Wednesday, August 13, 2008


It's a short drive down the road from Owensboro to Jerusalem Ridge, the Homeplace of Bill Monroe, the Grandfather of Bluegrass music.  As we walked the hallowed grounds, seriously we could almost hear him pick and sing and it was easy to recognize the inspirations for many of his famous songs.
The setting was incredibly peaceful and beautiful.

The family home had fallen into a state of disrepair until a foundation bought the property and began to restore it in early 2000.  Today, fans can tour the home and enjoy a 4 day Bluegrass festival on the grounds every October.

Inside, furnishings, photos, and other memorabilia gave one a real sense of his younger years. His mother died when he was only 9, then when Bill was 16 his Dad passed away.  Young Monroe had to leave the family home to find work elsewhere, but he never forgot this special place.

There were utility quilts on every bed, and this very unexpected one hanging on a wall.

Every design motif represents moments in his life and music.  It was made and donated by two Missouri fans.

The quilt was machine appliqued and quilted.  The detail is just amazing.

We seemed to have found the end of the road again on this part of our journey.  This is the working general store in Rosine, which is the nearest town to the Homeplace.   It's  just about the only building in the town and only a few steps away from the community cemetery.

So, naturally we had to visit his resting place to pay our respects.  Bill Monroe had married and fathered two children.  I found it so interesting that his headstone featured his dog....and not a musical instrument (or other symbol) as many of the other musical Monroe clan's markers did.

We concluded our day on Tuesday by driving to Corbin, Ky to overnight, before heading home on Wednesday while continuing to enjoy the history of this country and its people.  I'll be reporting back tomorrow on the final leg of our trip.

1 comment:

Janet said...

Hi Mary: Enjoyed, as always, your combination travelogue and history lesson. Especially loved the picture of the Monroe family home! Thanks for sharing.
Janet in rural Nova Scotia