‘Teen Board’ established at McConnell House

By Portia Williams - portiawilliams@civitasmedia.com

WURTLAND, Ky. — The Heritage Arts, Science and Tourism Center (HASTC) is reporting the finalization of plans for a Teen Board of selected area high school students. Students selected will work on educational exhibits and other projects.

HASTC President R.J “Bud” Matheny, said bringing in students to help with special projects was a idea which he knew possessed great potential.

“A lot of things just pointed to this being a good idea. I’ve had these displays that I wanted to build, but I just have not been able to get the volunteers needed,” Matheny said. “So we put together a Teen Board, with four from Greenup, four from Raceland, and four from Russell. We are going to have them meet, and decide on a project that they would like to work on. We have collected an awful lot of material over the years to get these displays made. They are educational exhibits, so it just made sense to have students to do this work.”

The area schools have submitted their list of students and an organizational meeting will be scheduled soon, according to Matheny.

“We have some good people that are going to be working with the students,” he said. “I am currently recruiting a woman who is a teacher and majored in history, so I think that it is going to go over very well. We have always tried to involve High School Students in our functions so this formalizes the process and carries it to the next level. This Committee of 12 students from area High Schools will select projects and recruit help from other students on an as needed basis.”

Other prospective adult recruits to assist students are in the works, and names of those adults will be announced after all confirmations have been made.

One project the students might select is the exhibit of the EK Railroad which was previously started with a map of the Railroad route painted by Dr. Tim Decker of the Russell Arts Department. Another project available to the group is a display depicting the families who have occupied the house since its beginning in 1834. Also on the list is a display of the King Powder Plant, the Raceland Race Track, and the area iron ore furnaces.

Matheny also said they had the pleasure of hosting what are called, ‘The Heritage Tour’ for several hundred area students from as far away as Elliott County including public, private and home schooled students during the course of the year. The tour details life in the house for the five children who moved into the house in 1834. The McConnell children, ranging in age from two to 14, and had a much different life than kids can envision today, according to Matheny. The Heritage Tour is also available to other groups by appointment.

Donations and or sponsors are being sought out for this initiative to help defray the cost of the materials to create these displays.

For additional information, call HASTC President R. J. “Bud” Matheny at 606-585-1585 or email budmatheny99@gmail.com. Donations can be made through our website mcconnellhouse-ky.com using a credit card or PayPal, and tax deductible donations can also be mailed to HASTC, PO Box 2245, Ashland Ky. 41101.

By Portia Williams


Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.

Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.