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Aldridges make ceremonial crossing of Barnett's Crk Rd Bridge
Have you been? - As every proper Pellytonian must, and every Adair Countian should, the Aldridges made a special trip for their first crossing of the new bridge, paused on the span for a bit of a social event, and gave their approval.
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By Ed and Linda Waggener
Barnetts Creek Road curves to the right where it meets Scott Hill Road and when we turned to view the newly opened Barnett's Creek Road bridge, we had the pleasure of meeting Jackie Aldridge, her son Bill, and their dog Pansy who shared our curiousity and were already there checking it out.
We'd met by way of an earlier email message and it was really good to put faces to names. Bill Aldridge had written a letter to columbiamagazine.com inquiring what was to happen on the recently closed Barnett Creek Road bridge. From ColumbiaMagazine.com monthly coverage of The Adair Fiscal Court meetings, it was known then that the county has set aside funds for a new bridge there. Construction was to begin sometime after the first of 2017. The new bridge was to be elevated and widened to allow two way passage (witnessed first hand when an Amish buggy crossed the bridge at the same time the Aldridge vehicle was on it).
Jackie Aldridge said she is thankful every morning for being able to wake up on their beautiful north eastern Adair County farm, up "Flick Hollow" she's learned. She said that seven families reside between the bridge and Gennie Hill Road. Three of the families are from California. Three are Amish. The other is from the area. She said her husband was in the Air Force which meant they lived in several states, most recently before moving to Kentucky, they lived in California, in a beautiful place - but one that comes with a high cost of living.
They found the farm with the help of realtor Robbie Selch of Heavenly Hollow Real Estate. Her daughter was living in Lexington, KY, at the time and she performed due diligence on the purchase, gave her stamp of approval, and a deal was made on the first five acres of their new Kentucky home. In time they were double their holdings to 10 acres.
The Aldridges' roots are in Lexington, KY where her late husband's family once owned Aldridge Motors, the Packard automobile dealership, located in those days where Rupp Arena is today.
She attends Barnett's Creek United Methodist Church, where she's met friends, learned much of the history of the area, and adopted a valuable member of their family who was abandoned there, adopted and christened "Pansy."
Pansy was their companion for the inaugural bridge visit. Riding in Bill's Saturn SUV, she was boss dog. But she is not the head dog at their Oak Valley farm; there she must defer to Muttley; and has to share beta-dog status with another one called Petunia. All have an amicable relationship with the Rufus and Sabrina, of the cat denomination.
While we all enjoyed a bridge opening party on the span as Pansy explored, Jackie Aldridge told us about the old store building on the corner and about their coming to Kentucky. The old store had once been the Barnett's Creek Post office, and had been a general store as well.
A later call to New Hampshire, to BJ Hagy, a native of the area, yielded the additional information that the business was operated by Ray and Nonnie Scott. Hagy concurred with the idea that, in all likelihood, Scott Hill Road was named for this couple.
Mrs. Aldridge had been told, at Barnett's Creek UMC, about the original log church, its successor white frame church, and the 'hospital,' - the clinic set up by a former pastor - and that it had been destroyed by fire, necessitating the construction of the present church.
BJ Hagy recalls the fire, which he could see from his home at the foot of Gennie Hill, about a mile away, and remembers that the men of the church formed a fire brigade carrying buckets of water from the creek, but it was a futile effort, the flames completely destroyed the building. Amazingly, in a 30 minute stop on the bridge, hardly a vehicle passed, except for a sporty Amish buggy carrying a young, very polite driver and two companions. There was time to be amused by Pansy, listen to the evening sounds, and the peaceful stream, and find one of the many low waterfalls there.
A kind of related Pellyton and Barnett's Creek form an unhurried kind of community. A townie Pellytonian shared news with Jackie Aldridge that someone, an incomer, from east of the Barnett's Creek UMC had once called Adair 911 and reported shots being fired out behind their house. The 911 responder just listened until the complainer demanded, "What are you going to do about it?" The 911 answer was reported to have been, "Well, we probably don't need to do anything about it. They'll likely run out of bullets soon..." Could be a true, could be apocryphal - but it's a good story in a county where gunshots often mean someone has just started the process of having the next meal.
Thanks to columbiamagazine.com readers, we have a correction on the name of the creek under the new bridge -- it's Sapp Creek -- and the name of a hollow off the Barnett's Creek Road to Gennie Hill Road, Flick Hollow, that is new to us, leaving another question: Who is "Gennie" of "Gennie Hill Road"? - Linda & Ed
This story was posted on 2017-07-16 14:20:19
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