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Route 80 Expansion in Pulaski County Dead

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i-66-louisville-courierThe planned Route 66 expansion over Route 80 through Somerset east to Shopville and beyond is dead. This road cuts through the historical lands of Pulaski County’s first judge-executive and founder John M. James (1751-1823). The Louisville Courier-Journal reported yesterday, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has halted work on the highway, concluding, “There is little prospect that construction funds will be available in the foreseeable future.”

For a couple of years, I was a consulting party for I-66, representing The James Preservation Trust and the historical interests of the James family. I’m pleased the project’s been rendered comatose.

Particularly distressing during the review process was the despicable practice of the Transportation Cabinet to rename historical properties in the road’s path, despite panel objections. Long historic names were removed. Historical properties were re-identified by the names of current occupants. This corruption was intended to avoid potential mitigation for historical properties. Panel objections voiced during public hearings were voided by the Transportation Cabinet.

Also, a construction permit was granted at Route 80 & James Rd. for a gravel pit and mine on a site where enslaved where known to have been interred. This location was for former site of the James mansion house, once occupied by Rev. Jeremiah & Betsy James Vardeman, Rev. Daniel Fields James, and Sen. Jack Griffin. This site was planned for a roadway interchange linking Route 80 to a newly constructed by-pass around Somerset.

As a 4th great grandson of Pulaski County’s first judge-executive & founder, John M. James, I don’t believe John would have objected to this road through his historic lands, where the road truly needed. Traffic projections, however, concluded the road isn’t needed at all, now nor in the foreseeable future.


Cover for Stray Leaves Daily
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Stray Leaves Daily

Stray Leaves Daily

Daily updates from the family of Frank & Jesse James with stories, photos, & two searchable genealog

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1 week ago
Stray Leaves Daily

FIND-A-GRAVE BLUNDERS LEAVE JAMES FAMILY HOWLING . . . Can you spot the errata in this Find a Grave post for the grandfather of Frank & Jesse James? The most glaring deception is the photograph!

History tells us the photograph was invented about the time John M. James was dying. Neither history, nor the administrator of this posting, Charlotte Raley McConaha, can tell us is how photographic technology made its way from France to the distant American frontier to take a photo of John M. James, months before his demise.

Another imprecise miscalculation in this post is the attribution of the middle name “Martin” to John M. James. The name never has been proved by evidence. To guess the name is unreliable and wrong.
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FIND-A-GRAVE BLUNDERS LEAVE JAMES FAMILY HOWLING . . . Can you spot the errata in this Find a Grave post for the grandfather of Frank & Jesse James? The most glaring deception is the photograph!

History tells us the photograph was invented about the time John M. James was dying. Neither history, nor the administrator of this posting, Charlotte Raley McConaha, can tell us is how photographic technology made its way from France to the distant American frontier to take a photo of John M. James, months before his demise.

Another imprecise miscalculation in this post is the attribution of the middle name “Martin” to John M. James. The name never has been proved by evidence. To guess the name is unreliable and wrong.
2 weeks ago
Stray Leaves Daily

JAMES-YOUNGER GANG TO CLOSE . . . Sad news as Danny Urban, former President of the J-Y Gang, posted to Facebook that the organization is about to disband. Here’s the statement: "It is a sad year for us in the Gang. Since I originally posted this, we have lost members due to death. We are down to around 30, but the Board has decided to shut the Gang down at the end of the year. Donate all of our monies to Non-Profits around the country that are history related in the areas that the real Gang had robbed, etc. Two of our members will be taking over the website and they plan on keeping it going." The photo below is of yours truly in 2002 at the family reunion with some great-grandchildren of Jesse James. The 2017 logo is from the last meeting of the Gang that I helped to organize. See MoreSee Less

JAMES-YOUNGER GANG TO CLOSE . . . Sad news as Danny Urban, former President of the J-Y Gang, posted to Facebook that the organization is about to disband. Heres the statement: It is a sad year for us in the Gang.  Since I originally posted this, we have lost members due to death.  We are down to around 30, but the Board has decided to shut the Gang down at the end of the year.  Donate all of our monies to Non-Profits around the country that are history related in the areas that the real Gang had robbed, etc.  Two of our members will be taking over the website and they plan on keeping it going. The photo below is of yours truly in 2002 at the family reunion with some great-grandchildren of Jesse James. The 2017 logo is from the last meeting of the Gang that I helped to organize.
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