Home Sweet Hyden

When you walk down the streets of Hyden, it feels like home. Stone sidewalks lead you to such places as the Red Light Café where I stopped for lunch and enjoyed their decor and the Veterans Square which honors and remembers all residents of Leslie County whom have served for our beloved country. I also dropped into the Leslie County Public Library viewing some black & white photos of the old Hyden. The librarians were eager to help, pulling out binders and history books in my quest for more information about their town.

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More explorations of the city lead me to the Hurricane Creek Mine Disaster Memorial, erected in 2011, the memorial is in remembrance of the 38 miners who lost their lives in an explosion on December 30th, 1970. Only one survived, Mr. A. T. Collins, who was blown over 60 feet out of the mine. The memorial is lined with miners hats with each of their names. They lost their lives to the darkness of the mines.

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Miners hats line the walkway at the Miners Memorial.

A new addition to Hyden is the Kentucky Veterans Cemetary South East, it is the 5th one of its kind in the state. Construction has just been completed and the flags are flying high. This revered space will serve Southeastern Kentucky veterans and their families, showing tribute for their service of the nation and commonwealth. It’s a quiet, peaceful place in the mountains. I’m sure many loved ones will be thankful for such tranquility while remembering their treasured veterans.

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Kentucky Veterans Cemetary South East is located on Kentucky Highway 118 just north of Hyden in Leslie County.

A huge part of Hyden’s history is Mary Carson Breckinridge, a nurse-midwife who founded the Kentucky Committee for Mothers and Babies which became Frontier Nursing Services after realizing the need for midwifery. I met a retired school teacher, Mr. John Perry, in front of the courthouse and we talked about Breckinridges journey and the struggles she had in the beginning but also the great need for her in the city and surrounding areas. She would ride on horseback through town, taking up donations and rode those same horses to deliver babies, day or night. The local hospital is named after her and is located on Mary Breckinridge drive.

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Beautiful statue of Mary Breckinridge and small child on the drive named after her.

One thing I noticed most of all about Hyden was the friendliness of everyone I met. From the café to the library to the local coffee shop, The Well even to the Mom & Pop burger place, Goofy’s. I felt welcome anywhere I went. The people of Hyden are very proud of their small town and they have every reason to be, it’s a great place to visit and seems like it would be a wonderful place to live.

Thank you to the city of Hyden for amazing hospitality and for giving me such a great story for my cities of Kentucky series. I look forward to visiting again!

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Grab a burger and shoot some pool at Goofy’s.

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My albino turtle drink from The Well.

Oh Cynthiana

It’s not often a city captures my heart but Cynthiana, Kentucky has. Years ago while living nearby in Georgetown, I visited Cynthiana occasionally. It wasn’t impressive to me at that age, I was sailing through life not knowing how to appreciate the small things. Upon my visit with a paranormal team, I became intrigued by its old buildings and ghostly stories so much so that I took a visit back a week later to absorb some of its history.

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If you are Walking Dead fan you may know that the series creator Robert Kirkman is from this lovely city. In 2016 they hosted Walking Dead Day and turned the entire city into a huge zombie apocalypse complete with overturned cars and cardboard walls.

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During this visit, I discovered the Cynthiana-Harrison County Museum. This place is packed full of pieces of the city’s history given to the museum by the residents. As soon as you open the door, you are greeted by smiling faces and warm stories. Below are just a few of the pictures taken while I was inside. There is so much more to see there!

 

You sense a kindness as you walk past antique stores, boutique clothing shops, and JJ’s coffee. Everyone seemed genuinely happy to answer any questions I had & offered plenty of suggestions on what I should do on my next visit.

Take a day trip or make it a weekend visit, this city is well worth exploring. You will not walk away disappointed.