Helen Walters has lived in the area all of her life. The corridor for the realignment project goes through the Walters’ farms at the top of the ridge on the west side of White Oak Creek.
“My grandmother, Lula Combest, donated part of the land for the existing bridge over White Oak Creek,” said Helen. She said the state bought right of way on the other side of the creek from the late Rosa Girkey. Helen Walters owns land on both side of Ky. 196 and lives on the former Girkey farm.
Helen has lived close by all her life. Ray, a native of Casey County, was a retired agriculture teacher. After Helen and Ray married, they moved to another house on the family farm about 1958.
“That (existing) bridge was built in 1939,” said Helen Walters. “I remember when you had to ford the creek.” She said the bottom of the bridge would wash out after a big rain “ ... and they tell me the road near the bridge is not banked right.”
“When its snows it’s really slick,” said Helen. “We finally got a guardrail ... we’re really proud of that.”
“Emphasizing the efforts and struggles to get the “Mean S Curve” straightened,” Helen said she and Ray contacted governors and politicians for years.
“The moved waterlines and light poles when (Paul) Patton was governor,” said Helen. Even pieces of the (new) bridge were delivered, she recalled.
Picturesque White Oak Creek, obviously named for a type of timber along its banks, has been a landmark in western Pulaski County for more than 200 years. White Oak Baptist Church at Nancy bears the name of the creek.
The White Oak Baptist Church constitution reads as follows: “Be it known that on the 17th of July, 1801 on the waters of White Oak Creek, Pulaski County, Kentucky, there was constituted a United Baptist church by Brothers Thomas Hansford, Thomas Hill, Nathaniel Shrewsbury, Robert Scott, and Eligah Barnes.