2015 Walking Tour Proves Successful

Early crowds were abundant for the first few hours of this year’s annual Downtown Ashland Historic Walking Tour. Sudden storms damaged roughly half of the otherwise weatherproof enlargements of vintage photos taken during the 1940s. File photo by Mike James, The Independent

Early crowds were abundant for the first few hours of this year’s annual Downtown Ashland Historic Walking Tour. Sudden storms damaged roughly half of the otherwise weatherproof enlargements of vintage photos taken during the 1940s.
File photo by Mike James, The Independent

FROM THE INDEPENDENT

ASHLAND Until the moment the winds and rain hit downtown Ashland Saturday, it looked as if the second annual Downtown Ashland Historic Walking Tour would break every first-year record. At the end of the day, however, organizers were left with unclaimed tickets, a big batch of ruined photo enlargements and plenty to consider for next year’s event.

Eastern Kentucky Military Historical Society President Matt Potter said there is a silver lining to Saturday’s storm story, although he still shakes his head when he talks about the way the big photos, printed on an extra-tough form of plastic, peeled away in sections after enduring the morning’s hot sun followed by the wind and rain.

“It pulled down half the signs, actually ruined half of them, and it ruined ticket sales,” Potter said, noting one of the main goals of this year’s walking tour was “Get the pictures right,” and properly mounted for participant viewing.

“The first three hours were sold out,” Potter said, adding several afternoon tours after the storm were also at or near capacity. The day’s total was likely near 225, he said, which is significantly less than organizers expected if the weather had remained nice. Last year’s tour was geared for about 100 participants, and organizers scrambled to accommodate more than four times that amount.

“There were a couple of positive aspects to it. We had record crowds that morning and an influx of high-quality guides including keynote local historians,” he said, explaining several faculty members from ACTC were involved. During the morning briefing, Potter said he surveyed the room and was slightly stunned to realize “there was probably a century’s worth of experience dealing with local history and just a tremendous amount of local knowledge” in the room.

Improvements to this year’s tour, based almost entirely upon suggestions and comments from people who participated in last year’s tour, included a phone-app guide, better transportation for people who might have trouble walking, and portable P.A. speakers for the tour guides. Among the unexpected aspects of the day, Potter said people seemed to genuinely appreciate the T-shirts worn by the guides bearing a “vectored image” of the old Ventura Hotel, which was once near the corner of Winchester Ave. and 13th Street, and a surprising number of those people decided to buy their own copy of the shirt.

Churches along the way were an especially appreciated part of the program, Potter said.

“That was very well received – taking time to go into the churches and hearing the history of the churches,” he said, explaining the official tour included stops at a historic Episcopal, as well as a Methodist, church. Some of the people who took the tour had never been inside a church other than their own, he said, and were fascinated by the historic touches, such as a hand-carved altar brought over from Germany more than a century ago, or the story of a Chinese family whose son became the first Chinese-American to die during World War II.

“They were amazed. They were astonished,” he said of their reactions, adding the stories told “just prove the rich cultural diversity of our area” and often disprove accepted stereotypes about local people and history.

“There is no doubt this tour is filling a void in our community,” he said, noting tour participants often included multi-generational families, including one group with five generations walking together along Winchester Avenue, allowing important aspects of the city’s past to be passed along to another generation.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2651.

June Roundtable to be the 9th at 6 PM

June 9, 2015
6:00 PM
Main Floor – Highlands Museum

THE END OF WORLD WAR II

wwii end

Presented By: Mr. Dan Bailey

Drawing off of his knowledge coupled with his recent trip retracing his father’s footsteps during World War II, Mr. Bailey will give a presentation reflecting upon the decisive battles and events that led to the end of WWII in both the European Theater as well as the Pacific Theater.

For more Information Call Matt Potter at (606) 547-2607.

Tickets on sale, plans firming for WWII tour in Ashland

Nearly 400 attended the 2014 Downtown Walking Tour and learned about the history of Ashland.

Nearly 400 attended the 2014 Downtown Walking Tour and learned about the history of Ashland.

ASHLAND, Ky. Members of the Eastern Kentucky Military Historic Society met Monday to prepare downtown Ashland to go back in time.

The organization along with churches and business plotted out the routes and took a mini tour of what will be expected in the Highlands Museum & Discovery Center’s second World War II walking tour.

The tour is June 13 and tickets are on sale now.

“We have already exceeded the amount of tickets we sold this time last year,” said society president Matt Potter.

This year’s tour promises to be bigger and better with more businesses and churches involved, Potter said. Participants will be able to tour many churches along the route and get to see what they looked like during the WWII era.

“The churches will have photographs set up inside and some even having veterans to answer questions,” said Potter.

Businesses will also be participating in the tour with literature and information about their buildings. The Highlands museum will be open as will Steen’s Military Museum in the former post office building, giving participants a closer look at machinery and weapons used in the war.

“There will also be more than 30 pictures hung up along Winchester of the area during the WWII era,”  he said.

Tours will start at the Highlands Museum at 10 a.m. on the tour date and the last group will leave the museum at 3:30 p.m. The route spans most of the length of downtown Winchester Ave and will include buildings with restrooms and drinking water.

Plans are still in the works to get golf carts or wheelchairs for those who can not walk the route.

“ A lot of people really enjoyed it last year,” said Potter.

Tickets are on sale and may be purchased up to the day of the tour for $10. Children under 12 are free. Tours will be divided into 12 groups with 25 people in each. Following the tours, participants will get the chance to be serenated by the CK Alumni Band.

The 50-piece band will perform on Winchester Avenue between 16th and 17th streets.

Contact the Highlands Museum, 329-8888, for information and tickets.

THIS STORY WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED AT DAILYINDEPENDENT.COM

Join Us at the Military History Roundtable Meeting TONIGHT!

“FLAK SHAK”

Presented By: Wilson Shimer

JOIN US TONIGHT! All are welcome to attend the military History Roundtable Meeting tonight as WWII Waist-gunner Wilson Shimer shares his story from his time in B-24s. The meeting will be at 6 PM at the Highlands Museum. Free and Open to the Public!

ALERT – Date Changes Take Effect for Military History Roundtable Meetings

NOTICE – Military History Roundtable Meeting Date Changes Effective in May

NOTICE TO ALL MEMBERS AND THE PUBLIC

CHANGE EFFECTIVE AS OF THE MAY MILITARY HISTORY ROUNDTABLE MEETING.

ALL FUTURE MEETINGS WILL TAKE PLACE ON THE 3RD TUESDAY OF EACH MONTH.

THIS IS TO BETTER FACILITATE USE OF THE MUSEUM.

WE APOLOGIZE FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE.

The Next program will take place on Tuesday, May 19 at 6:00 PM/

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

6:00 PM

Highlands Museum & Discovery Center  

“MY TIME AS A WWII WAIST-GUNNER”

 

Presented By: Mr. Wilson Shimer 

As part of our continued effort to commemorate the 70th anniversary of WWII and celebrate the men and women that helped us win that war, WWII Veteran Wilson Shimer will join us as he shares his story of service over Europe as a Waist-Gunner in Allied bombers.  

For More Information, please call Matt Potter at

(606) 547-2607

Calling All Travelers! Kentucky Civil War History Trip is April 18th

SPRING 2015 DAY TRIP

Camp Nelson & Perryville Batllefield Historic Sites – Saturday, April 18, 2015

perryville

Join us for this full-day getaway aboard a luxury motor coach as we venture into the heart of the Commonwealth of Kentucky for a look at our Civil War History and Heritage. The group will meet in Ashland, where we will board buses after complimentary coffee and doughnuts. We will then make our way to Perryville, KY – the site of Kentucky’s most famous Civil War battle. After taking a walking tour of the 600 acre battlefield we will head to Camp Nelson National Cemetery, where many of the Civil War dead were buried following the battle. We will finish our day with dinner at the Fayette Mall in Lexington before returning to Ashland at approximately 9 PM.

Cost – $50 Per Person. A deposit of $25 holds your seat with the remainder of payment due by April 10th. Sack lunch is included.

Perryville Trip Itinerary

Perryville Registration Form

LIMIT OF 57 SEATS AVAILABLE

FOR MORE INFORMATION, OR TO RESERVE YOUR SEAT TODAY, PLEASE CONTACT MATT POTTER AT (606) 547-2607 OR SHANE FIELDS AT (606) 694-4100.

Happy New Year From EKMHS!

New year

Happy New Year From EKMHS!
We would like to take a moment and wish all of our members, supporters and veterans a very Happy New Year!

2014 has been a great year for EKMHS and we hope that you will continue be a part of our ranks as we continue to build and expand this organization.

We encourage each of you to become active within the organization and help us make sure our veterans get the recognition they deserve.

Moreover, stand with us as we continue to ensure that the sacrifices made by all those that have worn a uniform are not forgotten.

See you in 2015!

EKMHS Board of Directors

“10,000 Say Thanks” Campaign

military-thank-you

The Eastern Kentucky Military Historical Society is proud to be partnering with a network of over 80 organizations nationwide to ensure that every US Service Member serving abroad receives a letter from home on Thanksgiving Day. With your support and help, we hope to send over 10,000 hand-written letters and cards – one for every Kentuckian serving overseas – as our contribution to this effort. Get your friends, schools and workplaces to take part in this effort.

It will only take 5 minutes out of your day to write a letter or card, but it will bring joy to our troops that will last a lifetime.

WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT
Keep your message upbeat and positive Be thankful- share a little bit of yourself Ask questions; however, do not discuss death or killing Avoid politics completely and religious in excess It is all about appreciation and respect Ask yourself: Will this letter bring a smile to someones face?

MORE HELPFUL INFORMATION
-Sample salutations: Dear Hero, Dear Brave One
-Include your own mail or email so recipients can choose to reply
STUDENTS: Use first name only plus teacher’s name/classroom and school address
TEACHERS: Use your name and contact information on students letters
-No stamps or envelopes are needed
-Hand Written letters or cards are most appreciated
-No glitter please
-All letters will be screened – please do not seal envelopes.
-Send multiple letters together in one large mailing envelope or box.
-If you do not receive a reply from a Service Member, do not be discouraged. Remember: Our troops are busy!
-When you do receive responses, please screen the letters before giving to your students.

HOW TO GET COMPLETED LETTERS TO EKMHS

COMPLETED LETTERS AND CARDS MUST BE IN BY NOVEMBER 7, 2014 AT 4:00 PM  

MAIL COMPLETED LETTERS TO:
“Saying Thanks”
PO BOX 574
ASHLAND, KY 41105
DROP OFF:
Highlands Museum – 1620 Winchester Ave. Ashland, KY 41101
Lamp Post Café – 1450 Greenup Ave. Ashland, KY 41101
PICK UP:
For groups of more than 20 letters, pick up is available. Please call Matt Potter at
(606) 547-2607 to arrange pick up.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CALL MATT POTTER AT (606) 547-2607

Deadline to Register for Washington DC Trip is Wednesday, August 13 at 5:00 PM

WS Cover Photo1

The Eastern Kentucky Military Historical Society is excited to announce that we will be hosting a 4 day/3 night trip to Washington DC in September 2014! The trip, which will take place Thursday, September 11 – Sunday, September 14, is part of an ongoing effort of EKMHS to expose our area to the military history and heritage of our country.

WHY TRAVEL TO WASHINGTON WITH EKMHS?

We pride ourselves on providing memorable experiences to our members and the public, no matter the occasion. The 2014 Washington DC Trip is no exception to that rule. We have worked to create an excellent itinerary of events for the trip. Hotel and Bus accommodations are top-quality and you have the benefit of traveling with a group led by experienced guides with an intimate knowledge of Our Nation’s Capital.

For More Information on this trip – Click Here.

Annual Meeting to be July 28

As you know, the Eastern Kentucky Military Historical Society has had many acheivements this past year. As we have grown, we have worked diligently to bring our organization to life in ways that many of us never expected.

We are now working to reflect on those accomplishments and also map out our plan for the coming year. As part of this process, we will be holding our Annual Meeting of the Society on Monday, July 28 at 6:00 PM in the Main Hall of the Highlands Museum.

Monday, July 28
6:00 PM
Highlands Museum – Main Hall
Refreshments to Follow

With this meeting come many unique opportunities for you as a member. Not only is this a chance to see where we have been and where we are going, but you are also able to see it all in one package. This provides a prime opportunity to offer feedback, recommendations and criticisms.

This is also a great time to redouble you support and participation with EKMHS as we will be seating new board members and announcing new efforts and initiatives. It is never too late to become involved and we would love to have you at our side as we move forward.

Please make an effort to attend this meeting so that you can see what your organization is doing in the coming year, as well as what we have done this previous year. Also, if you are interested in sitting on the Board of Trusteees, please contact Matt Potter at (606) 547-2607 as soon as possible.

We thank you for your time and support and we look forward to seeing you Monday, July 28 at 6:00 PM at the Highlands Museum.

Sincerely,Board of Trustees
Eastern Kentucky Military Historical Society