Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Henderson Kentucky: A Ten Year Layover for Two American Icons

Henderson, Kentucky, is a 100-mile drive from where we live. A sleepy Rivertown which sits on the Ohio River a few miles downstream from Evansville, Indiana. We are up here to complete the 5K Town and State Park walks with the American Volkssport Association - AVA.ORG

One time home of John James Audubon and WC Handy. Although they lived here for only a decade, they significantly impacted the town and America. John James Audubon's book The Birds of America spawned a bird conservation movement. It's the reason that I'm a member of the Audubon Society. The walk included statues of his work throughout the town.
WC Handy met and married his wife in Henderson. In interviews, he said his time in Henderson put him on the path of becoming the Father of the Blues. He was a musician, song collector, and writer. Although the Blues existed before him, his was the first serious effort to record and document the music. Henderson has one of the largest Blues Festivals in the Nation; Henderson Blues and Barbecue is the weekend before Father's Day every year.

When you walk through Henderson, Audubon's influence is everywhere. Many things are named after him, including the Park and many establishments downtown. A lot of the walk is along the Ohio River. It has that river town feel, slow and meandering. The trail passes many stately houses. Including the governor's homes, of which there are 4 that hail from Henderson.
Audubon State park sits on a bluff outside Henderson on the banks of the Ohio River. If you get to do only one thing while in Henderson, go to the Audubon Museum in the park. You will not be disappointed.