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Before there was Interstate 75, U.S. Hwy. 25 was the major north-south artery through Kentucky.
Midway between Cincinnati and Lexington, my grandfather, John Juett, his brother, Adam, and friend George Trimnell built a large restaurant, a gas station, and several tourist cabins just south of downtown Williamstown in Grant County.
They called it the Halfway House and soon it gained fame for the good food at the restaurant (which my grandmother, Holly, ran and did much of the cooking for) and the clean cabins that offered an overnight stay.
While I have no older relatives to ask, I am fairly certain the Halfway House was built before World War II. After college, PawPaw (as we called him) had worked in the Deep South on the construction of this same highway, and I can only suppose he saw the potential for such a place.
When my father, Ralph Perry, was discharged from the Army Air Corps at the end of the WWII, he returned to Williamstown and ran the station for his father-in-law.
The Halfway House was a wonderful, exotic place to this very young girl. We lived nearby, and I was allowed (in a simpler time) to walk to the station and spend time with Daddy even before I started school.
It was a regular stop for the north- and south-bound Greyhound buses, and dozens of cars were always parked on either side of the building. I loved being inside the station and watching travelers from far-off places walk in the doors of the restaurant.
If I were lucky, Daddy would take me in and split a milkshake with me; as I got older, he would let me pick out a comic book from the large magazine stand.
But best of all, this was the place we went when it snowed. The cabins sat behind the restaurant and between them were perfect hills for sledding. Mother would bundle my brothers and me; we would get our sleds and trudge up the road to the place where we could fly down the slopes. It really does seem we had more snow in those days, and every snow was magical.
The snow of the last few days and its crunchy surface made me think of those adventures. While I am now a far cry from being able to fit on any kind of sled, much less get back up the hill, I do get nostalgic over those days.
The website, Northern Kentucky Views (NKyViews.com), has wonderful old pictures of the restaurant and cabins in the 1940s, even one of a very old Greyhound bus out front. This same site has great old pictures of Carrollton and Carroll County.
Acclaim for ‘Lincoln’
I went to the movies today to see “Lincoln.” What an accomplishment for all concerned with the making of this film. I cannot recommend it strongly enough.
As is mentioned beneath this little column, I have recently moved to Madison, just across the river. After 30 years in Carrollton, the decision to move was not an easy one; but I have dear friends here, and I spent way too much time driving back and forth, often later in the evening.
I lived in Carrollton longer than I have ever lived in any one place, and can never really leave the good people I met over the decades – or the very helpful tradesmen who helped me so much through the years. Certainly, the customers at the public library – many of them young children when I started work there and now bring their own children – were hard to leave behind. Thank you all for the pleasure of knowing you.
Of course, I now find my route reversed as I travel from Madison to Carrollton, but you will still see me around.
Jarrett Boyd is the retired director of Carroll County Public Library and lives in Madison, Ind.