I have choose to write about the Jessamine County Historical and Genealogical Society (JCHGS), located in Nicholasville, Kentucky. This society has been in existence since 1949 with 81 charter members. I am a new member in the grand scheme of things, having been a member for only 10 years. I am also a long distance member since I live in Arizona. There are two specific projects I want to mention. The first being the Annual History Fest, hosted by the society every June. The beginnings of this event started in 2000 when a vibrant group of Jessamine researchers met online through the RootsWeb mailing list. We all lived in different areas of the country, but all had a connection to the history and pioneers of Jessamine county. It was suggested that we have a three day event in Jessamine county, to meet each other and members of the society who were also on the online mailing list; many of them wonderful, colorful, charming characters. With that simple suggestion, the History Fest was born. The local members of JCHGS jumped on the band wagon and welcomed us “out of towners” with open arms and southern hospitality. Local residents well versed in historical and genealogical knowledge made themselves available for consultation. Tours of the area were arranged including the old Abraham Houser Sr mill which had been built in the early 1800’s and was still standing, the old Moravian cemetery, other family cemeteries, churches and local historical sites. A tour of the courthouse was provided for those interested and a wonderful box lunch was provided at the restored High Bridge Park in the style of bygone days. The JCHGS continues to host the History Fest each year for the last ten years.
The second project is the Cemetery Project. The JCHGS was instrumental in having Jessamine county pass a cemetery bill, requiring preservation and restoration of any burying grounds found during construction projects. Hand in hand with this bill is the Cemetery Committee, a group of volunteers who restore and maintain the many small and large cemeteries in the county, as well as research, document and apply for Revolutionary War soldier headstones.
These are just two of the many projects the Historical Society pursues each year and all for just an annual membership of $5.00. If you have ancestors who were in this county, I would suggest you visit the website, http://jesshistorical.com/ or the RootsWeb site at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~kyjessam. If you are ever in Nicholasville, stop by and say hello. You will find some of the friendliest folks around.