Press and History

  • Hancock Clarion. October 2012. “Emmick Plantation House to Reopen.” The old walls of the historic Emmick Plantation are filled with young ideas thanks to interest from the granddaughter of the woman who originally restored the house in the 1990s. Natasha Kolar… grew up spending one month every year at the home and could not bear to see it not being looked after when her grandmother passed away. Natasha arrived in town this week from Washington, DC…
  • Owensboro Messenger Inquirer. October 2012. “A Home Again: Emmick Plantation House Preview Set for Sunday.”
  • Nicoracle Photography. June 2007. “Emmick Plantation House Bridal Shoot.”
  • Kentucky Living Magazine Sept 2006. “Restoring an Old Kentucky Plantation.” As a child living in Evansville, Indiana, Retha Emmick Newell and her family occasionally made the 70-mile journey to Hancock County, Kentucky, to visit relatives at the old Emmick Plantation House. In spite of its history and its dramatic view of the Ohio River, Newell can’t say she was particularly fond of the Federal-style house built by her great-grandfather around 1850. “It was just a big old house,” she says. If anyone had told her then that she would spend her senior years giving tours of the place, she probably would have laughed. But Newell has been making an annual pilgrimage from California to her old Kentucky home every September since 1993, when restoration began on the house. Newell is a masterful storyteller and relishes taking Emmick Plantation House visitors back to the Civil War era with her tales of American Indians, riverboat robbers, and plundering Yankees, stories that have been in her family for generations…
  • The Evansville Courier September 2005. “Emmick Plantation.” It’s September, which means Retha Emmick Newell has flown in from California and is greeting visitors to Emmick Plantation. It’s the family mansion, which took 10 years to restore and which she opened for public tours in the late 1980s. The house is on Kentucky 334 near Lewisport…
  • The Evansville Courier September 2005. “Kentucky Homeplace September Lures Emmick Family Back to Serve As Tour Guides.” Think of her as this small town’s version of the swallows of Capistrano. Every September, Retha Emmick Newell hops a flight from Southern California to Evansville, then drives to Hancock County, Ky., 70 miles away, where her parents were born more than a century ago. Her mission? Spend the month giving tours of the old Emmick Plantation overlooking the Ohio River east of this town of 1,600. The 1850 estate was falling apart in the 1980s when one of several Emmick cousins still farming nearby land persuaded Newell to save it…
  • The Evansville Courier September 1998. “Emmick’s Landing – A Storied House Was Crumbling Until Retha Emmick Newell Decided She’d Rather Have a Plantation than a Bentley.” The Emmicks — Germans who originally settled in Virginia — have owned and farmed several thousand acres along the Ohio River about 20 miles east of Owensboro, Ky., since Nicholas Emmick received them in 1817 in a land grant from President James Monroe. The house, with its large center hall and double doors opening to a full view of the river, was completed in 1850 with bricks and nails made on the site, and with poplar logs floated downriver from Troy, Ind. But when Newell took it over in the 1980s it was falling apart. “I decided to take it anyway … I’d been saving my money for a Bentley car, so this is my Bentley.” The restoration — which found them removing eight layers of wallpaper, replastering after the hog hair and sand ceilings fell down and returning fireplaces and mantels that had been bricked over — took 10 years…
  • The Evansville Courier September 1998. “Civil War-Era House Becomes a Museum: Underground Railroad Station.” …The house — a block or so from the hand-wound town clock atop St. Pius Church — is where the Heinzle family hid runaway slaves. “The Emmick plantation was across the river,” says Efinger, “but you couldn’t drive those slaves off it with dynamite. The Emmicks took care of them.” But other slaves from that area and farther south crossed the Ohio there. One slave who fled the area long before the Nester House existed was Josiah Henson of Daviess County, Ky. He founded a settlement in Canada and led others to freedom. His descendants say he was the real Uncle Tom who inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 novel…
  • Geneology. George Emmick was born September 1811 in Hancock, Kentucky. He died 26 September 1886 in Hancock, Kentucky. George married Leticia Erskine. He worked as a Steamboat Captain.
  •  State Marker # 1914 Hancock County, Kentucky. “Kentucky Historical Markers Located in Hancock County.” Thompson Ferry is the site where many biographers of Abraham Lincoln say Thomas Lincoln family crossed the river to Indiana in 1816. A river ferry in area established Feb. 1804, by Daniel Lewis; later operated by Hugh Thompson. Ferry run by John and Lin Dill in 1827, when they charged Abe Lincoln with illegally ferrying passengers on river. Lincoln later acquitted. Thompson Ferry Road – One of Hancock County’s first roads, built in 1815, ran from Thompson Ferry Landing toward Hardinsburg in Breckinridge County. The land on this site later bought by George Emmick, who built on the riverfront here one of the oldest houses in Hancock County in 1854. Presented by Mrs. Retha Emmick Newell…
  • Historical Marker Society of America June 2009. “Thompson Ferry.”
  • Hancock County Historic Homes. Hancock County, Kentucky. “Historic Homes.” Located between Lewisport and Hawesville in the Troy Bend area of Hancock County, off KY 334 on the Emmick Landing Road, the Emmick Home overlooks the beautiful Ohio River. This is the home built by George Emmick and his wife, Letetia Askins in 1854. Bricks were made on the farm by slave labor. The house remains in the possession of the Emmick family and has been restored and had various period outbuildings added…
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