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Old Sulphur Well Kentucky

This article first appeared in issue 12, and was written by Walter Matthew Scroggy.

In Central Southern Kentucky along the sloping hills

A health resort for summer located by a rill,

Attractive sulphur water and summer hotels; 20 miles

from railroads, not far to Sulphur Well;

On sultry summer afternoons here boys and girls do flirt

They walk they talk; they promenade as if at some concert,

Old Sulphur Well Kentucky, Old Sulphur Well K.Y.

Where I have lived most all my life; where I may die,

Some day I'll leave for a pleasure trip; bid Sulphur Well good-by.

They used to drink and gamble, they used to shoot and yell,

They used to shoot and cut and fight in old Sulphur Well.

It used to float in whiskey-prohibition put it dry

Order by the jugful, sell it on the sly.

A drunkard's den it used to be; They came to cut a swell,

With a quart of moonshine liquor, march to Sulphur Well.

Take a drink of whiskey, get to feeling fine,

Curse, shoot and holler, cut a monkey shine.

They used to bootleg liquor, and raise all kinds of hell,

They ran the devil o're the stump in damned old Sulphur Well.

But drinking and fighting are things of the past, Old

Sulphur Well Kentucky, built a church at last.

Above is one of many poems written by Matt Scroggy, this one entitled, Old Sulphur Well Kentucky. It reflects everyday life in the place where he spent his entire 77 years: A longer version of this poem exists among the keepsakes of Matt's great nephew, Tommy Scroggy, of Sulphur Well. It was written around the year 1918 according to a faded card found in a collection of Matt's works saved by Cora Emma Jessie, northern Metcalfe County's unofficial historian. Both knew Uncle Matt personally-Tommy as family, and Cora Emma as his Postmistress.

This story was posted on 1997-03-01 12:01:01
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Archive Photo

1997-03-01 - Photo Staff. MATT SCROGGY, pictured on the bridge above, loved the land, his river and the rugged bluffs that rose above it. His home away from home was a sheltered indention in the side of this bluff. Even in his 70's he still spent much of his time here studying and writing. Photo by Jullian Scott, provided by Matt's nephew Tommy Scroggy.This item first appeared in Issue 12 of the print edition of Columbia! Magazine.
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