River history to serve as Point in Time
drama’s theme in Carrollton

Staff report

CARROLLTON, Ky. – Because of its unique location at the confluence of the Kentucky and Ohio Rivers, Carrollton, known as Port William to the early settlers, has a rich heritage of stories and legends. For that reason, “The Point in Time” was successful for six years, according to Jarrett Boyd, project coordinator for the outdoor drama presentation.

Now, after a four-year hiatus, “The Point in time” will return to Carrollton, on July 21-22. The series, which began in 1991, ran each July through 1996, says Kevin Stonerock of Knightstown, Ind., who has done all the research and writing for “The Point in Time.”
The rivers are the theme upon which much of the production is based.
“While not every story is based around them, the rivers, especially the Ohio, seem to be the thread of continuity which holds everything together,” Stonerock said.
Several stories that will be presented actually took place at what is now Point Park, the site of the performances. For instance, early explorer James McBride carved his name on a beech tree there. George Holman, believed to the first white settler in the area, built his cabin just across the Kentucky River.
“Indian George” Ash, who was captured at an early age and raised by the Shawnees, built a brick home on the Indiana shore, just opposite the mouth of the Kentucky River. Ash, who was somewhat feared and ostracized by the white settlers, operated a ferry for many years.
The ferry remained in the Ash family until 1956, and some of Ash’s descendants still reside in and around Carrollton.
Other stories center around people who made their living from the river –
men such as Thomas Pate, captain of the ill-fated steamer Redstone, which exploded just upstream from Carrollton, or William Bright, a local steamboat deckhand who became involved in a drunken brawl on the steamer Jacob Strader.
Then there is the story of old man Coots, who single-handedly prevented two northern fight promoters and a barge-load of spectators from coming ashore at his landing for the purpose of a bare-knuckle bout.
The stories of Sarah Masterson, young Anna Tumbrink and members of the Craig family will also be a part of the presentation.
More than being a main focus of the script, the Ohio also provides a scenic backdrop for the performances. Boyd, who has been involved in the planning and production from the beginning, says, “One of the main attractions has been the beauty of watching the sunset on the Ohio River in the cool of a summer’s evening.”
Local talent will handle most of the acting duties. Stonerock likes it that way. “We have been blessed with some fine local performers who have been a pleasure to work with. Who better to tell the story of this area than people whose lives are invested here?”
As in past performances, music will continue to play a major role in the production. “Bottom Dollar,” an acoustic group, will perform original songs written specifically for the performance. Band members include Stonerock, his wife Laurie, John and Jane Harrod, and Steve Smith.
Stonerock sees the production not only as entertaining, but educational. “While this program will appeal to all ages, this is a great opportunity to introduce young people to the history of their region in a way that many will never have the chance to experience.”
“The Point in Time” is sponsored by the Carrollton/Carroll County Tourism and Convention Commis-sion. It is underwritten by North American Stainless. Elf-Atochem has also contributed to production costs. The Kentucky Arts Council provides further support.
This year, in a departure from earlier years, there will be no admission.
“We agreed that we wanted to make “The Point in time” accessible to as many people as possible. We felt that this would be a good way to celebrate our past while looking ahead to the new millennium,” said Robin Caldwell, director of Carroll County’s tourism office.
Both shows are scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. (fast time). Bleacher seating will be provided, but those attending are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs.
In the event of rain, the performance will be held in the Carroll County Middle School Auditorium, 410 Seminary St. Point Park is located on the corner of Main and Second streets on the west edge of Carrollton.

• For more information, call Boyd at (502) 732-7020 or Caldwell at 1-800-325-4290.– Contributing writer Jarrett Boyd contributed to this report.

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