Some of Pulaski County’s most significant historical figures will live again this Thursday, with the return of the Somerset Junior Woman’s Club’s popular History Walk series.
The History Walk allows individuals to take a walking tour throughout downtown Somerset with planned stops along the way to witness actors portray figures from Pulaski’s illustrious past. The actors will tell the story of those characters as if they were speaking themselves, out of the mists of the past to the people of the present.
This is the first History Walk event in a couple of years, as no such events were held last year due to the busy Somerset Junior Woman’s Club (SJWC) schedule. It’s been rare in recent years overall, with a couple walks in 2021 after COVID concerns interrupted things the year before that.
But this year will feature three History Walks, reviving the event much as it revives the memory of the individuals whose stories are told.
There are four characters portrayed on this month’s tour, two of which are brand-new. The other two have been seen on the tour before but were rich-enough stories to be told again.
Stella May is being brought to life by Tricia Neal. May was the first woman to run for public office in Pulaski County, making a bid for county court clerk, a position her father had held previously, as she served as his assistant.
“(May) ended up not winning the office, but she was (went) to work in Frankfort, so she ended up probably better off than being in an elected office,” said SJWC’s Melanie King.
Next is John William Fletcher Parker, portrayed by Michael Radford. A doctor in Somerset in the late 19th century, King said Parker has “a really neat story.”
Said King of the returning character, “I had a lot of fun researching (Parker). It was just a very interesting story.”
Myra Greeno Bass will be played by Susan Elmore. Bass is well-known as being credited with forming what would become the Boy Scouts of America organization in Burnside in the early 20th century.
“It was really interesting to research that one,” said King of Bass, who is appearing on the History Walk for the first time.
Finally, there is Louise Garland Kinser, played by Robyn Aker. A teacher in the Somerset Independent School System, Kinser, a new character, will also tell about the history of her family in the area known as Garland Bend before it became an area associated strongly with Lake Cumberland tourism.
“A lot of the Ohio Navy bought (land there) at the time to come down and visit,” noted King. “A lot of (the land there) is underwater when it was impounded by the lake. Everything else became lakefront property.”
Those interested in taking the tour should gather around the flagpole at the Judicial Plaza starting at 6 p.m., with tickets on sale at that time. The first group of walkers will go out at 6:30 p.m. and small groups will continue to go out as needed until everyone with a ticket has gone.
Cost of a ticket is $5, and the funds are split between supporting the non-profit Somerset Junior Woman’s Club and their activities in the community, and the Stone by Stone Project, which is purposed toward restoration and upkeep of headstones in the Somerset City Cemetery.
“Our members are all very excited, and I am just over the moon,” said King of the event’s return to the local schedule. “(We’re) working on a lot of new characters for the whole year.”
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