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Features

  • Jodi Johnson gives riding lessons at Wayne Ridge Farm outside Upton.

    Johnson, who says horses have the ability to “speak to you and heal you,” has the responsibility of helping children and horses communicate when human interaction is particularly difficult.

    She oversees a therapeutic program for autistic children, where kids with the disorder come to ride horses, improve their motor skills and increase their communication ability.

  • The Upton branch of West Point Bank is not an ordinary bank with ordinary decorations.

    Instead, it resembles a small museum.

    From the first moment that you walk through the doors, your eyes are drawn to the large and dark stained, glossy bar that is the teller’s castle.

    The bar, patented in December of 1903, was purchased by the bank’s founder, Joe Tobin, in the sunny state of California. It was placed in the building before its opening day in 2008.

  • Gold, silver, leather and glass have all been used to create pieces that have adorned the fingers, necks, arms, ears and heads of women and men since the reign of man began.

    Sarah Nunn, of Upton has found that for her pieces of jewelry – regular materials will not do. She uses horsehair and the hair from other livestock such as cattle in her designs.

    Damascus Creations, a home-based jewelry operation, was established by Nunn in August 2012.

  • Upton wound up in the national spotlight in 2010 after a judge ordered the removal of religious signs near the Upton exit of Interstate 65.

    The state said the signs require a permit, which was not purchased.

  • Along the road into Upton, right past the town welcome sign, lies a church that was established in 1927 – Walnut Hill Baptist.

    Although the building’s white paint is peeling from the wood siding, and the parking lot lies vacant, the history and memories stored in its walls are irreplaceable.

    The congregation was established in 1927 and met at a nearby schoolhouse until the church’s construction was completed in 1929.

  • What’s the best way?

    Rider’s Best Way ... or Rider’s Grocery, as the now Hometown IGA in Upton was once called.

    During the 1930’s, Leon Rider, the stepfather of current IGA owner Larry McKinley, operated a small grocery store, named Rider’s Grocery.

    The store opened in 1936 and served the Upton community for 44 years providing general grocery items, as well as feed for livestock.

    Inside additions, including a deli and an ice cream cooler, led to the store’s name being changed to Rider’s Market.

  • A railroad town, Upton had a depot that was built in 1857 by George Upton.

    The depot was later sold by Upton to the L&N or Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company in the early 1900’s.

    Once the railroad was established, Upton became a shipping point for cattle, tobacco, produce and timber; and also served as a main form of transportation for locals.

    “When I was going to college in Western Kentucky – Bowling Green, I took the train – you just flagged it down and got on,” said Upton native, Larry McKinley.

  • Hodgenville has Lincoln Days. Elizabethtown has the Heartland Festival.

    Upton has Upton Days each September.

    The town’s festival begins with the Upton Days parade. The list of activities and events changes depending on weather and participation in certain contests.

  • Sitting quietly, disguised with new yellow siding and green shutters, the Andrew Jackson Upton House has stood at the corner of Peachtree and Grayson streets in Upton since before troops invaded during the Civil War.

    Built in 1851 by Andrew Jackson Upton, grandson of the town’s founder, the Upton House holds an interesting history.

    During the time that the Andrew Jackson Upton family lived in the house, it boasted several innovations.

  • For many years, large, looming, chain home improvement stores have carried away customers from the original businesses that started it all.

    But some have withstood the test of time.

    Established in 1977, Jones Do It Best Home Center, as it is called today, has played a role in Upton history.

    Ralph Jones, the son of the store’s founder, Harvey Jones, recalls Upton in its heyday.

  • The roar of an engine and the in-flight-feeling Ralph Jones got as he sped his way to the finish line is only part of his story.

    Jones started racing at the Bonnieville Speedway on a dirt track.

    “There was a guy named L.C. Duncan, had a 1950 Plymouth and wanted to know if I wanted to drive his car, and I did, and it started from there,” said Jones.

    In 1963, Jones started racing regularly on small tracks and at fair races while he was still attending college.

  • Upton, Kentucky, straddles two county lines: LaRue and Hardin. It’s divided – in general terms – by U.S. 31-W and Interstate 65.

    Many of the addresses associated with Upton are closer to the Hart County line than either of the home counties.

    Edward Upton, who was the son of a Revolutionary War veteran of the same name, founded the town in 1812.

  • Hardin Memorial Hospital’s Family Care Center in Magnolia has a new face.

    Kimberly Gambino recently accepted the position as the overseeing provider at the clinic. She is a certified family nurse practitioner who received her Master of Science in Nursing at Western Kentucky University in 2008. She is working on a doctorate from Bellarmine University in Louisville. She hopes to complete this step in her education and career by next spring.

    Gambino also teaches a class of nursing students at St. Catharine College in Bardstown.