Some Essential Wheelwright Pictures
Some Great Things
Wheelwright was a mining camp that was full of activities. It hosted sports of all natures and even played hosts to some major players in the coal game in it's day. While those days seem behind it some of us, including myself seem to think Wheelwright is more than overdo for a second heyday! I hope that you enjoy the information in this article and pass it on to friends so they to may enjoy the information and images of my hometown.
Wheelwright Grade Schools
Wheelwright was no stranger to education and they really pushed the younger generation to work hard and reach the goals they set for themselves. In it's prime Wheelwright played host to several schools. Each had it;'s ups and downs as any school would but each also had the prime ability to set a standard in Kentucky that had never been met. The Wheelwright High School was actually one of the first schools in the state to develop and implement a theater program as well as to include a full scale journalism class. This class actually published a magazine that reached national release levels.
While there was an all black school in Wheelwright it was never uncommon to see both blacks and whites together and in all truth the two schools seemed to work together to achieve more than they could as separate entities.
1967 Dress Up Day
Things were calmer to say the least. The schools kept kids in line and when that failed parents were there to really pick up the slack. Socials and sock hops were about has rowdy as most residents got in the good old days. It seems in these earlier times of the city people seemed closer, more apt to talk to each other and lend that ever helpful hand to a person in need. Those days have wavered a bit I am afraid.
Today's Wheelwright for the most part remains friendly but it lacks that shine that used to be there. The one where everyone wanted to see their surrounding friends and neighbors do good and prosper. That era has taken somewhat of a back seat.
I can recall hearing stories of the amazing dances the schools would hosts or the parties some of the town's more up and coming residents would trow for the community. people would come from all over to dance and sing or just to see what the commotion was. Wheelwright was a jumping little town for so long, it is so hard to believe that phase is over.
People back then just seemed a different breed I guess.
In a small town with so much to do people often sought out ways to be different, to stand out among the crowd. Sports were key for some folks. Basketball, football, and of course baseball which would prove to be Wheelwright's primary sport would fill the pages of local papers and make stars out of kids who otherwise may have never graced those pages. The town had it's share of greats. Foreman Richard Watts who played in the negro leagues and is noted for his feud with Willie Mays. (At least he would say there was a feud) What is known is if he got that bat on a ball kiss it good bye. He knocked so many balls out of the park they started calling him new ball.
Let's not forget that our little town produced some great basketball players as well. Jim Rose, Jodi Sword, and the like all played ball to the best of what basketball was at that time. These guys really had the talent and led so many teams to so many victories over the years.
The town also had a very rich history of music achievement. Bluegrass bands grew from the area in numbers including the Wheelwright Boys. The city also had a very talented high school band that made a name for itself in parades and competitions.
While it was the mines that brought many people here it was all the really great things to do that kept people here. Sports, music, dance, and all of those things fueled the city and it's life.