Log house holds decades of history

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Couple delays bulldozing house as they inventory documents

By Linda Ireland

A couple of months ago, Greg and Bonnie Ballard purchased about 100 acres and an old farmhouse on Bardstown Road at auction.
They wanted to expand their farming operation and expected to have the house bulldozed as soon as possible.
But when they walked inside, they had second thoughts. Inside the frame house is a two-story log house, built about 1890. The huge old logs are visible in a corner near the front door. The original stone fireplaces and hand-hewn handrail are still inside. There’s even a “Harry Potter” style room under the stairs.
Several rooms were added over the years – but it is obvious how much the family treasured the original log house.
The previous owner, Bobby Glenn Rogers, died in 2010. His daughter inherited the property but did not live there.
According to some documents left at the house, he inherited the farm from his mother Sue Bloyd Rogers, whose family arrived in LaRue County about 1909.
From all appearances inside the house, the family kept almost everything.
There are drawers of letters dating from the early 1900s. One is a heartfelt letter from a mother to one of her sons, admonishing him to turn his life around.
Some of the material is in poor condition – other items show only signs of age.
There are farm ledgers, bank statements, children’s books, McCall’s magazines, old calendars, catalogs, photographs and negatives, a feather mattress, parts of an old player piano and music rolls, broken rocking chairs, the original deed to the property and a receipt for the purchase of an F-100 Ford pickup from Allen-Hummer in Hodgenville in 1963.
“That was the same year I was born,” Greg said, while looking over the receipt.
Bobby Glenn, a well-known farmer in the White City area, raised cattle, hay and tobacco on his farm. From all appearances, he was content to stay at home. Certainly, none of the items showed a desire to travel.
But several documents show there was more to him than met the eye. While he stayed close to home, he fed his intellect through books and research.
There were commodities reports on the price of cotton and fruits; The Complete Works of William Shakespeare from the early 1920s; numerous dictionaries; and books on veterinary care.
Each item is a snapshot of history, spanning decades - from the styles that were worn to the price of farm equipment to the kind of music that was popular.
The historical significance of all the items is not lost on the Ballards.
Greg was raised in a house outside Holy Cross, very similar to the Rogers’ house. And Bonnie describes herself as a “scavenger.”
“We can’t just throw these things away,” said Bonnie, as she dug through a box of old letters.
“It might mean something to somebody,” Greg added.
The Ballards continue to go through the contents of the house but it is a bit overwhelming.
“This stuff is interesting but there’s so much of it,” Greg said. “I don’t know what to do with it.”
They’ve already spoken with some of Rogers’ family members. There has been some interest in a few of the items – but there are plenty left.
“If it means anything to anybody, I’d like them to have it,” Greg said.
If you – or your group - are interested in going through the documents and photographs, make an appointment with the Ballards by calling 270-358-9589.
The Ballards request that no one enter the property without their consent.
There are no immediate plans to bulldoze the house but it will eventually be demolished.
The LaRue County Herald News will run several of the photos in upcoming issues in an effort to identify them.