Cartwright Grove in Kentucky is a town in the making. It is based on the tradition of the Cartwright Farm; a family farm always decorated with an 1800s theme during the Christmas season and where many special community events were held. The mission of Cartwright Grove is to bring the community together and transport them to a simpler time by continuing and expanding tradition.
During the late 1960s, people of the community highly anticipated their visits to the family farm each year to enjoy refreshments, see the light displays and go back in time. It was recently suggested by a group of community members that it would be nice to recreate that time for the younger generations - and so the Cartwright Grove project began! The project was planned with many community volunteers and the name was decided in honor of the Cartwright family and their farm. "This project will not only host the community during the Christmas season but during special events throughout the year," said project volunteer Tish Browning.
Cartwright Grove will be located at the fairgrounds so that it can be easily accessible to the public. As funds become available, this 1800's town will be built a few buildings at a time. Some of the materials and labor needed have already been donated by people and businesses in the community. Envisioned for the town are some activities including craft fairs where craftsmen can demonstrate how things were made during that era with basket weaving, butter churning, quilting and woodworking shows. During the summer, the town will hold an event called Western Days with live re-enactments in the streets to bring back the "rugged west" feeling to the town. The town will provide a place for everyone in the community to enjoy for years to come, no matter what the occasion.
"The desire is for this project to bring all people from our area and surrounding areas to a common place to meet, fellowship, and enjoy all year long," Tish said. The project will draw the community as a whole together for group activities and celebrations. At the end of December 2014, two of the buildings were complete enough to host a soft opening of Cartwright Grove for everyone to visit. A great response was received by the community. The event featured hosts and hostesses dressed in clothing from that era as well as Christmas themed decorations. The general store and barber shop have been finished with the Sheriff's office, bank, and hotel partially finished. Other structures to look forward to in the next phase include the old church, saloon, and livery stable.