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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pinnacle Knob Firetower

Saturday, March 26, 2011 the historic Pinnacle Knob Fire Tower will be having an event “Life of a Firewatcher” from 10am -3pm.  Check out Cumberland Falls State Resort Park  Calendar of Events for details.  

The historic public opening of the Pinnacle Knob Firetower was September 27, 2008.
Danny Blevins from The Forest Fire Lookout Association presented Cumberland Falls State Park Naturalist, Bret Smitley with a historial marker and certificate. The 14x14 cabin has been restored to its original state, complete with wood stove and alidade, a device for triangulating the location of a fire. The tower is 40 feet in height, and at an elevation of 1300 feet. The tower was originally constructed in 1937 by the U.S. Forest Service. It replaced a wooden tower built by the Civil Conservation Corp, that was previously located near the Dryland Bridge.  Reconstruction of the tower began in the Spring of 2008. 

I had the pleasure of working at the Visitors Center and giving tours at the park for three seasons from 2007-2009. This historic event was one of the highlights of those years.  As I used to say when guiding tours, “Cumberland Falls is one of the most unique places on planet earth.” 

 How would you like to begin your marriage in a 14x14 cabin forty feet in the air? That’s what the first firewatcher did! 

Photos by Valerie J. Thompson
Photos and Text Copyright

Monday, March 21, 2011

Good News from Japan

My friend, Meiko Inami and her family are fine!!  She tells me that it is terrifying to see the places after the natural disasters, first the earthquake and secondly,the tsunami. "As the earthquake and tsunami are natural disasters, we cannot do anything but run away from it" The third disaster, possible nuclear radiation from the power plants, she describes as a "man power disaster, one that will contaminate air, water, land and ocean for centuries".

Many people are praying for the people of Japan. I am extremely thankful that Meiko and her family are alive and well! 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Prayers for Japan

It's been a little hard to write a blog with all the tragedy coming across the news about the Great Earthquake in Japan that was immediately followed by a terrible tsunami, which literally swept thousands of people away. Words like devastation, destruction, and now 'nuclear meltdown' are dashed across the headlines. 

I am wondering where my friend Meiko Inami is at the moment. Meiko was a fellow Anthropology student at Eastern Kentucky University. Like me she returned to education after her family was grown. Unlike me she managed to study in a language that was not her native tongue.  A task I would not attempt. What courage and stamina!! While here, she was also an interpretor for Japanese visitors to Kentucky. 

We have corresponded over the years since graduation. I have often thought I would like to visit Japan. Meiko would send me calendars from Japan, perhaps, to mark the days until I would visit, as well as, a daily reminder of my friend. 

My thoughts are for those who are grieving, and my thankfulness is for those who have survived. 

Hoping to hear from you soon, Meiko!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

More Kentucky Genealogy Info

A couple of new Kentucky Items:

KY cemetery records at National Archives at Atlanta a discovery for genealogists

Continue reading on KY cemetery records at National Archives at Atlanta a discovery for genealogists - Atlanta Genealogy |

Eastern Pulaski County Kentucky Families, lots of photos!