Page 1


What’s Inside! Welcome! ....................................................................................... 4

Rockcastle County’s Ongoing Journey ........................................... 5 Rockcastle County Has Been a Crossroads of Travel and Commerce for Over 200 Years ..................................................... 6

Ready to Work, Ready to Play.

Tourism: Music and More ............................................................... 9 Historic Downtown Mt. Vernon ..................................................... 12 Rockcastle County Schools Among the Top Districts in Kentucky ......................................... 14

Come to visit and plan on staying. Government and Development: Strategy and Teamwork ........................................... 16 Housing: An Affordable Assortment ........................... 19 Rockcastle Hospital and Respiratory Care Center ...... 20 Index of Advertisers .................................................... 22

2 Rockcastle County – Ready to Work, Ready to Play

Joseph B. Clontz, CPA 75 East Main Street (606) 256-3623

Hiatt’s 5 & 10 185 Main Street (606) 256-2691

KY South Central Pools & Spa 265 East Main Street (606) 256-0063

Jones Furniture 95 Main Street (606) 256-3507

Cox Hardware 190 Main Street (606) 256-2815

Mathis Insurance 20 Church Street (Main & Church) (606) 256-0047

Mount Vernon Signal (606) 256-2244

Napa/RadioShack 260 Main Street (606) 256-2147

Rockcastle County Courthouse 205 Main Street (606) 256-2856 County Judge Exec.

Aunt Maur’s This N That 135 Main Street

Tea Cup Café 145 Main Street (606) 256-1553

1 800-455-5600

production production manager creative director director of publication design managing editor copywriting

proofreader director of photography photography lead design web site creation & support director of media purchasing


business development director of business development director of client relations director of outside sales director of inside sales marketing specialist regional director of publications business development manager marketing consultant customer service director customer service representative


advertising director of ad development ad research

ad traffic ad design


administrative support administrative support account support

human resources assistant mailroom technician


information technology publishing systems specialist


executive leadership chairman and founder chief financial officer


ABOUT This book is published by CommunityLink and distributed through the Rockcastle County Industrial Development Authority. For advertising information or questions or comments about this book, contact CommunityLink at 800-455-5600 or by e-mail at FOR INFORMATION Rockcastle

County Industrial Development Authority, Rockcastle County Courthouse, P.O. Box 592, Mt. Vernon, KY 40456, Telephone 606-256-8007, Fax 606-256-0264, © 2008 Craig Williams Creative, Inc., 4742 Holts Prairie Road, Post Office Box 306, Pinckneyville, IL 62274-0306, 618-357-8653. All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the publisher.

4 Rockcastle County – Ready to Work, Ready to Play

Welcome! T

hank you for your interest in Rockcastle County! We are excited to present our first feature community magazine highlighting different aspects of our history, growth, and plans for the future. Our county has a lot to offer visitors and residents. The scenic landscape provides relaxing country drives, hiking in the Daniel Boone Forest, horseback riding, canoeing on the Rockcastle River, and fishing at Lake Linville. The Renfro Valley Entertainment Center features country music artists, both local and national; country cookin’; and unique shops in Renfro Village. The Chamber of Commerce and the Rockcastle County Industrial Development Authority are very interested in expanding tourism and commercial/industrial business growth. Our close proximity to I-75 makes Rockcastle County easy to access for both visitors and business operators. Rockcastle County offers a great quality of life and environment for raising a family or starting a business. If anyone receiving a copy of this publication would like more information, please go to our Web site at to contact the Chamber of Commerce, Tourism, or Rockcastle County Industrial Development Authority. Once again, thank you for your interest in our county and let us know if we can be of assistance. Corey Craig

Jerry Pensol

Chairman Rockcastle County Industrial Development Authority

President Rockcastle County Chamber of Commerce


ike so many other “Old Kentucky Home� counties, Rockcastle is steeped in history. Ambitious, brave Americans passed along the Wilderness Road in the country’s earliest days. The area was no doubt home to a few entrepreneurs who made a living providing care and services to thousands of weary travelers on long journeys. As time passed and the Wilderness Road gave way to the Interstate System, Rockcastle County still found itself at the center of a major traveler’s corridor — U.S. Interstate 75. Each year, millions of travelers continue to stop, rest, and re-supply, just as they have done for centuries. Rockcastle County is proud of its heritage. Almost the entire downtown is listed

By Mark D. Edmondson

Rockcastle County’s Ongoing Journey

t4VJUFTXJUI.JDSPXBWF 3FGSJHFSBUPS t$BCMF57 t8JSFMFTT)JHI4QFFE *OUFSOFU 2090 Richmond St. Mt. Vernon, KY 40456 Renfro Valley

Phone (606) 256-8600 Fax (606) 256-8686 Toll Free (877) 256-8600


B&M LIQUIDATORS (606) 256-0234 Hwy. 150 - between Brodhead & Mt. Vernon, KY


on the National Register of Historic Places. Buildings that have fallen into disrepair are being restored. Log buildings are carefully maintained. The leadership of Rockcastle County doesn’t want to stop at the successes of past generations. Ambitious groups such as Leadership Rockcastle, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Development Board/ Industrial Development Authority are focused on the future of this community. Rockcastle County is looking to the future with optimism and a strong sense of pride in the historical events of the past and the trails we will blaze to create our future.

WRVK WRVK 1460 AM was founded by Renfro Valley creator John Lair in 1957. The station stayed under Lair’s ownership until the 1970s, when it was purchased by an outside firm and moved up the road from Renfro Valley by about a mile. Nowadays, the station still plays “real� country music as well as gospel, bluegrass, and oldies. The station also broadcasts the Sunday Mornin’ Gatherin’. For more information, visit

P.O. Box 481 Mt. Vernon, KY 40456

Owners Jim & Mary Bullock

Public Transportation 800-321-7832 606-256-9835

CALL 72 HOURS IN ADVANCE OF APPOINTMENT All-Purpose Public Transportation Services Provided Wheelchair Lift Equipped Vehicles Available by Request

P.O. Box 746, Mt. Vernon, KY 40456

Rockcastle County Senior Citizens & Day Healthcare #s%s.s4s%s2

1260 S. Wilderness Rd. Mt. Vernon, KY 40456 Senior Citizens (606) 256-4316 Day Health Care (606) 256-9831 Fax: (606) 256-1626 E-mail:


We Supply & Manage Nutritional & Social Programs 5

Of all the towns within what was once considered the “wilderness” — the region along the first roads from Cumberland Gap to Crab Orchard — Mt. Vernon is the only one that can trace its origin back to a frontier station.

6 Rockcastle County – Ready to Work, Ready to Play

By Jeff Renner

Rockcastle County Has Been a Crossroads of Travel and Commerce for Over 200 Years

Mt. Vernon is unique. That’s quite a statement to make about a small town in rural southeastern Kentucky. But it is true, at least from a historical perspective. Of all the towns within what was once considered the “wilderness” — the region along the first roads from Cumberland Gap to Crab Orchard — Mt. Vernon is the only one that can trace its origin back to a frontier station. The history of the town can be said to have begun in 1780, when James Barbour laid claim to 50 acres around a spring complex situated in a remarkably flat (for the area), fertile cove. Barbour did not intend to settle the land; he was only interested in it for speculative purposes. Thousands and thousands of pioneers had traveled through Rockcastle County by 1790, since the roads from Cumberland Gap to the major Kentucky settlements all traversed the area. The first settler inside the bounds of present-day Rockcastle County was probably James Craig, who in early 1778 made an “improvement” on land near Quail. James Renfro and William Payne made several early land surveys on Renfro and Roundstone creeks, respectively, and David Sowder and Benjamin Bethurum may have lived on the upper reaches of Skeggs Creek by 1792. Prior to 1789 there

The earliest reference to the town as “Mt. Vernon� dates to August 1811.

were 24 surveys made that incorporated territory within a four-mile radius of Mt. Vernon. The data suggest that Stephen Langford moved onto Barbour’s 50-acre tract and built his frontier station about 1791. The first indication of the station is in 1792, although it’s not explicitly referenced until the following year. As part of the station operation, Langford built a new road — closely approximated by old U.S. 25 — from his new crossing below Livingston to his station. By 1796 other people and families had moved to the Langford’s Station vicinity, including Valentine Harmon and William Henderson. Harmon was a long hunter and was present at the Transylvania Colony’s assembly at Boonesborough in 1775. In 1810 a new county, named Rockcastle, was created out of primarily Lincoln and Madison counties, although Pulaski and Knox counties made small contributions. The area’s justices of the peace were told to “meet at the dwelling-house of Stephen Langford� on the first Monday in April to organize the county government. It was surely around this same time that the town of Mt. Vernon was officially born. Again, an exact date is impossible to ascertain. The earliest reference to the town as “Mt. Vernon� dates to August 1811. It is sometimes told that

Since 1908 Major 2009 expansion for unit train rail service

Equal Opportunity Employer s!LL'RADESOF3TONE$ELIVERED3PREAD s!GRICULTURAL,IME s1UALITY0RODUCTS%FFICIENT3ERVICE Call For Competitive Prices 340 New Brodhead Road Mt Vernon, KY




the original town name was “White Rock,” but substantiating evidence has not yet been found for this claim. Stephen Langford did not donate part of his land for the town — not in the traditional sense, anyway. He gave his consent that the town could be “laid off” and established on his property; a group of trustees then sold town lots, keeping the proceeds from the sales for the town. After a lot was sold, Langford was supposed to make out a deed to the purchaser. He retained possession of any unsold lots. A pre-Civil War document that largely survived the 1873 courthouse fire shows what the original town looked like. The inaugural version of Mt. Vernon was rectangular, 985 feet wide and 2,140 feet long — almost 51 acres. Two streets, Main and Center, traversed the town lengthwise, as did narrower High Street. West, Middle, and East streets ran perpendicular to the others. An alleyway encircled the town to facilitate expected future expansion. Portions of this original scheme are visible today. With minor variations (due mainly to modern construction), Main Street is still Main Street, Center is U.S. 25, Middle is Church, and West is roughly a combination of McFerron and Richmond. High Street no longer exists; it may never have been completed. Part of East Street has also disappeared. Shortly after the town was created, Langford died (between February and May 1811). He was laid to rest in today’s Elmwood Cemetery. Much more detailed information on early Mt. Vernon and Rockcastle County can be found in the book Three Springs and a Wilderness Station, written by Jeff Renner.

PFC David M. Smith

During the Korean War, Pvt. David M. Smith was a gunner in the mortar section of Co. E and under attack in rugged mountainous terrain. Encircled by the enemy, the mortar section was unable to withdraw. Observing a grenade thrown near him, Smith threw himself on it to smother the explosion, giving his life to save the lives of five of his fellows. Smith was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his valor. His grave site is at the Livingston Pentecostal Church. 8 Rockcastle County – Ready to Work, Ready to Play

Tourism: Music and More By Mark D. Edmondson

Renfro Valley

Without a doubt, tourism in Rockcastle County started with John Lair’s Renfro Valley Barn Dance in November 1939. Today visitors will find many improvements and upgrades that have taken place without losing the charm and respect that has sustained its place in entertainment history. Renfro Valley Entertainment Center offers many amenities. Visitors can overnight at the Renfro Motel, in its quaint log cabins, or camp in its full-service RV park, which is within walking distance of the two show theaters. Country cooking is served up at the Historic Renfro Valley Lodge Restaurant. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll down Renfro Village, lined with unique shops and a little country church. Recent streetscape improvements provide tourists with sidewalks, streetlights, and a tunnel that safely connects both sides of the property. Within a mile or two of Renfro Valley there are several hotels, a KOA campground, and bed and breakfast facilities. The Renfro Valley Barn Dance and the Sunday Mornin’ Gatherin’ are still two of the staple shows performed, along

with several others featuring the talented Renfro Valley entertainers. Each year guests to Renfro Valley include Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride, George Jones, and others as part of the headliner concert series. A variety of festivals and special events round out the year, including the Fiddler’s Festival, the Appalachian Harvest Festival, Renfro Valley Bluegrass Festival, Spring in the Valley, and the award-winning Christmas in the Valley. There is something for every music lover and for visitors young and old to enjoy at the Renfro Valley Entertainment Center. 9

Kentucky Car Shows If you’re at a car show in Kentucky, chances are that Charlie Napier is the D.J. Charlie got his start in 1980 with the Rockcastle Region Street Rodders. Since then, his business has exploded. He now emcees car shows all over Kentucky. While on the road, Napier always promotes his Rockcastle County community as an ambassador for the area. For more information on Charlie and his car shows, visit

Kentucky is home to influential musicians in the gospel, country, bluegrass, and blues traditions.

The Kentucky Music Hall of Fame & Museum teaches visitors and students the importance of music in the region’s cultural development.

10 Rockcastle County – Ready to Work, Ready to Play

The Kentucky Music Hall of Fame & Museum The Kentucky Music Hall of Fame & Museum opened in May 2002 and immediately launched an ambitious goal of stressing the importance of music to its visitors and Kentucky students. “We have to teach our young people about the history of music in Kentucky. If we don’t, we’re going to lose our roots,” says Executive Director Robert Lawson. Lawson says many of the museum’s visitors are school classrooms. The museum offers several interactive displays and a recording studio. But the museum preserves more that just country music. Kentucky is home to some of the most influential gospel, country, bluegrass, and blues musicians to ever grace the airwaves. It is also where jug band music started, and it’s the official home of the dulcimer. The life of our ancestors is displayed in their music. Museum assistant Crystal Smoker says, “It’s no wonder that music has such an important role in our lives — it’s always been there, and it speaks to us all. You don’t have to speak the same language to understand music. If you listen, you can almost feel the culture.”

“We have to teach our young people about the history of music in Kentucky. If we don’t, we’re going to lose our roots.”

Outdoor Activities The beautiful and rugged landscape of Rockcastle County offers many options to the outdoor enthusiast. You can fish off a bank for smallmouth bass or rent a pontoon boat and cruise Lake Linville. Golfers will want to play a relaxing round of golf at Cedar Rapids Golf Course. Horseback riders enjoy the miles of trails at the Red Hill Horse Camp, which accommodates large groups. Hiking in the Daniel Boone Forest, to Anglin Falls, or to Hoosier Knob at Wildcat Mountain (a Civil War preservation site) gives trail blazers a close-up view of the spectacular landscape in this county. The Rockcastle River is considered one of the untouched natural resources in Kentucky. Taking a canoe on the Rockcastle River gives one the sense of beauty that existed when the pioneers came through the Cumberland Gap seeking new land. Horseback riders enjoy miles of trails.

Open Noon – 6 Mon – Sat

FREE TASTING 606-274-0223 1300 Plato Vanhook Rd. Somerset, KY 42503


Rockcastle County Public Library &ORD$RIVEs-T6ERNON +9 0H  s&X


B&H Tool Works specializes in the design and build of metal stamping dies. Our primary focus is on high quality, Class A, progressive tooling. A progressive die is an integrated stamping die made up of several die sections or stations. A steel coil is fed through one station at a time for a series of operations until a completely formed part is ejected from the other end with each stroke of the press. Many small metal brackets that you see today are formed by progressive dies.

Complete turnkey projects from concept through PPAP In-house die try-out capabilities up to 500 tons ISO certified with over 25 years experience in building quality stamping dies


Shopping and More Visitors can also find unique shopping venues here, such as the Rockcastle River Trading Company in Livingston, or can experience true hometown music at the Friday Night Gatherin’ in downtown Livingston. The City of Brodhead has a yearly “Little World’s Fair,� and during the Christmas season, both Brodhead and Renfro Valley light up with decorations for all to enjoy. You do not want to miss the shops on Main Street in Mt. Vernon or their festivals in the spring and fall.

R. Marlene Lawson !GENCY-ANAGER


12 Rockcastle County – Ready to Work, Ready to Play

By Staff Member, Rockcastle County Industrial Development Authority

Historic Downtown Mt. Vernon


isitors have commented “it’s just like coming home.” Downtown Mt. Vernon is surrounded by hills of trees instead of miles of paved concrete and strip malls. The commercial district consists of brick buildings that have changed very little over the last 100 years. There is a hardware store with a cast-iron, coal-burning stove at the end of the main aisle. You will find the owners, Martha and Jim Cox, conversing with customers and locals sitting at the back of the room sipping a Coke. The surroundings are so comfortable you feel like a member of the community no matter how long you visit. It’s interesting to see all the antique artifacts on display — some are even still in use. Across the street from Cox Hardware is Hiatt’s 5&10. This is another unique, long-standing Main Street business that sells a wide variety of merchandise, including fabric, glassware, toys, office supplies, and home décor. Shoppers enjoy other Main Street antique and furniture stores, such as Linda’s Variety and Jones Furniture, along with taking a lunch break at the Tea Cup Café.

It’s just like coming home.

In 2006 Mt. Vernon was certified a Main Street Program/Renaissance on Main city. This four-point program helps revitalize downtowns through design, organization, promotion, and economic restructuring. A building that was constructed in 1890, originally the Adams Dry Goods store, is presently undergoing restoration. Entrepreneurs are working on Main Street buildings to bring new economic growth and activity to our downtown.


0/"OXs-T6ERNON +9 (606) 256-3437

MT. VERNON 7 !4 % 2 7 / 2 + 3 (606) 256-2879

With each season comes more fun and festivities on Mt. Vernon’s Main Street. “Old Fashion Tradin’ Days,� “Bittersweet Festival,� and “Halloween on Main� unite community members and tourists with local merchants, musicians, and artisans for fun-filled weekends. For specific event dates visit

Downtown Mt. Vernon is surrounded by hills of trees instead of miles of paved concrete and strip malls. Rockcastle


7EST-AIN3TREETs"RODHEAD +9s   Personal Care Beds Intermediate Care Beds

Skilled Care Beds 24-Hour Nursing Care

Rehabilitation Services - Occupational Therapy - Physical Therapy - Respiratory Therapy - Speech Therapy

Contracted On Site Services - Behavioral Health Services - Hospice Services - Podiatry Services - Dental Services

Accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations 13

“Our goal is for Rockcastle County to be a community where, upon the completion of post-secondary, our youth will want to return home as contributing, civic-minded citizens.” — Superintendent Larry B. Hammond, Rockcastle County Schools

By Staff Member, Rockcastle County Schools

Rockcastle County R Schools Among the Top Districts in Kentucky

14 Rockcastle County – Ready to Work, Ready to Play

ockcastle County Schools are recognized year after year as one of the top school systems in Kentucky. The district partners with everyone from the Rockcastle County Public Library; to Rockcastle Hospital and Respiratory Center, Inc.; to Renfro Valley Entertainment Center. This gives students an opportunity to express their creativity through activities like painting murals and publishing books — all with the full support of Rockcastle County’s major enterprises. This is accomplished by a progressive school system dedicated to the support of students, families, and the Rockcastle County community. “Our goal is for Rockcastle County to be a community where, upon the completion of post-secondary, our youth will want to return home as contributing, civic-minded citizens,” says Superintendent, Larry B. Hammond. To achieve this, Rockcastle’s educators must constantly be at the top of their game. Teachers receive intense training sessions in which they explore ways to help students overcome difficulties and to enjoy classroom life. Much of this training is done at the Rockcastle Teaching and Learning Center, a 40-person, state-of-the-art training facility. This center makes it possible for the staff to participate in professional development that will allow them to provide a learning environment for students that is both exciting and innovative.

Rockcastle Area Technology Center The Rockcastle Area Technology Center is an impressive new building situated on the outskirts of Mt. Vernon on the Rockcastle County High School campus. This center trains students who have chosen a career path in the fields of health sciences, welding, and other emerging technologies. The campus opened in August 2008. The state-funded center is accredited nationally, and students can expect certification in their field of choice upon graduation.

Project Lead the Way Project Lead the Way is a program that allows students to test their ideas and enhance their dreams while preparing them to enter advanced studies in engineering technologies. This introduction allows more Rockcastle County High School students to explore engineering technology and will encourage them to enter an engineering-related career. “I am planning a future in aeronautics,” said one high school student. “The program goes beyond academics. It also teaches me the responsibilities required for this highly skilled career.”

GEAR-UP Lifting aspirations, building skills, and creating a college-going culture are fundamental purposes of the Berea College GEAR-UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) Partnership in Rockcastle County. This program is designed to increase the number of students who are prepared to succeed in college or in a two-year postsecondary institution. One middle school student commented, “GEAR-UP helps me understand how important college is, but in a fun way!”

Rockcastle Academy for Academic Achievement The Rockcastle Academy for Academic Achievement is located on the Rockcastle County Middle School campus. Its 30 students receive breakfast at the middle school, then head to the academy for a fourblock school day. Students participate in group activities and often discuss their educational goals as well as the barriers that may be preventing them from reaching these goals.

Safety Students learn best when they are healthy and feel safe. Rockcastle students’ school pride is evident when you walk into and around the school system’s outstanding facilities. At Rockcastle County Schools, the comprehensive health, food, and transportation services also provide an essential contribution to students’ academic and social success. “Our teachers give guidance so we are prepared. No matter what happens, we will know what to do,” say many elementary school students. School safety starts with communication between students and teachers and students and their peers. The most important way to ensure safety is student and teacher awareness. That’s why, in 1998, the district started a Safe Schools Committee. This is an open forum for parents, school personnel, and community members to discuss their ideas about school safety. Rockcastle County Schools are focused on the mission of preparing students to succeed in life. From this mission, purposeful and deliberate decisions are made to provide continuous improvement through the implementation of rigorous academic standards, innovation, and community contributions. Sustained student success is sure to be the result when Rockcastle County Schools and the overall community continue to work together. 15

All elected officials are working together to maintain what the people like about the county and its communities while keeping an eye on the road ahead for positive growth.

16 Rockcastle County – Ready to Work, Ready to Play

Pictured (left to right): County Judge Executive Buzz Carloftis, Chairman of the Tourist Commission Board Michael Robbins, Development Board Chairman Corey Craig, Mayor Walter Cash, Mayor Clarice Kirby, Chamber President Jerry Pensol, Mayor J.C. Griffin.

Government and Development: Strategy and Teamwork R

ockcastle County is prepared for something great. The leaders in business, development, tourism, and government are all on the same page as to where the community must head to be successful in the future; however, this didn’t happen over the course of a few days or weeks — this has been a plan years in the making. Most of the credit belongs to a strategic plan developed by the county several years ago. This plan looked at Rockcastle County’s past and present, then looked at the options it had for the future. Enter Leadership Rockcastle, part of the countywide strategic plan designed to encourage new voices in the county’s economic future. The program entails a 10-month training session that starts with a two-day retreat. Subsequent months feature half-day meetings. “This is no coffee and donut meeting,” assures Corey Craig, Leadership Rockcastle alumnus and chairman of the Development Board. Leadership Rockcastle is a very strong group that talks about, and acts upon, things that need to be done around the community. “It’s the table you want to be sitting around to have a positive influence in the community,” Craig asserts. Each participant is asked to develop a community project. It can be a group or individual endeavor. One large accomplishment of the program has been to restart the Rockcastle County Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber has become a collective voice for entrepreneurs to lobby the government and has been actively involved in promoting business in Rockcastle. The Rockcastle County Development Authority, acting as the economic development agency for Rockcastle County, has been working diligently

The leaders in business, development, tourism, and government are all on the same page as to where the community must head to be successful in the future. By Mark D. Edmondson

to make the county a “contender” for new business development and to create the environment for economic development to occur in Rockcastle County. Recent activities of the RCIDA have included the creation of a master plan for their 80-acre industrial park and developing all of the necessary support data to be prepared when opportunities for economic development occur in the community. The county seat for this desirable Southern community is Mt. Vernon, with a population of 3,000. Mayor Clarice Kirby has been very active in promoting citywide improvements that will improve the quality of life for residents. Projects ranging from new sidewalks and new sewer lines around Lake Linville to revitalizing the downtown area keep the mayor’s office very busy. Two other cities in Rockcastle County contribute to providing a firstclass workforce and a charming atmosphere to call home. The City of Brodhead, with a population of 800, is a well-kept community where you can join families watching as their children try and hit one over the fence at the baseball park. Walter Cash is the mayor of Brodhead. Mayor J.C. Griffin helps direct the City of Livingston and works to help maintain and grow this community. Both cities offer small-town living at its finest. When you visit Rockcastle County, it is clear to see that County Judge Executive Buzz Carloftis, the county magistrates, and all of the mayors and city council members are working together to maintain what the people like about the county and its communities while keeping an eye on the road ahead for positive growth. 17

SOURCECORP ADDS 139 JOBS IN ROCKCASTLE COUNTY SOURCECORP, a high-tech data processing center, will expand their existing presence in Rockcastle County, retaining their existing 91 jobs and creating an additional 139 jobs within the next two years. The success story is a result of the magistrates and county judge-executive working closely with the company to address the intricate details of the project, according to County Judge-Executive Buzz Carloftis. “This could not have been possible without the fiscal court passing the occupational tax and making a statement about our commitment to economic development” he says. The Rockcastle County Industrial Development Authority will be constructing a 25,000-square-foot facility for the company to lease for seven years in the South Industrial Park on Highway 150. The park will also receive utility, road construction, and other improvements necessary for the development of the project. The Rockcastle County School system will provide temporary space for SOURCECORP in the former vocational school while the new building is being constructed. SOURCECORP officials say the efforts of the community leadership and the quality of the workforce led them to expand in Rockcastle County. The company will move into their new facilities in summer of 2009.

Only 500 Yards from Renfro Valley Free Continental Breakfast Bar Free High-Speed Wireless Internet Access Tour Group and Commercial Special Rates Denny’s & Arby’s Restaurants Adjacent In-Room Safe, Coffee, Hair Dryer Free Local Calls

18 Rockcastle County – Ready to Work, Ready to Play

Rockcastle River Trading Company In 1955, Lucille and Carlo Carloftis opened an eclectic trading post along the Rockcastle River near Livingston. Originally called Fort Sequoyah, the trading post featured Indian artifacts as well as weavers, dancers, and artisans. Indians from reservations would often come and stay the entire season. This re-creation of a pioneer town has since transformed into the Rockcastle River Trading Company. Lucille, in collaboration with her son Jon Carloftis, a famed New York rooftop garden designer, runs the store, still selling crafts and antiques in a beautiful setting.

By Mark D. Edmondson

Housing: An Affordable Assortment


hether it’s a remodeled historic home, a “handyman’s dream,” or an empty lot to build your customized home, Rockcastle County has it. Some of the older houses in the cities of Mt. Vernon, Livingston, and Brodhead are for sale. These homes range from about 1,500 square feet to 2,500 square feet and are usually priced in the lower $100,000 range. Many of these have been remodeled, while others are available for the homeowner who would rather do the remodeling on his or her own. Additionally, newer houses in lakeside subdivisions are also available. These are a bit more expensive, but provide a quiet, country setting with a beautiful view of Lake Linville. And for those who would rather build, land is relatively inexpensive, even on the lake. Half-acre lots may be purchased for around $20,000, and several contractors in Rockcastle County are available to design and build the home of your dreams. 19

By Staff Member, Rockcastle County Industrial Development Authority

Rockcastle Hospital and Respiratory Care Center

In 1956, leaders in the community of Rockcastle County were taking a long hard look at their future, much like communities always do. “Leadership from the community felt there was a critical need for quality, affordable health care located close to home for our people,” says Stephen Estes, president and CEO of Rockcastle Hospital and Respiratory Care Center. As a result of this need, Rockcastle Hospital was established in 1956 and accredited by the Joint Commission On Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) to serve Rockcastle and surrounding counties. Again, in 1981, the hospital’s commitment to improving the community’s quality of life and to expansion of services led to the addition of care for patients needing respiratory care. Rockcastle Hospital then added

For more information about Rockcastle Hospital, call 606-256-2195 or visit

20 Rockcastle County – Ready to Work, Ready to Play

“Respiratory Care Center” to its name and now operates the only ventilator-dependent facility for adults and children in Kentucky. “Many of these patients rely on ventilators to breathe, and when they come to our facility, they become just like family,” notes Estes. The hospital continues to expand and enhance services to provide a full continuum of all health care options for area residents. “In recent years, we’ve worked hard to set and achieve high standards for health care with the expansion and growth of programs including inpatient, outpatient, and home health,” asserts Estes. In 2006, the hospital created partnerships with the University of Kentucky that have dramatically increased the number of services offered to area residents and enhanced the level of expertise available. Other ­partnerships


Rockcastle Hospital was established in 1956 to serve Rockcastle and surrounding counties.


The People You Know... The People You Trust



150 Main Street Mt. Vernon, KY 40456

(606) 256-0475

that have expanded from this initiative include the Markey Cancer Center, the Gill Heart Institute, the Kentucky Neuroscience Institute, the Kentucky Children’s Hospital, and the UK Digestive Health and Orthopedics programs. The hospital has had many expansion projects and accomplishments in recent years, including a three-story, 18,565-square-foot Outpatient Services Center construction project connected to the Medical Arts building in 2007, and in 2008, the installation of a state-of-the-art 64-slice CT scanner. In the same year, the hospital also won the Kentucky Hospital Association’s annual Quality Award for the second consecutive year. For more information about Rockcastle Hospital, call 606-256-2195 or visit

In 2006, the hospital created partnerships with the University of Kentucky that have dramatically increased the number of services offered to area residents and enhanced the level of expertise available. 21

Index of Advertisers Adult Care/Senior Living

Rockcastle County Senior Citizens, Inc. — page 5 1260 S. Wilderness Road P.O. Box 691 Mt. Vernon, KY 40456 (606) 256-4316 fax (606) 256-1626


Renfro Valley — page 8 P.O. Box 19 Renfro Valley, KY 40473 (800) 765-7464

• Headliner Concerts • Festivals • Special Events • Shopping • Dining • Motel/Cabins • Kentucky Music Hall of Fame & Museum Automotive – Dealership/Repair

Town & Country Motors, Inc. — page 5 450 Jerri Lane Mt. Vernon, KY 40456 (606) 256-8049 fax (606) 256-5434

Please support the advertisers who helped make this publication possible.

Financial Institutions

Citizens Bank — page Outside Back Cover 4 Convenient Locations Mt. Vernon (606) 256-2500 McKee (606) 287-8390 Somerset (606) 451-2274 Brodhead (606) 758-8212

Community Trust Bank — page Inside Front Cover

Come visit one of these great businesses located on Historic Main Street:

Mt. Vernon, KY 40456 2134 Lake Cumberland Rd. (606) 256-5141 120 E. Main St. (606) 256-5142

Visit one of our convenient Mt. Vernon locations. For you convenience, Community Trust Bank has   77 locations located throughout Kentucky and   West Virginia.

Mt. Vernon (606) 256-2302 Berea (859) 986-6860 Richmond (859) 623-2133 Waco (859) 369-5684

Historical Places

Historic Mt. Vernon Main Street — page 3

Aunt Maur’s This N That Cox Hardware Hiatt’s 5 & 10 Jones Furniture Joseph B. Clontz, CPA KY South Central Pools & Spas Mathis Insurance Mount Vernon Signal Napa/Radio Shack Rockcastle County Courthouse Tea Cup Café Horse Camp

Red Hill Horse Camp — page 21 Mt. Vernon, KY 40456 cell (606) 308-5900 home (606) 758-4706


245 Richmond St. Mt. Vernon, KY 40456 (606) 256-2125 fax (606) 256-2126

Mt. Vernon City Hall — page 13

The Rockcastle County School District consists of five schools with a total population of approximately 3,050 students. There are three elementary schools, one middle and one high school. The district also provides one student academy and the area technology center.

Mt. Vernon Water Works (606) 256-2879

22 Rockcastle County – Ready to Work, Ready to Play

35 West Main St. Brodhead, KY 40409 (606) 758-9333 (606) 758-4373

Hometown people providing old-fashioned service and courtesy. We specialize in home oxygen, hospital beds, wheelchairs, and more. We also   sell and rent home medical equipment. Complete retail pharmacy at the same location.


Rockcastle Co. Schools — page 15

Collins Respiratory Care Inc / Brodhead Pharmacy — page 8

• Free Online Banking • Free Online Bill Payment • Consumer Loans • Commercial Loans • Home Equity Line of Credit • CDs • IRAs • Visa Debit Card • 5 ATM Locations

Peoples Bank — page 3

Specializing in pre-owned cars, trucks, and vans that have low miles, are in great condition, and still have some factory warranty makes it easy   for us to recommend our vehicles to friends in the community.

Health care – Durable Medical Equipment

P.O. Box 1465 Mt. Vernon, KY 40456 (606) 256-3437

Ride Eastern highlands of Kentucky. Daniel Boone Forest, 50 campsites, trail maps. Guide at request. Call Gene Philbeck for reservations. Hotels/Motels/Bed & Breakfasts

Health care

Rockcastle Health & Rehab — page 13 371 Main St Brodhead, KY 40409 (606) 758-8711 fax (606) 758-4648

Days Inn - Renfro Valley, Mt. Vernon — page 18 I-75 at Exit 62, U.S. 25 1630 Richmond St. Mt. Vernon, KY 40456 (606) 256-3300 fax (606) 256-3323

• 500 Yards From Renfro Valley • Free Continental Breakfast Bar • Free High-Speed Wireless Internet Access • Free Local Calls • Tour Group and Commercial Special Rates • In-Room Safe, Coffee, Hair Dryer • Denny’s and Arby’s Restaurants Adjacent

Heritage Inn & Suites - Mt. Vernon, KY — page 5 2090 Richmond St. Mt. Vernon, KY 40456 (606) 256-8600 fax (606) 256-8686

Spacious Clean Rooms Standard Amenities include: Wireless High-Speed Internet, Cable TV, Hair Dryers, Iron and Board We have jacuzzi suites with   refrigerators and microwaves. Deluxe Breakfast Bar Included. Pool (seasonal)


WRVK Radio / Saylor Broadcasting, Inc. — page 8 P.O. Box 7 Renfro Valley, KY 40473 (606) 256-2146 fax (606) 256-9146

Your Pioneer Country Music Station Serving Rockcastle and Surrounding Counties Since 1957. • Traditional Country • Gospel • Classic Rock & Roll • Now Streaming 24/7 at


Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance Co. Marlene Lawson — page 11 1325 South Wilderness Road P.O. Box 476 Mt. Vernon, KY 40456 (606) 256-2050 fax (606) 256-9307


Rockcastle Co. Public Library — page 11 60 Ford Drive Mt. Vernon, KY 40456 (606) 256-2388 fax (606) 256-5460

Rockcastle County Library provides materials and services for patrons to obtain information   meeting educational, personal, and professional needs. Emphasis is placed on providing updated technological services. Manufacturing


Rockcastle County Chamber of Commerce — page 1 P.O. Box 778 Mt. Vernon, KY 40456 (606) 256-0070

“We will continuously strive to improve the economic well-being of our county, to build a strong sense of community, to promote and help build a positive business climate, and to enhance lines of communication between local business and government.” Pharmacy

Main Street Pharmacy — page 21 150 Main Street Mt. Vernon, KY 40456 (606) 256-0475 fax (606) 256-0421

Community pharmacy staffed with local, friendly people. We accept medicare, medicaid and most major insurance plans. We also carry a wide variety of OTC and gift items.

B & H specializes in metal stamping tooling. In addition, B & H provides contract machining in   CNC milling, Wire EDM, Jig Grinding, and manufacture of precision replacement parts for Dies, Molds, Fixtures, etc.

Integrity Mold & Die Ltd. — page 21 95 Industrial Park Road P.O. Box 3109 Mt. Vernon, KY 40456 (606) 256-1947 fax (606) 256-1957

• Owner operated • Direct customer contact • Follow projects from initial concept to start up assistance on site • Expedite job intactness • Quality assurance throughout all stages • Team effort to meet or exceed   reputable expectations

P.O. Box 481 Mt. Vernon, KY 40456 (606) 256-0234

B & M Liquidators, located on Hwy. 150 between Mt. Vernon and Brodhead. Our prices are 50% or more below retail. Items include lamps, curtains,   pictures, comforters, furniture, and decorative flags. Retreat Center

cleftRock — page 13 2917 cleftRock Road Mt. Vernon, KY 40456 (800) 719-0600

Church Retreats and Leadership Camp RV Service & Repair

RV Service Center, LLC — page Inside Back Cover 3095 Richmond St. Mt. Vernon, KY 40456 (606) 256-0516

• Accessories • Awnings • Appliances • Heating & Cooling • Water Heaters • LP Gas & LP Gas Fill • Plumbing • Hardware • Electrical • Towing Accessories • Housewares • Leveling & Stabilizing   • Sanitation • Cleaners Stone – Crushed

Hanson Aggregates — page 7 340 New Brodhead Rd. P.O. Box 187 Mt. Vernon, KY 40456 (606) 256-2135

Mt. Vernon Drug — page 5

Celebrating our 100th year at Mt. Vernon! Some of our services include: • All grades of stone delivered & spread • Agricultural lime • Quality products / efficient service Major expansion for unit train rail service in 2009. Call for competitive prices.

Serving the Mt. Vernon area since 2000. Locally owned in the heart of Richmond Street. Located 2 blocks west of Rockcastle County Hospital.

R-TEC — page 5

B & H Tool Works, Inc. — page 11 83 Henderson Drive P.O. Box 1228 Mt. Vernon, KY 40456 (606) 256-4878 fax (606) 256-8031


B & M Liquidators — page 5

410 Richmond St. P.O. Box 796 Mt. Vernon, KY 40456 (606) 256-3447 fax (606) 256-8380

Real Estate – Auctioneers

Ford Brothers, Inc. — page 8 P.O. Box 1435 Mt. Vernon, KY 40456 (606) 256-4545 fax (606) 256-4555

Transportation P.O. Box 746 Mt. Vernon, KY 40456 (606) 256-9835 fax (606) 256-4319

RTEC operates vans and shuttle buses, including wheelchair lift for local travel. Reservations are made 72 hours in advance for trips to places of employment, shopping, or medical appointments, etc.

Successfully “Selling the Country” since 1965. Restaurants

Subway / Godfather’s Pizza — page 18 Subway 1475 Richmond Rd. Mt. Vernon, KY 40456 (606) 256-1083 Godfather’s Pizza 1475 Richmond Rd. Mt. Vernon, KY 40456 (606) 256-5079


Sinking Valley Vineyard & Winery Inc. — page 11 1300 Plato Vanhook Road Somerset, KY 42503 (606) 274-0223

Wines are made on site and include Riesling, Chardonnay, Chambourcin, Cabernet Sauvignon, Concord, Blackberry, and Blueberry. Check our Web site,, for directions and news on upcoming events or new wines. 23

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24 Rockcastle County – Ready to Work, Ready to Play

(606)Â 219-7030


Rockcastle County’s Ongoing Journey ........................................... 5 Among the Top Districts in Kentucky ........................


Rockcastle County’s Ongoing Journey ........................................... 5 Among the Top Districts in Kentucky ........................