Kentucky Fudge Company – Harrodsburg’s Historic and Culinary Treasure

The Kentucky Fudge Company in the early years – when it was Dedman’s Drugstore.

If you have never visited the small town of Harrodsburg, I heartily recommend you do.  Located in central Kentucky, we have so much history to offer since we are the oldest town in the state, founded in 1774 by a group of pioneers led by James Harrod, of Pennsylvania, who built Fort Harrod.  It was the only colonial city and the first permanent English settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains.  I am proud to call Harrodsburg ‘home’.

Originally Kentucky was called Fincastle County when it was part of Virginia.  In 1776, after Harrodsburg had been a town for two years, it was renamed Kentucky County, Virginia.  Four years later Kentucky County was divided into three counties – Fayette, Jefferson and Lincoln.  Harrodsburg was the county seat of Lincoln County, and remained so until 1785 when Mercer County was formed, Harrodsburg becoming the county seat for Mercer.  Kentucky became a state in 1792.

With our county clerk’s office that has records back to the very early years, our wonderful public library that has its own genealogy room and the Harrodsburg Historical Society located on Chiles Street, it is a genealogists dream.

But today I want to talk to you about the Kentucky Fudge Company located on Main Street.  It is located in the old Smith and Dedman Drugstore building that opened in 1868 at 225 South Main Street.  C. M. Dedman bought out his partner and it was known as Dedman’s Drugstore, and continued as a pharmacy until 1983.  The James Harrod Trust eventually acquired the property through the generosity of a local citizen, and restored the first floor of the drugstore.  The Kentucky Fudge Company was opened in 2006 and is a wonderful gathering place for adults and children – to enjoy ice cream in huge waffle cones or lunch or dessert – and to spend time talking and visiting with friends.

As you come through the front door it seems as if we’ve walked back in time.  From the original soda fountain, stained glass windows and the original cherry cabinets of the pharmacy to the ceilings and floors, history is in present time.  Drugstore memorabilia, old photos and such are on display.

But let’s talk about the food – you know how much I love to eat!  The menus are written on blackboards and the list is filled with yummy sandwiches, soups, salads, ice cream, bakery items.  The Saturday after five menu can be anything from a Roast Beef Manhattan to Pot Roast and Horseradish to personal pizzas and quesadillas.  On St. Patrick’s Day weekend we enjoyed Bangers and Mash!

My personal favorite lunch is their Triple Scoop – I always choose chicken salad, potato salad and olive nut spread.  Served with crackers, this is heaven on a plate!  The chicken salad is filled with chunks of chicken, grapes and celery; the potato salad is wonderful (tastes like it is made with baked potatoes); and the olive nut is by far the best I’ve ever eaten – pecans, green olives and cream cheese!  My mouth salivates just thinking about it!

And Saturday at 6:30 the Trivia begins – tables are filled with locals enjoying food, drinks and answering those mind-boggling questions!  Such fun!

And what about the fudge?  Oh, my!  One taste and you are hooked!  It is creamy, smooth and delicious!  Last time I tried the peppermint schnapps – now a personal favorite.  They also have buckeye (chocolate and peanut butter), milk chocolate and walnuts, bourbon, and several others.

Any visitor who stops by the Kentucky Fudge Company always returns!  We have friends from Canada who can’t wait to come back to to KFC to have lunch and some pie!  My sister loves the food so much she said the tea room is unnecessary.  And for any genealogy enthusiasts who visit, I always take them to the Kentucky Fudge Company!  Come to Harrodsburg and I will take you!

Alexander Tribble Breathes His Last May 13, 1888

Alexander Tribble, born April 5, 1810, died May 13, 1888.  Nancy, his wife, born July 27, 1819, died January 16, 1893.  Richmond Cemetery, Madison County, Kentucky.

The Richmond Climax, Madison County, Kentucky

Wednesday, May 16, 1888

Alexander Tribble died at his home on the Big Hill turnpike, 4 ½ miles from Richmond, in Madison County, Kentucky, on Sunday morning, May 13th, 1888, aged 78 years.  The funeral occurred on Tuesday, and the burial in the Richmond Cemetery at 3 o’clock of the same day.  Deceased was a native of and always resided in Madison County.  He was a member of the Christian church, a Democrat, and a farmer.  He was an excellent business man, and accumulated an estate of $250,000, which he disposed of by will.  There executors were appointed – Mrs. Tribble, Mr. Zan Tribble and Mr. Thomas D. Chenault.  The sum of $5,000 was set aside for a monument; $1,000 was given to Mt. Zion Church; $1,500 to Miss Nickerson, who had lived at his house; a small farm to Rev. T. J. Tribble; and other bequests were made.  The executors are to conduct the estate in the most profitable manner during the life of Mrs. Tribble.  At her death she has a right, under the will, to dispose absolutely of one half of the estate, the remainder to go to the relatives of Mr. Tribble.  Mrs. Tribble was a Chenault.  Deceased was the largest tax-payer in Madison County, and sold larger and better lots of fat cattle than any man who ever lived in the county, his cattle often being exported to England.  He was a model farmer, a good neighbor, an excellent citizen, and lived an enviable Christian life.  He was noted for his uniform pleasant disposition to all persons, regardless of rank or position.  A large concourse of relatives and friends followed the remains to the cemetery.

Alexander Tribble married his cousin, Nancy Chenault, October 26, 1843.

Peter Tribble, born March 9, 1774, died March 18, 1849.  Mary Tribble, born April 2, 1776, died September 14, 1831.  ‘Their remains are laying 3 miles south of Richmond.

Peter and Mary are Alexander Tribble’s parents.  Mary Boone married Peter Burris Tribble, the son of Rev. Andrew Tribble and Sarah Ann Burris, October 8, 1793.

David Chenault, born September 30, 1771, died May 9, 1831.  Nancy Chenault, born November 6, 1778, died August 2, 1862.  ‘Their remains are laying near Cave Spring Church.’

Nancy Tribble’s parents.

Kindle Book – Early Kentucky Marriages 1785-1800, Volume I

This is a book I have been anxious to put together for a long time.  The early marriages of Kentucky are so important to genealogy research.  In this volume there are 5,981 marriages listed.  There is an alphabetical listing of those married, sorted by last name of groom, including the date of marriage.

Volume I contains marriages from the following counties, which includes the date of inception for the county.  Remember that Kentucky was first Fincastle County, Virginia, then became Kentucky County, Virginia, June 17, 1776.  Early counties not listed below will be part of volume 2.

  • Fayette County – May 1, 1780
  • Jefferson County – May 1, 1780
  • Nelson County – October 18, 1784
  • Bourbon County – October 17, 1785
  • Mercer County – October 17, 1785
  • Pendleton County – December 4, 1787
  • Woodford County – November 12, 1788
  • Scott County – June 22, 1792
  • Washington County – June 22, 1792
  • Shelby County – June 23, 1792
  • Harrison County – December 21, 1793
  • Franklin County – December 7, 1794
  • Campbell County – December 17, 1794
  • Bullitt County – December 13, 1796
  • Bracken County – December 14, 1796
  • Boone County – December 13, 1798
  • Gallatin County – December 14, 1798
  • Henry County – December 14, 1798
  • Jessamine County – December 19, 1798
  • Nicholas County – December 18, 1799

John Steel and Ann Portwood 1788 Marriage Bond

Know all men by these presents that we, John Steel and Page Portwood, are held and firmly bound unto Edmond Randolph, Esq., Governor of this Commonwealth [Virginia] in the just and full sum of fifty pounds to which payment will and truly to be made to the said Governor or his successor, we bind ourselves, our heirs, executors and administrators, firmly by these presents, sealed and dated this 1st of October 1788.

The condition of the above obligation is such that whereas there is a marriage shortly intended to be had and solemnized between the above bound John Steel and Ann Portwood, both of Madison County.  If, therefore, there be no lawful cause to obstruct the same then this obligation is to be void, otherwise to remain in full force and virtue.

John Steel, Page Portwood

Sealed and Delivered in the presence of Will Devine

Madison County, Kentucky [Virginia]

John Edgar Linton’s 1918 Candling Certificate

Well this is one for the record books – in all the old documents and pieces of paper saved by my great-grandmother, Frances Barber Linton Montgomery, I would never have thought about finding a candling certificate in the bunch!  This belonged to her brother, John Edgar Linton, who lived with their older sister, Alice Linton, as bachelor and spinster, until their death.

And you may ask, what is a candling certificate?  Even though I knew what it was, I did research to give you a good answer.  Eggs were candled for two reasons.  One was to check to see if the egg was fertilized, to keep it in the incubator so it will eventually turn into a chicken!  In the 1918 edition of the Fannie Farmer The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, she recommends to ‘Hold in front of candle flame in dark room, and the centre should look clear.

The other reason is more in the opposite vein – to make sure the egg isn’t fertilized, to be used for eating – and to make sure the eggs were not bad.  The first picture above is a good egg – you can see why you wouldn’t want to eat the last one!

Above you will see an 1918 poster of the breeds of poultry raised by farmers during that time period.  I cannot say if my great-grand uncle kept one of these breeds or not.

But he must have had pretty good eggs since out of the fifty he took to Washington County Produce Company on August 17, 1918, only two were refused.  Interesting to note that they also purchased butter, hides and furs from local farmers.


1890’s Children’s Photo

Today I share with you a photo of three very handsome children.  Don’t you love the way the girl holds on to her brother’s arm?

This photo can be dated to the 1890’s in several different ways.  The clothing the children wear is definitely from this time period.  In Joan Severa’s Dressed For The Photographer she mentions in the 1890’s the young girls ‘waists shirred to form a yoke, and full bishop sleeves shirred at the wrist.’  For the older boy the Nassau was in style – ‘the popular suit for small boys for ordinary wear, having jacket with square front . . . and a simulated vest which is buttoned in at side seams and can be exchanged for a shirt-waist.’  The younger boy wears a sailor jacket, popular from that time period.

But most telling is the photo card itself.  The use of the beveled edge for cards began in 1885.  The card is not rough or plain, but coated front and back, dating the card from 1888 to 1900.  The embossed gold foil of the photographer’s name dates this card from 1890 to 1900.  There is no imprint on the back of the card.  Remember, this was used mostly for advertising for the photographer.  By the middle and late 1890’s there were fewer back imprints – ‘Since it was considered a period of elegance and simplicity, the heavily adorned backs of earlier cards did not fit into the current style,’ from 19th Century Card Photos Kwik Guide.

The photographer, Thomas C. Partridge, was located at 8 Sepulchre Street, Sudbury, England, when this photo was taken.  The name was changed to Gainsborough Street by 1900, in honor of Thomas Gainsborough, the famous portrait painter from the second half of the 18th century, whose birth place is located at 46-47 Gainsborough Street.  Another clue to date this photo to the late 1890’s!

Visits To Grailville – 69 Years Apart

1890’s architecture for the ‘Big House’ at Grailville.

My mother loved to tell stories of the times she visited Grailville, near Loveland, Ohio.  I believe she came three or four times, always in the company of a chaperone from her hometown of Springfield, Kentucky, and with two other girls.  Isabelle Edelen, I believe, was the chaperone.  Mom talked of the huge house they stayed in, walking on the farm, the labyrinth  and other things.  She talked of walking to Loveland for Mass every morning, and taking a detour of a block, just so they wouldn’t pass the movie theater!  Being a true homebody, I think that it was just a little far away from home for mom.

My mother is on the left, standing next to Miss Isabelle Edelen. On back of the photo it says, ‘In front of the Big House, Grailville, July 3, 1948. (Mary Ann Kimball on the porch).’ My mother was seventeen.

Monday was the anniversary of mom’s death – three years.  We’re still in that in-between stage when it seems much less and much longer ago than those three years.  Ritchey and I visited Grailville Wednesday while we were in Cincinnati – just to get a better look at where she went and to be just a little closer to her.  Several years before her death we visited and took photos, which she cherished!  She was amazed the house was still there, and women still came for retreats!

I tried to recreate the photo, March 22, 2017 – 69 years later.

This is what the website says about Grailville – ‘Called by spiritual values, The Grail envisions a world of peace, justice, and renewal of the earth, brought about by women working together as catalysts for change. Formed in the Netherlands in the 1920s, The Grail is an international women’s movement with roots in the Christian tradition, committed to spiritual search, social transformation, ecological sustainability, and the release of women’s creative energy throughout the world. Grail members are bonded in action and faith, working in 20 countries, as individuals and Grail groups, interconnecting regionally, nationally and internationally.’

Girls there at the same time as mom. From left to right – Vida Arreneta from the Philippine Islands, Thea Eroes from New York (originally from Hungary), Wechitilde Wueller from St. Paul, Minnesota (originally from Germany) and Ruth Klug, of Cincinnati.

Mom loved the farm she lived on as a child, and has always been about preserving the blessings the Lord has given us, but my daughter, her granddaughter, is the true social transformer, earth loving, women’s rights and creative energy mover we know!  Perhaps those values were instilled in my mother and passed down to become vitally alive in a time when they are so important.

On the ‘Court of Jubilation’ enjoying fun time.