Groundbreaking for the Monroe Museum

As previously reported, ground-breaking for the Bill Monroe Museum to be erected on land at a site in the Everett Park in Rosine, Kentucky, took place as scheduled on Tuesday morning, May 22, 2017.  

The event, more ceremonial than the turning of the first piece of turf was essential, the ground-breaking was attended by Bill Monroe’s son, James William Monroe and Bill Monroe’s grandson, James William Monroe II. Also present were a few Ohio County dignitaries and officials, Ohio County Judge, Executive David Johnston; Chamber President Seth Southard; OCEDA Director Chase Vincent; Property Valuation Administrator Officer Jason Chinn; 5th District Magistrate Larry Morphew; and OC Tourism Chair Dan Leigh.  

Those who addressed the assembled onlookers, among whom was Bill Monroe’s former bass player Guy Stevenson (who journeyed from Missouri), were Jody Flener, Executive Director, Ohio County Tourism Commission, who welcomed attendants, David Johnston, Chris Joslin, director of the International Bluegrass Museum of Owensboro, and James William Monroe.

Dwayne Patterson, who possesses two mandolins made from wood recovered from Bill Monroe’s original childhood home, announced that he was loaning them to the museum.

There was entertainment from the Bluegrass Youngins who played Blue Moon of Kentucky and Amazing Grace and 11-year-old fiddler Mackenzie Bell, who played Jerusalem Ridge.

Also present was Kristy Richards Westerfield, who shared several photographs that she took at the event.

The building of the Bill Monroe Museum was David Johnston’s top priority when he took office and, with the help of Jason Chinn, he approached the Kentucky State Governor in an attempt to get funding for the museum’s construction. Close to the end of Beshear’s term in office, he earmarked $300,000 for the construction of the Bill Monroe Museum.

In March, this year, multiple bids were made for the construction of the museum.

While I understand that there were expectations that construction work would be completed by September, that work is a little bit behind schedule. Now the Ohio County tourism officials have said that they hope to have the museum ready by the end of this year.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.