By Joe Lewis - Staff Writer
Oct. 10, 2012 —
Staff members through the years and longtime park supporters turned out to Carter Caves State Resort Park last weekend to commemorate the 50th birthday of the park’s Lewis Caveland Lodge.
Among the notable guests at Friday’s official birthday ceremony were Kentucky Parks Commissioner Elaine Walker and Carter Judge-Executive Charles Wallace.
“We want to spread the word that some of Kentucky’s best resources are our state parks,” Walker said during Friday’s ceremony.
Friends of Carter Caves, a local support and advocacy group, marked the special occasion by donating a handmade quilt comprised of screen-printed park and staff photographs taken throughout the last 50 years.
Once framed, the quilt will be permanently displayed in the lower level dining area.
“If you’re looking for a great organization to join, I encourage to become part of our friends group,” said Chris Perry, park manager.
In addition to Friday’s formal festivities, a special celebration for current and former park employees also was held on Saturday evening.
Former park manager John Jordan and former business manager Vickie Ewing Caudill were among those who attended.
Local author Jonathon Lewis, a direct descendant of John Fielding Lewis who spearheaded the park’s inception, offered this historical context in his reflection of the lodge’s anniversary:
“In the 1960’s, the state gambled heavily on the ever-growing tourist industry and invested several million dollars in the state park system. Here at Carter Caves, we see that wise investment.”
“The park continues to this day to be a valuable resource to visitors and to the community,” Lewis added.
Joe Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 286-4201.