Hixson’s Hoardings- Tidbits, Gleanings and gossip from your Kentucky Gateway Museum Center

If you have ever had a chance to visit the second floor of the museum, you know how wonderful the Library is. If you want to know something about anyone or anything in the seven-county region surrounding Maysville, the Genealogical and Historical Research Library is the place to start. There are over 5,000 bound volumes, 7,000 manuscripts and documents, 20,000 photos and images, 92,000 cross-referenced subject headings, 300,000 entries in the master name index and 4,000 rolls of microfilm, including regional newspapers. Whether you’re looking for birth, marriage, deed or death records, city directories, diaries, tax lists, historical papers, business ledgers or maps, our extraordinary collection sheds light on many stories of the past 300 years.

The library is part of the non-profit museum and has suffered increasing costs for a number of years without sustainable income to offset its deficit. The research library is not supported by tax dollars, but depends on admissions, research fees, donations and memberships to keep the lights on. In order to help this valuable asset stay open and continue to thrive, the first of many fundraisers/benefits will take place May 19, 2018.

The Casto-Metcalf Duel Benefit Outing and Dinner will start at the museum where participants will be regaled with the details of the duel along with the opportunity to view Casto’s glove, copies of letters exchanged, photos and the 1862 newspaper containing details of the duel. The next stop is the Lee House where plans and conditions of the duel were discussed and finalized! Mr. Charles Simmons, who has worked on the restoration, will give an architectural tour including information on the basement, tunnel and show indications of changes throughout the years. Continuing the tour, participants will drive to a spot near the fishing shore close to Dover to view the site of the duel and to ponder the events that took place over 150 years ago. From the fateful shore, the tour will resume at the Maysville Cemetery to contemplate the results of the duel.

The day will culminate with a dinner a Forest Retreat Farm in Nicholas County to the home of Thomas Metcalfe, former Governor of Kentucky and father of Leonidas Metcalfe who was challenged to the duel by Mayor William T. Casto. While dining on a meal patterned after an 1862 menu, you will hear a brief history of Gov. Metcalfe and tour the house and gardens.

The benefit can only accommodate 50 participants. The cost is $75 per person and although it may sound pricey, you must admit that it is a full day of history and events that are well worth the time and money. Most of all, it supports a service that continues to provide an excellent resource for authors, teachers, students, university faculty members, business and other museums not to mention those just interested in finding their roots.

We have had visitors from 49 different states and several foreign countries utilize our research library. “As a well situated landing place for settlers coming down the Ohio River, Maysville was one of the premier gateways to the West from 1760 through the mid-1800’s. Our records chronicle many who passed through here and went on to settle the Midwest and western territories.” Call the museum at 606-564-5865 and make your reservation today and learn about one of the most fascinating historical events that happened right where you live.

Readers may email questions to [email protected] @Kentucky Gateway Museum Center, Maysville, KY