Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Why do horses run counter clockwise around a racetrack?

Renfro Valley, Kentucky
Renfro Valley RV Park

We couldn't decide whether to go northeast to a state historic site or south to see Colonel Sanders Museum.  It's difficult for us to make choices, so we just did both.  

Bill headed the truck out US 150 to the William Whitley House State Historic Site.  Just a word of warning, this is not a RV friendly site.  Besides the one lane road to get there, the trees are huge and almost covering the entrance. 

Bill and I both love learning new things and exploring places around the USA is one of the best ways.  Today we learned why horses run counter clockwise around a racetrack.  

Sportsman's Hill, is the name given to the estate of William and Esther Whitley which was completed in 1794.  From the estate you could see the whole half mile horse racetrack which was built around 1780.  I immediately liked the story of  William Whitley, who had an aversion to anything English.  Therefore, he made a clay track unlike the British turf ones and ran the horse races counter-clockwise instead of clockwise as the British do.  Do you think he was left handed too?  When I found out the races started at dawn, I knew I never would have seen any.  The races ended with the onset of the Civil War.

Senior rate to view the estate was $4.00 but we were not allowed any photos at all.  After we entered the home, we understood why.  The estate is furnished with some original pieces and those not original are original pieces to the period.  The William Whitley House is one of the first brick homes west of the Allegheny Mountains and the first in Kentucky.  Imagine walking in the footsteps of people like Daniel Boone and George Rogers Clark, who visited the home.  

William and Esther had 11 children.  The eight girls slept in two beds on the second floor and the three boys had the whole third floor with 3 beds. 
 This home had secret chambers where they could hide undetected in the event of an Indian attack.  For the age of this home, we've never toured one in such great condition.  

Bill used to own a home that was built in 1839 and was three bricks thick, but this one was four bricks thick.  

The home has the flintlock rifle and powderhorn on display that was returned to Esther to prove that William was killed in 1813 at the Battle of the Thames, Canada.

As we headed back down US 150 we saw this flashing sign.
It must have been the littlest World's Fair ever.  All we saw was a sign that said it was held Aug 3-9th.  I guess we should have had a microscope and maybe we could have found it.  

Since we couldn't find the the fair and it was still early, we headed to Corbin to find Colonel Harland Sanders.  

He was easier to find.
There was this tall sign, showing us the way.
Here's Bill at the base of the sign, to give you an idea of the size.  
Aren't we lucky? It was also lunch time.

Colonel Harland Sanders was born on Sept. 9 1890 and came to Corbin with his family in 1930.  The owned and lived behind the gasoline station which was on the major route to Florida until the Great Depression when business died off.  He started selling food to the tourists to supplement his income.  They bought a motel/restaurant  and Colonel Sanders experimented with his cooking perfecting his recipe for chicken.  

When the government announced in 1956 that the new highway would by-pass Corbin, Sanders sold the restaurant at the young age of 66, and traveled the United States selling seasoning and his recipe for chicken to other restaurants.  And that folks, is how Kentucky Fried Chicken became synonymous with Kentucky.  

I'd say he was genius at marketing.  He made an example of one of the motel rooms in the restaurant so that people would walk past the sample motel room to use the restroom or the pay phone.  He figured women would be impressed by the room and cleanliness and would want their family to rent a room.  

The Kitchen and utensils.
I never did find out about his white suit and why that was famous. 
He looks like a ghost in this photo.
There was a lot of memorabilia.
This depicts what it looked like in 1940.

Of course, we ordered some chicken for lunch which was supposed to be the original recipe.  Bill and I both agreed, we'd go back to Mount Airy the next time we want southern fried chicken.  

Turtle Safely......

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