It is no secret that Madison County is full of history.

From the Battle of Richmond, Fort Boonesborough and foundation of Berea College by abolitionist John G. Fee — the county has many stories to tell.

Thursday evening, seven Madison County residents were honored for their efforts to preserve, protect, and share history by the Madison County Historical Society.

The awards ceremony was held inside the Richmond branch of the Madison County Public Library with refreshments and individual presentations to award each person's achievements.

First to be recognized was Dr. Thomas Appleton for his education efforts. Appleton is a Foundation Professor of history at EKU.

"To receive this award from this group is very meaningful to me and to be handed it by Sharon Graves who herself is a master educator is even more special," Appleton said.

Others honored include:

• Dr. Richard Sears, author

• Berea College, sustained historical support accepted by Dr. Dwayne Mack

• Dr. James C. Murphy, specific historical contribution accepted by his widow, Betty Murphy, Tamara Murphy, and Bettie Warren

• Harry Enoch, author

• Kirksville Community Center, preservation accepted by Jud Patterson

• Sharon and Mack Cox, The James J. Shannon Special Achievement award, Jerry Ann Dimitrov accepted the award

Following the ceremony, the historical society had a special surprise for those in attendance. First, guests heard a presentation from Crystal Allen-Daniels regarding the mysterious Elmwood Home on Lancaster Avenue.

The presentation focused on the Watts family who built and lived in the home until only child, Emma, passed away. Emma, who never married or had children, left the house to trustees and stated she never wanted it to be sold after her death in 1970. However, in 2011, the home was turned over to Eastern Kentucky University for preservation.

However, the surprises just kept coming. Graves announced after the presentation, everyone was invited to a tour of the Elmwood Home and property which brought gasps of shock and delight from the audience.

A group of around 20 found their way onto the 9,000 square foot property which contains a carriage house, caretaker's home, garden, library, maid's quarters and acres of trees.

For more information about the Madison County Historical Society, visit facebook.com/madisoncountyhs.

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