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Neighbors | “Jessamine County, Kentucky A Pictorial History”

A book that presents the history of Jessamine County in over 200 pages worth of pictures ­— some featured on this page —  is ready to be purchased, but only 300 are available.

The journey that led to the book “Jessamine County, Kentucky A Pictorial History,” began around two years ago after a book release for Jessamine County Photographer Walter Roy Craft. Constance Grayson, president and co-founder of the Creative Art League of Jessamine County, was so impressed by the books, she started a committee to have one made for Jessamine County.

“I was overwhelmed with how well it was produced,” Grayson said.

The book was intended to be ready a year ago, but there was a delay in locating photographs in the size and quality that was needed for the books Grayson said. 

“That was the hardest thing to do,” she said.

George Dean took the lead on the project in June 2015, and he put in numerous hours to finish it.

“He’s done a Herculean job of coordinating everything,” Grayson said.

Around 300 books had to be preordered to cover the publication fee of the books, Dean said.

Dean and committee members Denise Cline pre-sold around 225 books before Leroy Dale with Farmers Bank contacted them to help. The bank purchased the additional books that were needed. They then bought 150 to give to the Creative Art League, and 150 for the Jessamine County Historical Society. The money made from the books will go to each organization.

“Without the Farmers Bank support this project would have never been completed,” Dean said. “We really appreciate their help.” 

Acclaim Press put the photographs and information submitted by various people in the county into the book. They then split the photos into different sections, including Agriculture and Construction, Business and Government, Churches and Cemeteries, The Art of Howard Fain, Homes and Buildings, Military, People and Families, Places, Schools, Special Events, Sports, Transportation and Feature Pages. The pictures came from various time periods ranging from as far back as 1898.

“The end product more than justified the wait,” Grayson said.

Only 300 books are available for purchase, and Grayson said it’s very unlikely that they will ever be reprinted in the same fashion.

“Once these are gone, they’re gone,” she said.

The hardback books are available at the Polvino Family Art Center and at the Jessamine County Historical Society. Each one costs $52.95.

“The production value is so nice,” Grayson said.

A lifelong member of Jessamine County, Joe Walker, preordered one of the books because he said he enjoys looking at old pictures and it’s a part of the county’s history.

“I’m gonna cherish this book,” Walker said.

Those who have preordered a book can contact George Dean at 859-509-6085. Information on books that can be purchased is available on the Facebook page Jessamine County Pictorial History Book 2016, or interested parties can contact Constance Grayson at 859-885-5536.