“Harlan County Stories” is a new book from Harlan County author Lydia Dykes, of Verda. This book will be the first of a two part series showcasing places, events and people of Harlan from over the years.
“This book is a collection of stories from Harlan County people,” said Dykes. “These stories deal with everything from making moonshine to selling moonshine, cooking at the Smithsonian, talking about the Blistered Cat Restaurant in Evarts and Mag Bailey who use to be our local business woman. There are also lots of pictures in the book as well.”
Dykes credits her love of collecting as her inspiration behind her book. She has dedicated not only a book to Harlan County history, but also a small building of original Harlan County antiques which she intends to make available for public viewings in the near future.
“This book was a way of telling some of our history because the book covers events, places and people over time,” said Dykes. “This book lets people know about the history of Harlan County over the years. I love Harlan County’s history and I’m a big collector of it. I collect any memorabilia that has to deal with Harlan County.”
So many people were willing to contribute to the book that it took some time and dedication to write. Dykes said she enjoyed every minute of the process.
“I had so many stories we decided we were going to do it in two separate books,” said Dykes. “This book deals more with the history part of the county. The second book will be focused on people’s stories. I started working on “Harlan County Stories” last September. I would set up interviews with people. I would meet them anywhere it was convenient for them to hear their stories. Everything they said is the way it is in my book.”
Dykes is thankful for the people she encountered while collecting the various stories for her book.
“I thank the people so much for being so generous with their time and being so patient with me,” said Dykes. “I had never done interviews with people before. I ate with people, had coffee with people and I petted their dogs when I went into their homes. This book is my favorite. I got to go out and meet the people, talk to the people and I was welcomed with open arms.”
For more information about “Harlan County Stories,” you may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 606-837-3886.