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Arts & culture

Oldham County

Stop in Brownsboro for a cool drink and great food at the old-fashioned general store. Or visit during the town’s annual Fourth of July celebration to get a taste of old-fashioned patriotic fun.

Buckner has become Oldham County’s sports mecca. This area is home to soccer fields, an indoor soccer facility, an aquatic center, convention center and park, and the Oldham County Family YMCA.

Check out Crestwood, a bustling area filled with interesting shops and restaurants. Pewee Valley, with its historic districts and rambling old homes, was the adopted home and inspired setting of writer Annie Fellows Johnston, famous for her early 20th century tales of The Little Colonel, made into a popular 1930s movie starring Shirley Temple. It is now the site of The Little Colonel’s play house.

La Grange, Oldham County's largest city and the county seat, is a National Register City and Historic Shopping District. It is filled with historic sites, iron front buildings, restaurants and shops, and the Renaissance Revival style courthouse built in 1875, most of which are clustered along the railroad tracks which run through the center of town where trains still rumble through every day.

River lovers can head to Westport, Goshen, Harrods Creek, and Prospect. These quiet towns offer great river views, small shops and quiet hours. While wandering near Goshen, visit the Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve or stop for a photo at one of the horse farms along scenic Highway 42.

Oldham County Arts Association

Oldham County Arts Association is a not-for-profit arts organization established in 1997. Founded by a group of interested artists and supporters of the arts. Its mission is to encourage and promote awareness in the arts.
OCAA takes a leadership role in the community to:

  • Coordinate local arts programs,
  • Provide opportunities for artists to perform and exhibit,
  • Increase public accessibility and involvement in the arts,
  • Promote arts education among students,
  • Establish partnerships for collaborative programs and events, and
  • Be Oldham County’s link with the arts.

The Oldham County Arts Association offers a one-year arts scholarship to graduating students from each of the Oldham County High Schools.

Oldham County Arts Center

The Oldham County Board of Education with community partners has developed the Oldham County Arts Center, the mission of which is to foster participation in, learning about and enjoyment of the arts for the benefit of the citizens of Oldham County and surrounding communities.

The Arts Center features:

  • Multiple venues for performances, rehearsals, exhibits, receptions and special events for Oldham County and surrounding communities;
  • An Arts Academy and Community Arts Learning Center, providing community wide instruction in the arts;
  • Offices and performance space for non-profit arts organizations;
  • An Arts Education Center providing year-round educational programming;
  • New course offerings in dance, orchestra, design and production, culinary arts and communications; and
  • Classrooms to relieve overcrowding in elementary school.

Henry County

The Henry County Arts & Crafts Guild offers artist demonstrations in the Cook's Pharmacy locations in Eminence and Campbellsburg, and an annual art show at the Smith-Berry Winery near New Castle on the last Saturday in September. A holiday arts and crafts bazaar is held on the second Saturday in November at the 4-H Center in New Castle.

Smith-Berry Vineyard and Winery  is a small family farm located north of New Castle. This traditional cattle and tobacco farm has diversified into grape growing and wine-making, patterning after family farms of Europe that have been producing fine wines for centuries. The winery's new Dee and Clifford Amyx Gallery, named in honor of Berry-Smith's maternal grandparents, features works by textile artist Dee Amyx and the late Lexington artist, University of Kentucky art professor and art historian Clifford Amyx. The Gallery will also display work from regional artists with special feature events scheduled on a monthly basis. The winery also holds dinners and concerts during the summer months.

Also in New Castle is Pearce Log Cabin. Built in 1790, it rests on its original site. It is on the Kentucky Historic Register. The cabin has been authentically restored and features a huge stone fireplace which was reconstructed rock by rock from another cabin built about the same time. This is the third oldest building in New Castle, and currently houses Americana Interiors, a specialty shop. The Henry County Courthouse is another New Castle attraction. Erected in 1877, the courthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places. The architecture of the courthouse is unusual for the time period, and the courtroom still has the original iron railing that separates the jury and the bench from the rest of the room.

Visit Our Best Restaurant in Smithfield for mouthwatering home-cooking, located in a renovated feed store adjacent to an old grinding mill dating back many years. Directly across the street located in the old mill, Our Best Restaurant also features a gift shop. Adjacent to the gift shop is an antique shop filled with primitive to period antiques and collectibles of all kinds.

Visit Twigs 'n Sprigs in Turners Station for fine folk art, original primitive design, patterns, cookie cutters, stamps, dolls and more.

Trimble County

The Bedford Inn Bed & Breakfast was constructed in Bedford around 1830. There are four rooms available for your stay, with individual baths. The price of the room includes a full breakfast.

In 1958, Milton was used in the opening and closing of the Hollywood film, "Some Came Running". All the major stars of the film, which was filmed in Madison, Indiana, came to Milton for the end of the film shot in Moffett Cemetery. Those stars were Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Shirley MacLaine, Martha Hyer, and Arthur Kennedy. Even though the scene was the burial of Miss MacLaine's character, she was on hand for the shooting. According to the Internet Movie Data Base, two other films were made at Moffett in Milton. They were "Distant Drums" in 1951 and "We Shall Return" in 1964.

The Trimble County Courthouse in Bedford was constructed in 1884.

Carroll County

Visit Carrollton and Carroll County, where the Ohio and Kentucky Rivers meet. Carrollton is located off Exit 44 of Interstate 71, halfway between Cincinnati and Louisville. Carrollton, the county seat, is only 14 miles from the Kentucky Speedway and 20 miles from Belterra Casino in Indiana.

Carrollton is home to one of Kentucky's finest state parks, General Butler State Resort Park. This beautiful park encompasses 791 acres and surrounds a relaxing 30-acre lake. The Butler-Turpin State Historic House (c. 1859) sets proudly on the hill watching her coveted grounds. You may also visit the Kentucky Veterans Memorial, located at the entrance of the park.

Experience the heritage skills of a time gone by. Spinning, basket making, the making of lye soap, rock masonry, fence making, and candle making are a few of the demonstrations that will be set-up on the lawn of the Historic Masterson House.

The Old Stone Jail, built in 1880, was used as the Carroll County Jail until 1969. The two-story building houses a basement used for "solitary confinement." The first floor originally housed male inmates; the second floor housed women and children. The Old Stone Jail is open for the public.

The present Carroll County Courthouse was built in 1884. A brass plaque on the interior wall marks the high water level mark during the famous 1937 flood. Coast Guard boats floated through the halls during the flood until the water became so high that they could not get their boats through the doors. In the mid 1970s, the courthouse added a third floor, an elevator and two additional wings.