In a town that drinks its weight in Ale-8-One, a canine named Cola is something of a celebrity in a local Winchester cemetery as the only dog buried there. Kentucky’s most famous explorer got his first eyeful of what would become the fifteenth state in Winchester. And a local guy made history on a national day of celebration.
There’s lots to know about this quirky charmer, a true original among Kentucky small towns.
Did you know. . .
. . .Local diner and Beer Cheese Trail fave Pilot View Market sits on a trail Daniel Boone blazed on his way into the history books. On his first visit to Kentucky, Boone described seeing “with pleasure the beautiful level of Kentucky” from the top of Pilot Knob. (We’re certain he didn’t stop for the beer cheese omelet, but you can – and earn a stamp on your Beer Cheese Log.)
. . .You can create your own Jurassic-type jaunt back in time (but without the man-eating velociraptors) by paddling into the Ordovician Period of about 450 million years ago. Rent a kayak from Three Trees Canoe-Kayak for a trip to the Kentucky River Palisades, an ancient ecosystem filled with waterfalls, wildlife and wildflowers and shaped by sheer vertical layers of undulating limestone cliffs, deep gorges and mysterious caves.
. . .A guy named Ty made history in 2019, specifically on April 12 – a day the county recognizes as National Big Wind Day commemorating the recording of the highest natural wind gust measured on the Earth’s surface, but that’s a whole ‘nother story. Ty’s known for opening Winchester’s first-ever brewery, Abettor Brewing Company, a welcome addition with its in-town open-air and patio seating and flagship Pale8 brew, made with a special ingredient beloved by the locals.
. . .Collectors and antique lovers can time travel into the twentieth century, from the Art Deco period to the Mid-Century Modern design movement and beyond, with a visit to Eklektic Alchemy: ceramic lady heads, fashions you might have seen on the TV series, “Mad Men,” lime green home décor pieces and (horrors!) luggage with no wheels.
. . .Helen Keller once hung out at the Winchester Opera House. The year: 1916. The event: an inspirational speech – as if the author, advocate and activist could deliver any other kind. It is now a wedding venue with three different spaces, each conveying an inviting ambiance, from urban cocktail party backdrop to intimate Fireside Room to elegant ballroom.
. . .An anchor means eternal life; an anvil signifies martyrdom; and bees symbolize resurrection. You can uncover these hidden messages and more on the Walk Through Time tour at the Winchester Cemetery. Download the brochure here. (What else might you discover? Cola’s final resting place.)
. . .You can watch a shop owner fashion a gorgeous scrap of fabric into a dapper designer bow tie. Pop into Mason’s on Main in downtown Winchester to see the magic happen as you browse this antiques, gifts and home décor shop.
. . .There is more than one jaw-dropping cave to explore in Kentucky. Mammoth Cave may be the world’s longest cave system, but the Ale-8 Cave is surely the most unexpected. Located at Winchester’s Clark’s Pump-N-Shop, it’s not a cave in the traditional sense but, as Ale-8-One Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Price says, it is a sight to behold – with cases and cases of ice-cold Ale-8 stacked floor to ceiling in a cooler (that is, the cave) surrounded by KAPOW!-level graphics.
. . .Local author Harry G. Enoch spills the tea about everything Winchester in his three-volume collection, Where In the World? Historic Places In Clark County, Kentucky. Pick up a copy on your next visit to the Bluegrass Heritage Museum. Snuff boxes were sold at Fanny’s, an African American-owned grocery in the 1830s and 1840s. A circa 1829 Poor House that eventually became an animal shelter. A 1790 disagreement at the Lower Howard’s Creek Church was so serious it involved threats of excommunication, five referees and the church splitting in two.
Yep. It’s all right here, in Winchester, KY.