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Memory wreaths help Millersburg heal from summer fire

Millersburg Wreaths
Posted at 11:38 AM, Dec 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-02 11:40:08-05

MILLERSBURG, Ky. (LEX 18) — A leisurely stroll down Main Street in Millersburg leads to an unmistakable symbol of holiday cheer.

Two rows of wreaths lining a chain link fence across from the antique mall.

It's a scene Michael Jackson and Lorrain Smoot hoped would raise community spirits.

"We're just looking at a chain link fence and it seemed like a really good opportunity to decorate it with some red and green and some lights for Christmas," Jackson said.

The pair coined the idea from the memory trees in Carlisle, Kentucky.

Jackson thought it would be a good idea to repurpose in Millersburg for people to honor those they care about most.

"We decided to do something like wreaths. Something a little more affordable for people to do for people to memorialize or honor someone's that's very important to them in their lives," Jackson said.

Each wreath will have a tag with the name of the person or people being honored.

One of them will be dedicated to first responders that battled the fire that burned down part of downtown Millersburg in June.

Multiple historic buildings were reduced to rubble.

"We lost five buildings. One was the post office which has really affected us," Smoot said

"We lost the building that had the opera house in it. The one I hear the most about is the candy shop right by the post office. People had a lot of good memories coming to town and getting to the candy shop."

Six months later, the chain link fence is a protective perimeter around where the buildings once stood.

A space that can bring up some tough memories for folks is now adorned with holiday cheer, hopefully lifting spirits as people pass by.

"Everybody is still trying to pull their thoughts together on which direction we need to go from here to rebuild and bring Millersburg back to where we are today," Jackson said.

"We have some great people that are pitching in to make it better. Just keep adding a little bit here a little bit there and pretty soon we'll be back up at the top," Smoot said.

Jackson and Smoot originally bought 15-20 wreaths and quickly ran out of stock.

They are currently working to get more to keep up the demand.

The two organizers also want to thank the eager members of the community that have helped them get the wreaths organized.