Ticket Available now for Time Traveler’s Ball

Buy your Tickets now!  Early Bird Special!

Time Travelers’ Ball is a fundraiser for the museum and its exhibitions and programs. Funds from this years event will be used to open the museum in its new location this fall! The inaugural gala will be held on Friday, September 25, 2015, from 8-11 pm. The Time Travelers’ Ball is a unique event in which the historical theme will change annually. The theme for 2015 is The Roaring Twenties.

In the past, a LexHistory fundraiser had been held at the Old Fayette County Courthouse. Belle’s Ball was held for several years before the building was closed. This new event will be much grander than anything the organization has undertaken. It is part of an initiative to create dynamic programming which helps to fulfill the museum’s mission of engaging the public in Lexington’s rich history. We are confident that it will become one of the landmark events in Lexington.

On Friday, September 25, 2015, LexHistory will turn The Club at Spindletop Hall into a Prohibition-era speakeasy for the Time Travelers’ Ball. Hors douvres, desserts, and drinks are on the menu, as is dancing, gambling, an auction, and live music. The Hepcats Swing Dance Club will be on hand as dance instructors and will help judge the Charleston contest. Guests are encouraged to come in twenties era clothes.

Special Early Bird Discount for tickets purchased until July 15, 2015.  Purchase your tickets now at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/time-travelers-ball-tickets-17244747504


Support the museum by voting — Chase Community Giving on Facebook

Help the Lexington History Museum win $250,000 by voting on the Chase Community Giving page on Facebook. Help us become one of the top 200 charities in the rankings. Having this money would allow us to bring even more programs and resources to the community.

Voting is simple:
“Like” Chase Community Giving on Facebook
Search “Lexington History Museum” —> click on LEXINGTON HISTORY MUSEUM INC
THEN! (And this is the most important part) click “Vote!”

Send all of your friends to vote for the museum too!

There are some amazing things that we can do with even $20,000 like our Scary Night at the Museum event or Hands on History Summer Day Camp. Help us preserve history for Lexington and the Bluegrass Region.


This Day in History — January 27

By 1830, America was solidifying its claim to the western reaches of North America and it was apparent that carriages and wagons were not the only mode of transportation that could be used. On the East coast, the Baltimore & Ohio railroad was working to connect the city of Baltimore with the Ohio River in the west. Lexington, too, needed access to trade and with the charter of the Lexington & Ohio Railroad, it was attempt to attain that.

On January 27, 1830, the Lexington & Ohio Railroad was chartered. This would allow trade goods to bypass the competitive town of Louisville and give Lexington direct access to the New Orleans market. The L & O charter named over twenty of Lexington’s most influential citizens as its proponents with Elisha Winters and General Leslie Combs as the lead organizers.

Learn more about what happened after the charter by reading our August 15 blog post.

Want to know more about railroad history in the Bluegrass? Visit our Bluegrass Railway exhibit at the Lexington History Museum.

This Day in History — December 16

December 16, 1980, Colonel Harland Sanders, one of the most recognizable faces in the fast food industry, passed away at the age of 90. Originally from Indiana, the Colonel moved to Corbin, KY in 1930, where he opened a service station which was located where the first Kentucky Fried Chicken was opened. Out of the back, Sanders had a lunch counter which could only seat six. It became so popular that expansion was necessary.

The Colonel opened Sanders Cafe, which could seat 142, by 1937. It was there that the flavor combination that we enjoy in Kentucky Fried Chicken was born. The chicken was so immensely popular and his business expanded even more. Though secret about the exact recipe, Sanders was quoted in saying that the spice blend consisted of spices everyone had on the shelf. He also was innovative in the frying process by using a pressure cooking. His chicken was truly unique.

Business was going very well until a fire destroyed the cafe in 1939. He rebuilt the business as a restaurant and motel, but when construction of Interstate 75 led to the bypass of Corbin, business steadily declined. At the age of 66, Colonel Sanders began to franchise his chicken. The first franchisee was Pete Harman out of Salt Lake City and by 1959, more than two hundred Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets in the United States and Canada sold food under the Colonel Sanders trademark. Kentucky Fried Chicken became a force to be reckoned with the in the fast food industry. His daughter Margaret suggested that the chicken be available for take-out, which revolutionized the way consumers accessed the product.

Why is Harland Sanders a “colonel” anyway? In 1934, Governor Ruby Laffoon granted Sanders the honorary title of “Kentucky Colonel.” In 1950, he was recommissioned by Governor Lawrence Wetherby. After this recommission, he began to look the part, by growing a mustache and a goatee and by wearing a white suit and string tie.

In 1960, Sanders moved the headquarters of Kentucky Fried Chicken to Shelbyville, near Louisville. On February 18, 1964, Sanders sold his franchise business to former Kentucky Governor John Y. Brown Jr. and Jack Massey for $2 million. Sanders was retained on salary as spokesman for Kentucky Fried Chicken and his face was everywhere! Kentucky Fried Chicken is not just popular in the Bluegrass state or even the United States. It’s even popular globally, especially in Japan.

The Colonel was a very committed philanthropist, contributing money to religious charities, hospitals, medical research, education, the Boy Scouts, Junior Achievement, and the March of Dimes. Sanders died on Dec. 16, 1980, after which his body lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort. He was buried in Louisville’s Cave Hill Cemetery.

This Day in History — September 20

On September 20, 1863, Benjamin Hardin Helm, a Brigadier General for the Confederate States of America, was killed in the Battle of Chickamauga in Georgia. Hardin was born June 2, 1831 to John Larue Helm and Lucinda Barbour Hardin in Bardstown, Kentucky. His received his early education at the Elizabethtown Seminary and Kentucky Military Institute in Frankfort. It became apparent early on that Benjamin would be successful in the military. He enrolled at the United States Military Academy at West Point on July 1, 1847, where in graduated ninth in his class in 1851. He served as Second Lieutenant in the 2d Regular U.S. Cavalry on the Texas frontier at Fort Lincoln for six months and then resigned from the Army at his father’s request.

Helm continued his education by studying law at the University of Louisville, graduating in 1853 and attending Harvard Law school for an advanced course before settling in Elizabethtown to practice with his father until 1856. From law, the natural progression was to seek political office and in 1855 he was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives, where he served one term. For three years following, Benjamin Helm served as commonwealth attorney for the 3rd district.

Helm married Emilie Todd, the half-sister of Mary Todd Lincoln on March 20, 1856. In 1860, Abraham Lincoln offered his brother-in-law the position of paymaster of the Union army with the rank of major. Helm declined the offer, however, and turned to the Confederacy and began recruiting. He was appointed colonel of the 1st Regiment of the Kentucky Confederate Cavalry in September 1861. Helm served bravely for two years until he was struck down in the Battle of Chickamauga.

Lexington History Museum Trustees Elect Ockerman Chair


LEXINGTON, KY. — The Lexington History Museum Board of Trustees elected Foster Ockerman, Jr., to serve as its chair. He was elected to fill the position vacated with the death of James F. Glenn, M.D.

Ockerman, a founding trustee and general counsel for the Board from 1988, is a Lexington attorney, noted legal expert on non-profit organizations, and a local historian. He is author of First United Methodist Church Bicentennial (1989), former chair of the Kentucky Historic Preservation Review Board that approves all state nominations to the National Registry, and is a former chair of the American Bar Association’s Tax Exempt Organizations Committee. He also serves as counsel to the Courthouse Square Foundation.

Ockerman is the Museum’s third chair, the first being Dr. Thomas D. Clark, whose lifelong dream was to establish an admission-free museum dedicated to Lexington’s fascinating history.

Also elected at the June 30, 2009, trustees annual meeting were Stephen Amato, vice chair; Isabel Yates, secretary; and William Ambrose, treasurer. New trustees elected were Kent Masterson Brown, Thomas Dupree, Jr., Burt Hutchinson, Barry McNeese, and Rev. Troy Thomas.

Located at 215 W. Main St., The Lexington History Museum is open daily during the summer vacation period, Noon-4 p.m.; open early Saturdays at 10 a.m. Admission is free. For more information call 859-254-0530 or visit www.LexingtonHistoryMuseum.org.

The Lexington History Museum engages all people in the discovery and interpretation of the history of Lexington, Ky., and the Bluegrass Region.

This message is composed with the Courier New typeface designed by IBM in Lexington, Ky. The Lexington History Museum is the repository for the Historic IBM Typewriter Collection, which includes the world’s first commercially successful typewriter, as well as the first and last production models manufactured in Lexington.

Preservaton Month Begins Tomorrow!

Just a friendly reminder that the Preservation Month Food drive begins tomorrow, May 1.

Bring in your non-perishable food items to the reception desk and log your donation. The individual who donates the most food will win a $50 gift certificated to the museum store and the business with the largest donation will receive their choice of meeting space for free!

For more information, refer to our flyer or click here for a smaller version. and if have any questions contact us at 859.254.0530 or e-mail the Museum President at jamie@lexingtonhistorymuseum.org.