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A Bit Of Holy Land Here In Adair
This article first appeared in issue 15, and was written by Staff.
It may be the magic of the Adair County woodlands.
It may be the inspirational views from the peak of the hillside trail, or the shady coolness on a warm day.
It may be the fascinating accounts of Bible stories told along the tour in Allene McKinney Holmes gentle manner, or Sam Holmes' hospitality.
Whatever it is, the eight-tenths of a mile trail in Columbia's Biblical Pictorial Garden may be Adair County's best kept secret-among Adair Countians.
But for hundreds of church folks from around Kentucky and Southern Indiana, Biblical Pictorial Gardens is no secret. Instead, it is destination for an anxiously awaited annual pilgrimage.
The groups who come range in age from kids in Sunday school classes to senior citizens.
Individuals are welcome. But typically, a visit to the Gardens in Columbia is an all day group event.
For now, two major highlights await visitors: A quiet, learning walk through Biblical Pictorial Gardens, followed by a lunch or supper at one of Columbia's family restaurants.
It began years ago in a Bible class Allene was attending in their second home community of Jeffersonville, Indiana.
"I'm no artist," Allene says, "yet I began to see visions in my mind of a peaceful garden and art along the path which would depict and teach the Bible."
She has followed through with what she believes was that 'calling'.
With the help of her husband, they have created a beautiful, Christian theme park, But, she's quick to tell you, "It's not for profit. Rather, it is our personal way of witnessing."
With roots in Adair County, Sam and Allene went north to seek their fortunes. He retired owning auto parts stores and real estate. "I guess I did right well," he jokes modestly, "for a country bumpkin."
Allene retired as Elementary Director of Greater Clark County Schools. With a comfortable retirement, they set about the task of giving back. They had already bought the Luther Crawley place at the intersection of Campbellsville and Knifley Roads, where the garden would be built, in 1975. In 1985 they retired and came back to Adair County.
They remained true to their mission and opened for tours in 1992.
Since then, many groups have gone through the garden, although few of them from Adair County.
"For some reason," Sam says, "Adair Countians just don't seem to know we're here." Those who have, such as Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce President Sue Stivers, will tell you it is one of the county's outstanding attractions. "It's something we all should see and be able to describe when travelers ask us about it," she says. Biblical Pictorial Gardens is being added to placemats, brochures. and other literature promoting Adair County's attractions, and Ms. Stivers hopes that more and more Adair Countians will be familiar enough with the Holmes' give travelers a descriptions and directions to the farm.
Maybe it has to do with the saying that prophets aren't known in their own country or that all experts are from 50-miles away. Maybe that is why But for those who visit from afar, the appeal attraction is great. This July marked the second trip to the Biblical Pictoral Garden for 38 men and women of the Keenagers, a seniors group. The trip was under the direction of Robert Moore of Graceland Baptist Church, New Albany.
As the group unloaded and entered the cool dining area for drinks, they talked of the beautiful countryside visible through the big bus windows on the trip south.
The guests are given the option of the walk outside, or watching a video in the theatre.
Others took the trail through the garden, starting with Genesis, and ending .8 miles later, with Revelations. Mrs. Holmes is a skilled lecturer as well as a lifelong student of the Bible. In less than two hours, the guests have enjoyed a recap-by a master-of all their years of Sunday School, prayer meetings, and Bible studies in nature's own cathedral.
This summer, the Biblical Pictorial Gardens is open by appointment only. However, the Holmes say that they will show any number through, from one up. There is a nominal admission of $2. Large groups may also engage the theater if they like. And the dining room is available for private groups. The meals are usually catered by local groups.
Among the more popular tours are of the gardens are in the cool of the evening, starting at around 6:00 p.m.
KeenAgers who came on the trip were Robert and Ruby Moore, Gene and Anita Bacon, Mabelle Huddleston, Betty Webb, Joanne Williamson, Naomi Walker, Ethel Corey, Forest and Pauline Gray, Opal Roberts, Helen Devine,
Bill and Shirley Mugler, Ruby Padgett, Ruth King, Emmagene Zimmerman, Erna McIntyre, Clairion Copler, Pauline Duncan, Tommy Koch, Jean Norton, Thelma Young, Cora Smith,
Clara Wilbaum, Frances Offutt, Lloyd Shoop, Ella Hertling, Ethel Applegate, Mable Mitchell, Janet Arachkavitz, Lola Seiler, Steve Seiler, Harold and Chris Reynolds, Bill and Ruth Jonas, Clyde and Davis Lemke.
This story was posted on 1997-07-30 12:01:01
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