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Elizabethtown, KY

At Home in the Heartland

Here in Kentucky’s sixth most-populous county is the face of changing Americana. Elizabethtown is a community of contrasts. To the west is a tangle of merging highways, motels and fast-food restaurants. To the east and south are rustic villages and rolling farms. Seemingly endless change gives the city a polarized identity, but E-Town’s residents have created a quiet hometown in the midst of bustle.


A Class Act

To her students, Jan Raine is a focused and attentive guide, connecting them to a world of learning.

by Chris Wilson


A quiet life

For Janice and Austin Cook of Hardin County boredom is not a familiar concept.

by Zack Conkle


Blended family time

Before the rising sun cuts through autumn’s morning chill the Hale household is abuzz with activity.

by Adam Reynolds


Blessings and sacrifice

Sister Michael is the principal of St. James School, Hardin County’s only Catholic school.

by Jessica Scott


Building a Family

“Getting Carissa was about me becoming a mom and fulfilling my dream.”

by Lindsay Fendt


Co-piloting a business

Roger and Anne Lawson have owned Elizabethtown Flying Service Inc. for 38 years.

by Elizabeth Frantz


Collecting his thoughts

David Willmoth, three-term mayor and lifelong resident of Elizabethtown, arrived last to a lunch meeting of the Hardin County United Governance Subcommittee.

by Karen Evans


Community eatery reopened

Michelle Bowen grew up enjoying the deep-fried fries, cheesy burgers and creamy milkshakes the community cherishes.

by Victoria Taylor


Courtly moments

Elizabethtown High School senior Hillari Caso and her mother Lari Caso savored every moment leading up the the school’s homecoming football game.

by Bailey Hall


Cultivating the past

The barn that Steve Wooden and his father built 20 years ago still stands, just like the one his grandfather built years before.

by Joseph Abell


Cup o' Jo

In the cold, in the dark, 10 feet from a roaring stream of northbound trucks, Jo Emary commenced another day of campaigning.

by John Heisel


Dramatic flair

The halls of Lincoln Trail Elementary School in Elizabethtown ring with one name – Erin. Teachers, bus drivers, custodians and schoolmates of all ages greet her with happy shouts and high-fives.

by Brittany Sowacke


Dreaded diagnosis

Richard Ray learned Wednesday his best friend is dying.

by Kaitlin Keane


Family Business

After an erratic career as a young freelance artist, Rich Griendling found success.

by Cooper Neill


Family dinners

Delores Copelin, 61, is now her own boss. She took over the family business about a decade ago.

by David Toczko


Farming a legacy

The oil was all over the place, but Steve Rogers smiled.

by Derek Poore


Finding passion

It took being laid off for Sherri McIntosh to explore her dream career. Tireless and passionate about teaching, Sherri opened Art Smart on North Mulberry Street in Elizabethtown in 2008.

by Russell Kuhner


Francis & Johnnie; Cuts above

Johnnie and Francis Simpson are more than just barbers.

by Katherine Vance


Game Day at Central Hardin

“Let’s go defense!” echoes from the stands at Central Hardin High School stadium.

by Gino Siller


Game Plan

Mitchell Henry wears number 85 when he plays wide receiver for the Elizabethtown High School football team.

by Carlos Moreno


Gas up, chill out

Upton is a community where people wave to each other and to those just passing through.

by Sam English


Going mobile

Everybody gets invited to her party.

by Waverly Wyld


Healing harmonies

After learning the piano when she was younger, Lorinda wanted to know more.

by Josh Mauser


In Sickness and in Health

Ted and Darlene Zaehringer have been married for 43 years.

by Alyssa Orr


Joshua’s Journey

Surrounded by towering objects and daunting distances, Joshua explores with earnest and wonder.

by Armando Sanchez


Labor of love

Steve and Debbie Caswell knew something was different about their daughter.

by Julia Walker Thomas


Light, Labor, and Learning

Hardin County offers nearly endless opportunities to explore the beauty nearby.

by Ryan Stone


Memories revisited

Masayo Emke takes a piece of origami paper and begins folding a crane.

by Joshua Boucher


Modern Family

Michelle Sharp’s day begins before the sun rises.

by Scott Williams


Moving day

For the past four months, the Beverly family has lived in Elizabethtown hotels.

by Arkasha Stevenson


On Dad’s Farm

When Jonathan Knight starts talking about his son, his demeanor turns calm, and his voice dials down — quiet, slow, contemplative.

by Kirsten Aguilar


Parents wait for answer

Unlike other 9 year olds, Matthew has had to overcome odds stacked against him.

by Emma Tannenbaum


Pearman Power

People always remember their best teacher.

by Bryan Lemon


Place setting

Regena Senay, a widow for 25 years now, searched for a “place” in the world for seven years after her husband’s death.

by Dustin Chambers


Preparing for the end

Ten years ago, Russell Hargan began to assemble the frames of the caskets that will eventually hold him and his wife.

by Jessica Seifert


Puppy Love

Pam Adams, 54, operates a dog kennel and training school at her 11-acre farm in Rineyville.

by J. Barrett Griffin


Quality Control

This is a fabric junkie’s fantasy, a quilter’s dream come true.

by Melissa Keeley


Sallee Farm

On past Christmas Eves, about 75 people would squeeze into Mamie Sallee’s small, White Mills farmhouse to celebrate as a family.

by Amanda Davidson


Scary close

Horror movie actors live beneath a façade of fear.

by Jon Garcia


Scenes of E-town

Feature photographs from Elizabethtown 2010

by Mountain Workshops


Seven Generations

In 1971, Kenny Albert climbed up in the big chair at Estle Vowels’ barbershop.

by Caitlyn Greene


Talon’s World

Like many 10-year-olds, Talon Spell likes playing outside, riding bikes, and video games.

by Samantha Rainey


Teacher, sister, friend

Every weekday evening, Lara Beard, a special education teacher, walks the trails hidden within the trees at her home in Elizabethtown.

by Wesley Bacon


That’s Pam

Pam Harper does not call or send emails. She goes to see people when she needs to get something done.

by Uday Khambadkone


The Long Journey Home

Gertrude broke her right hip on her 90th birthday, the night before her big party.

by Gaily Ligaiya Romero


The State of Grace: aging gracefully

Family is important to Grace Deaton.

by Scott Clark


The talk of the town

When Thelma Willow makes the rounds to All Of Us, a Vine Grove restaurant that is one of her regular hangouts, eating isn’t necessarily her priority.

by Kelly Lafferty


Unexpected Hero

“Brandon! Brandon! Can you please help me, Brandon?”

by Brynn Anderson


Feline frenzy

Penny Edwards runs the Animal Refuge Center in Vine Grove.

by Katie Englert


Six thousand miles close

Isaiah Watkins gets long-distance support from his mother, Tricia, an Army medic in Iraq.

by Michael Conti



High school student Terry Skaggs finds refuge in music.

by Stephanie Klein-Davis


Gone to the dogs

Diane Shoffner and Judy Drake build a business with their love of dogs.

by Amie Dworecki


A measure of healing

Margaret Hamilton finds comfort through music.

by Amanda Lucidon


Rising star

Matthew Pinkham builds a country music career while battling bone disease.

by Chris Langer


My forever family

High School senior B.J. Ball is making a career in music.

by Margaret Cheatham Williams


The station master of Somewhere

Mike Cummins runs The Whistle Stop restaurant in Glendale.

by Allison Shelley


Messenger of hope

Teofilo Pino ministers to Elizabethtown's Hispanic community.

by Rebecca Barnett


Labor of love

Richard Groeling encouraged his wife, Debbie, to follow her passion.

by Katie Falkenberg


Jason’s ladder

Cosmetology student Jason Langley works to rebuild his life.

by Sara Lewkowicz


Tender mercies

Single father Jamie Gray and his daughter form a close bond through adversity.

by Shaminder Dulai


Grandma’s way

Jodi Johnson and her grandmother, Oneta Brooks, have a close bond.

by Cassie Brooks


Leave Without Absence

Chris Jensen prepares for his fourth deployment and its stress on his family.

by Leslye Davis


Home girl

Mother-of-three Brandy Bumpas didn’t expect her life to speed up once her career slowed down.

by Katye Martens


A sound education

Brittany Ford has a passion for music and teaching.

by Greg Johnson


Lesson in faith

Matt Black reflects on being a minister and musician.

by Jessica Onsurez


A Cinderella story

Mary Kate Elliott overcame illness to dance again.

by Robert Deutsch


Farming’s future

Father and son have differing views on whether their way of life can continue.

by Scott Julian



Terry Wimp explores his freedom and mentors those who have lost theirs.

by Jesse Neider


At Home in the Heartland

Hundreds of thousands of Americans know Elizabethtown, Ky., the place made famous by the movie of the same name. Folks around here could tell you, though, that most of the movie was made down the road in a town called Versailles. Pronounced ver-sales, whether or not you speak French.

by Mountain Workshops