Tell us what you think. Please upgrade your browser. Site Navigation Site Mobile Navigation. News World U. Politics N. This bourbon was matured in a specifically sourced oak: Ozark. And now for some advice. So here are some tips if you are looking for a good bottle for the holidays or to give as a gift. Guess what we like to drink. We have another unopened bottle. I love this place, and it appears in my works and will continue to do so. I have even taken a day off work to go there by myself and write outside.
It was a beautiful June day. It was glorious: rolling fields of Bluegrass tinged with broadening patches of green. Flowering trees. The large Knobs looming in the distance to the south beyond the town. And history all around us as the park guide and my teacher took us on a small hike, pointing out important spots.
Perryville Battlefield State Park; from high point of the picnic area, looking south toward the Knobs; picture taken by me July I was charmed and surprised that I lived so close to such an important historic site. During my freshman year, I started driving out to Perryville on my own just for a break, for an escape. I remember the first time I did it.
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I had no map, only my memory of that field trip from my senior year of high school. It was like something was guiding me. I drove my car along exactly the same route my class had take around a year before, retracing that path precisely. I can still recall my pleasure in rediscovering the area, down to the large grey horse I encountered looking over a fence very close to the road on the right as I came up a hill.
These days, Perryville is a favorite picnic spot for my family in warm weather. We live not quite an hour away. In addition to a museum on the park grounds, there is a large picnic area with a playground. One February, the weather turned so fine that we got a trip in to Perryville one Saturday and you can see a few photos from that trip below. We flew kites and had a great time in spring-like conditions. The main picnic area was where the Confederates began to push back the Union left. The picnic grounds were the site of a very bloody battle. A few years ago, I went on a reading binge about Perryville.
I learned quite a bit from my reading, including that one commander thought the battle would take place in Versailles, Kentucky where I live and of the amazing incompetence of both Union and Confederate commanders. The reason the battle stopped was because of the arrival of the reinforcements at the moment the Union was close to being outflanked , coupled with the encroaching darkness.
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But in the long term, the battle was a loss for the Confederates because they retreated and left Kentucky. The whole point of their campaign was for the Confederacy to take the Commonwealth.
Kentucky remained securely within the Union at least from a military and economic point of view; sentiment was a different matter, especially after the war. There is a physical place where forces met and one force failed to overcome the other at a turning point in the battle. The Union had been pushed back to this hill all through the day, losing men and equipment including cannon. If you expand the above map to show the park area in green , the picnic area is along the upper park road that ends with the tiny loop and closer to the main road, Route All that fighting.
All day long. Over rolling territory.
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It was a nasty, grinding battle. Not flat. Hill in the distance is the same with the cannon from above, but opposite view; Confederates pushed Union troops to this hill during the battle. I believe the ridge containing a rock wall which marks the point where the Union held its ground is to the middle right as indicated by the arrow; difficult to see through the trees in the foreground.
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If you look closely, you can see the land sloping away to the right. Below is a degree video I took from this same spot. What was supposed to be a simple little war was turning out to be ugly and brutal. There are no encroaching developments subdivisions or resorts, for example in this tiny corner of western Boyle County.
So Perryville has been left to its sleepy self without threat of overburdened roads, resources, or other encroachments. Would it fundamentally and forever alter what Perryville is? Over the past several years, the Civil War Trust has been buying land around Perryville to preserve the site. It has been instrumental in garnering private dollars to save important historic land. The Trust has already saved several hundred acres and helped restore land to original conditions. Original structures have been torn down, including the small barns red sides you can see in the video above, and the house and structures on the High Water Mark farm at the end of the video, the house to the upper left of the pond is now gone.
The Trust raised enough money to buy the farm where the High Water Mark is located and yes, I donated. Perryville makes an important appearance in the Bourbon Springs Series. The heroine of that book is originally from Perryville, although in the book she is working and living in Bourbon Springs. I also have Perryville in mind for a setting in another book in a future series and already know the couple that would be in that book. Whatever happens at Perryville, I hope it remains much as it is today.
A place one can go and sit quietly to wonder and recoil at what happened there. Distilleries are large, rambling places full of grain. With all that corn, barley, and wheat around, they are nice targets for mice. Many distilleries have their own cat. They had at least three distillery cats. I can only recall the names of two: Noah and Rowan named for various Willett expressions. Noah is seen here in the distillery building itself, on an old church pew. His water and food bowls were underneath a reception desk opposite the pew.
He was very friendly and enjoyed watching the tourists and being petted. Noah, a distillery cat at Willett in Bardstown, Kentucky. Woodford Reserve had a revered distillery cat, Elijah, who passed away a few years ago. He had his own special spot at the distillery, outside a building between the Dryer House and the old warehouse.
I took these pictures in September when I was on a tour. Why was the cat named Elijah? He was named for Elijah Pepper, the man who came to Glenns Creek in to farm and distill. He was in a shopping basket underneath a wall of bourbon on top of a used bourbon barrel. When I was checking out, the clerk kept turning around and looking at the wall. He was a rescue cat. The distillery was once known as the Old Oscar Pepper Distillery. Welcome back to the Land of Bourbon and Bluegrass… welcome to Bourbonland. A little further up the road is Old Friends in Georgetown, the thoroughbred retirement facility.
Needless to say, the views along the drive are lovely.
And I mean tiny. I forgot to ask for grits, but was able to buy them at the local grocery later the same day. Old framed sign to the right as you enter the mill. The current mill building was constructed in The concrete was created by grinding up parts of the previous mill. A bunch of mixes and a total of ten pounds of flour.
I already had envelopes of cornbread mix and seasoned flour in my pantry. You can also see her son, Phil, make cheese drop biscuits. And the cornbread mix that I had in the pantry is now history as well. It was a cold Sunday and I did a lot of baking.
I also made grits for lunch. This will be a looooong post, chock-full of pictures of the Land of Bourbon and Bluegrass.
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