Tuesday we drove to Bardstown but continued driving south and visited Gethsemane Abbey, Bishop Flaget Log House & St. Thomas Church and Knob Creek Farm. We were surprised at the number of religious communities and related sites in the area.
The Abbey is on gorgeous grounds with beautiful buildings. We watched a movie about the monastic lifestyle of the monks here and then visited the gift shop. We were invited to visit the church for the 2:15 pm call to prayer. The monks pray 7 times a day starting at 3:15 am and ending at 7:30 pm plus they attend Mass each day.
As we approached the church the signs said silence was required.
There was a small chapel at the back of the church with the benches in the church on the sides facing each other, not the front of the church.
We were given prayer books and we followed along. It only lasted 15 minutes. Other than the prayers or hymns there was absolute silence until you walked back to the grounds and away from the church.
Our next stop was at a farm house built in 1795, bequeathed to Bishop Joseph Flaget who founded St. Thomas Church in 1812.
At that time Bardstown was one of six dioceses and it went from the southern border of Tennessee to Lake Superior, east to include the states of Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee and as far west to what is now Iowa. This indicated to me how important Bardstown was at the time.
Our last stop was at Knob Creek Farm where President Lincoln lived as a boy and attended school. While the area was maintained there were no National Park Service people present and the buildings were locked. Our tax dollars NOT at work.
We returned to Bardstown to have dinner at The Talbott Tavern in operation since 1779. They gave us a "history of the tavern" sheet and a few things popped out at me.
The Bardstown Mustangs assembled at the tavern in 1830 to leave to fight in the war of Texas Independence. They all perished at Goliad where the Mexicans massacred everyone despite their surrender. Only one man from Bardstown, J. C. Duvall, made it out alive.
Peter Grayson, author of The Treaty of San Jacinto which ended the Texas War of Independence, stopped by the tavern on his way to Washington as the Texas Secretary of State. He was killed by bandits when he continued his journey.
Alexander Walters, born to a slave cook in the pantry of the tavern in 1885, became the founder of the NAACP and was the first African American appointed as a foreign minister.
T. D. Beam (brother of Jim Beam), purchased the tavern from the Talbott's in 1916. Tom Moore, Barton distillery, purchased it in 1926.
Since 1968 it has been owned by the Kelley's, great-great grandchildren of John Talbott whose tailor shop close by was robbed by the Jesse James gang in 1875.
After dinner we headed to the fairgrounds for the Balloon Glow. It was so neat to watch that nothing needs to be said beyond the pictures.
Wednesday morning we headed just 50 miles down the road to Cave City. We rode around the little towns after we were settled and stopped by Mammoth Cave State Park to get tickets for tomorrow's cave tour. Our senior pass got us half priced tickets. Woo Hoo!
" A monk is a man who responds with a single focus to the summons of God and daily consecrates himself to the search for God." ~ Abbot Edmund Boyce, O.S.B.