Rosine, KY, the birthplace of bluegrass music is about a 40-minute drive from Owensboro and the International Bluegrass Music Museum. Despite my attendance at the ROMP festival for the last four years, I have found it difficult to make it to Rosine. ROMP ends late on a Saturday night and the Bill Monroe home in Rosine does not open its doors to the public before 1:00 p.m. on Sundays - timing that does not work out for someone who has over 900 miles of driving to do that day.
This year, however, it was so hot in Owensboro that three of us decided to make the drive to Rosine one morning, opting to hit Yellow Creek Park a little later in the day when things might be a bit cooler (fat chance, that, as it turned out).
The Rosine Barn Jamboree is sure to catch your eye as you drive into town. The barn is right next door to a little general store and cafe that should not be missed either. The store is a great place to get directions to the Bill Monroe Home Place and something cold to drink on your way out to the house. The cemetery in which Bill and much of the Monroe family is buried is just a few hundred yards from the interesection in which the store and Barn sit.
This is a close-up of the circular plaque on the left side of the Rosine Barn Jamboree building:
Just a couple of miles from the general store is this sign marking the way to the old Monroe home, my favorite "dangerous curve" sign of all time:
A few hundred feet down the winding road pictured on the sign will bring you to the Bill Monroe Home Place, the house Bill lived in for much of his life. Monroe was born in a log cabin on the site of this home but the cabin burned to the ground when he was five years old and by 1918 the family was living in this "Cumberland home." The home was fully restored in 2001, by salvaging about 80% of its original wood, and it contains personal furniture, pictures, and other items that belonged to the Monroe family.
The home includes a living room, kitchen, three bedrooms and a back porch on which the family took many of its meals. Bill had the smallest bedroom to himself, his five brothers shared a larger bedroom, his parents had one to themselves, and his three sisters slept in the living room.
This is the scene just off the back porch of the home:
Photos from the Rosine cemetery, including the burial spot of Bill Monroe and much of his family:
And there you have it. Rosine, KY, the birthplace of Bill Monroe and bluegrass music is simply not to be missed. It took me four years to finally get to Rosine but I plan to go back again next year for a more "informed" look around the home place and cemetery. Now that I know what's there and what to expect, a second visit will probably be even better than the first one.
One side note about a nice surprise we got in the general store - Bill Monroe's daughter sitting at a table in the little cafe part of the store, and along side her were the legendary Tom Gray and his wife.