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Society's 50th anniversary celebration set for Oct. 27

The Woodford County Historical Society will hold an open house on Oct. 27 to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The open house will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the society's library at 121 Rose Hill in Versailles. The event will include a potluck and a round table discussion of memories of Woodford County, sharing stories and pictures and memorabilia. The Woodford County Historical Society was organized on Nov. 24, 1966, at the home of William S. Foley Sr. on Montgomery Avenue in Versailles. Officers elected at the first meeting were: president, William Foley; vice-president, Mrs. Mike Heathman; treasurer, Mrs. Howard Sutherland; and secretary, Mrs. Roy Collins. The purpose of the society was to bring together people interested in history and keeping alive an appreciation of our heritage, especially in the history of the Woodford community. The society would collect printed material such as histories, genealogies, biographies, descriptions, maps, newspapers, manuscript materials, and pictures, as well as original records. The society met at the Little House for awhile, then at the Presbyterian Church, and finally at the Logan Helm Public Library before purchasing the Rogers property at 121 Rose Hill. The building on the property had been built for the Big Spring Baptist Church in 1819 and had been radically altered from its original design. Following architectural historian Clay Lancaster's analysis, the society was able to restore it to its original design to use as a museum and genealogy library. The museum holds many historical items, such as an old horse buggy, civil war items, arrowheads, dulcimers, A.B. "Happy" Chandler memorabilia, and old quilts, to name just a few things, as well as a large corner cupboard which once belonged to General Marquis Calmes, one of the founders of Versailles. The library holds more than 2,000 books of history and genealogy, in addition to microfilm of wills, deeds, and marriages. The Woodford Sun is on microfilm from the 1870s and The Midway Clipper from 1877 to 1899. Many of these records have been abstracted and indexed, making it easy to find an ancestor. Also available are thousands of vertical files of family information, information on homes, on churches, schools, businesses, and communities in Woodford County. There is a wealth of information for those researching their families, and for those researching history. Many published authors have used the society's resources in their research. As the Woodford County Historical Society celebrates the 50th anniversary of its founding, the society needs to expand its resources. The 1900s are now history and the organization needs to document Woodford County and its towns in the 20th century. Descendants will want to know about life here in the '30s, '40s, '50s, and onward. By having a program centering on people's memories of the towns and county, the society can further its mission of creating a real picture of life and family in the community throughout the years.

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