Local business owners Harold and Lanola Parsons, of Baxter, were recently recognized by Gov. Steve Beshear, First Lady Jane Beshear and the Governor’s Mansion Centennial Celebration Committee for their contribution to the “County Seats Legacy Project.” The project involved all Kentucky counties.
As part of the Governor’s Mansion Centennial Celebration, student-artists from Berea College handcrafted 120 new chairs for the Governor’s Mansion. Each “County Seats Legacy Project” chair represents a Kentucky county and was funded by donations from every county.
“Lanola and I were honored to be a part of this project and to represent Harlan County,” said Harold.
The chairs the mansion formerly used for large-scale events were in poor condition, unsafe for guests and in desperate need of replacement. Because of tightening budgets, mansion caretakers delayed replacing the chairs until it was absolutely necessary to do so, said Beshear in a press release.
To solve the seating dilemma, Kentucky Executive Mansion Foundation Inc. administrators invited each of Kentucky’s 120 counties to be a part of the “County Seats Legacy Project” by sponsoring one of the handcrafted seats.
Each chair was upholstered and the frame was handcrafted using only locally-sourced and sustainable maple wood from the Daniel Boone National Forest. Each chair will also have a name plaque of a Kentucky county placed on it.
“We are so fortunate to have the unbelievably talented student-artists at Berea working on this legacy project,” said Beshear in a press release. “I cannot think of a better pairing than to have Kentucky artists craft furniture that will be used every day in our state’s executive residence. This is a truly once-in-a-lifetime, entirely Kentucky project.”