GHENT, Ky. (November 2003) A two-year effort by a Ghent, Ky.,
citizens committee to obtain grant money to restore an aging
church into a city museum paid off Oct. 15 when Kentucky Gov. Paul
Patton presented the group with a check for $200,000.
by Don Ward
Ghent church to be renovated.
The money, part of the federal Transportation Enhancement Authority-21
grant fund, will be used to help restore the former Ghent Christian
Church, which the city recently bought to convert into a museum, meeting
rooms and eventual city hall. The building is located at Fishing and
Union streets, one block from Hwy. 42, which runs through the middle
TEA-21 money is generated from the states gasoline taxes and
used for such projects around the state deemed worthy by state officials
via the grant application process.
This is wonderful, said Diane Young, who spearheaded the
effort after the committees first grant application failed.
We can now get started on turning this place into something
we can all be proud of.
The committee applied for $350,000, with the help of Stacey Dietrich,
who represents the Northern Kentucky Area Development District. Despite
receiving less than requested, members say they are happy. I
hope it means people will become interested in other projects that
come from it, said Leona Carlton.
by Don Ward
Paul Patton with Diane Young.
The grant brings to $225,000 the total in the fund for the project
when added to other corporate and private donations. They include
$5,000 from North American Stainless and $900 from Warner Ladder of
Carrollton, among others, plus an offer for free use of construction
equipment from Craig Construction of Carrollton. Young said the committees
goal is to reach $500,000 to complete the project.
In awarding the money, Gov. Patton said, Im a student
of history, and I think we ought to try and preserve a part of our
history, like this old church building. Once theyre gone, theyre
Following the check presentation, Patton and those assembled toured
inside the structure, which was built in 1872. The church operated
until 1985 when it was sold to a local Amish group which held services
there for a short time.
The Amish removed the steeple because it was in disrepair and became
a danger. The city of Ghent bought the property in hopes of adding
on to the back of the structure to eventually build city offices there.
The committee also hopes to someday construct a new steeple on the
Committee members hope the future museum will become a reservoir of
information for county residents who want to research genealogy and
family history, river history and tobacco farming history. Carroll
County historian Catherine Salyers has offered to donate her family
history research papers to the museum. It will also contain old store
ledger books from the area, said Dianes husband, Wayne Young.
The museum will offer meeting rooms for the public and a welcome center
for visitors, he said.
In addition to the Youngs and Carlton, the other members of the committee
include Tom Sibley, John McTighe and Bill Davis.
To contribute to the museum fund, contact the Youngs at
(502) 347-5807 of the City of Ghent at (502) 347-9706.