Pine Mountain to celebrate 90 years

By Kelsey Gerhardt kgerhardt@civitasmedia.com

August 6, 2014

Ninety birthday candles will be lighting up the cake at the celebration of Pine Mountain State Park Resort’s Birthday Bash on Saturday. This event will commemorate the park’s years from the beginning of construction to the current state of the lodge and attractions within the borders.

According to Spindletop Research Project 311A, citizens of Bell County secured a 2,000 acre tract of land in 1919 that would be developed as a recreation and conservation area.

In 1924 Dr. Williard Rouse Jillson, state geologist and chairman of the State Park Commission, held a meeting with over 100 citizens and the Pineville Kiwanis group to gather public use interest and ideas for the land.

Later that year the acreage was turned over to the state and named Cumberland Falls State Park.

With the help of the Civilian Conservation Corps in the mid-1930s, trails were mapped and a lodge was created for guests.

The name was changed to Pine Mountain State Resort Park in 1938.

In the past 80 years, the park has undergone major additions and modifications to suit the changing needs of the community and visitors alike.

Pine Mountain State Park received over $1 million of investment in the form of a federal grant in the late 1960s. Renovations and construction provided 30 new luxury style rooms at the then-newly rebuilt lodge.

Also included in that renovation was the construction of vacation cottages, mini-golfing, picnic facilities, landscaping, road improvement and the addition of Wasioto Winds Golf Course in 2000.

“Pine Mountain State Park today has reached the stage where it plays an important role in the total tourist and travel industry in Kentucky, but equally important is the impact it has had and the image it presents for the whole southeastern Kentucky region,” says the Spindletop Research Project 311A.

The event will be held in the CV Whitney Convention Center and will begin at 5 p.m. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by calling 800-325-1712.

Kelsey Gerhardt may be reached at 606-302-9093 or on Twitter @kgerhardtmbdn.