville, and Falcon? (#29)

…is the birthplace of former WKU and NBA basketball star, Jim McDaniels? (#30)

…is the smallest in population and second smallest in land area? (#31)

…is the home of the politician who finished second to Andy Beshear in the 2019 Democratic governor’s primary race? (#32)

…is where the author of The Dollmaker was born? (#33)

…holds the “Monkey Dumplins Story Bridge Theater”? (#34)

…is where Oliver Lewis, the jockey who rode Aristides to victory in the first Kentucky Derby, in 1875, was born? (#35)

…is the site of the Old Friends Retired Thoroughbred Farm? (#36)

…was the early home (not birthplace) of Forrest C, Pogue, U.S. Army historian and biographer of George Marshall, author of the iconic Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after WWII. (#37)

…was the birthplace of Wayne Edwards, noted NASCAR driver. (#38)

…was the birthplace of country and bluegrass music star, Ricky Skaggs? (#39)

…had its county seat originally named Moore’s Station and Boone’s Station? (#40)

…is the burial site of the Iwo Jima flag raiser from Kentucky, Franklin Sousley? (#41)

…is the home of the Casey Jones Distillery? (#42)

…is where the southern gospel group, The Crabb Family, originated? (#43)

…is the home of the newspaper, The Mountain Eagle? (#44)

…is where Annie Fellows Johnston wrote her famous Little Colonel children’s book series, which was adapted as a movie starring Shirley Temple? (#45)

…is the home of Kentucky congressman Thomas Massie? (#46)

…has Swift Creek, named after Jonathan Swift, who is thought to have buried treasure in the area that was never found. (#47)

…boasts as their native son Joel Owsley Cheek, who started the coffee company Maxwell House, advertised to be “good to the last drop.” (#48)

…is the home of the annual “Wooly Worm Festival”? (#49)

…is the primary location of the Mammoth Cave system? (#50)

…is the location of the Kentucky State Penitentiary” (#51)

…would you find the small community called Slaughters? (#52)

Kit Carson, circa 1860 (Photo from Wikipedia)

…is the home of John Rosenberg, founder of the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky, Inc. (AppalReD)? (#53)

…is where the December 30, 1970, Hurricane Creek mine disaster, killing 38 people, occurred? (#54)

…is Chicago White Sox pitcher Nate Jones a resident? (#55)

…is the birthplace of noted western frontier explorer Kit Carson? (#56)

…is located at one point at the junction of Kentucky Route 32 and Route 36? (#57)

…was named after the fifth president of the United States? (#58)

…was part of the setting for Paul Russell’s 1992 novel, Boys of Life? (#59)

…was the place The Six Million Dollar Man grew up? (#60)

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

steve-flairty

Steve Flairty is a teacher, public speaker and an author of seven books: a biography of Kentucky Afield host Tim Farmer and six in the Kentucky’s Everyday Heroes series, including a kids’ version. Steve’s latest, “Kentucky’s Everyday Heroes #5,” was recently released. Steve serves as a senior correspondent for Kentucky Monthly, a weekly KyForward and NKyTribune columnist and a member of the Kentucky Humanities Council Speakers Bureau. Contact him at sflairty2001@yahoo.com or visit his Facebook page, “Kentucky in Common: Word Sketches in Tribute.” (Steve’s photo by Connie McDonald)


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