5 questions with author of 'Secret Louisville: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful and Obscure'

Published: Mar. 3, 2017 at 3:21 AM EST|Updated: Mar. 3, 2017 at 11:22 AM EST
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Kevin Gibson
Kevin Gibson

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Louisville is a great city, but did you know it's also full of lots of secrets? These secrets are uncovered in author Kevin Gibson's latest book "Secret Louisville: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful and Obscure."
Gibson said you can think of this book as a scavenger hunt of sorts for Louisville. He said publisher Reedy Press contacted him and asked if he would be interested in taking on the project, which is the second city uncovered. St. Louis was first. Gibson joked he has a hard time saying "no" when someone offers him a book contract.
Gibson is a Louisville native and is also the author of "100 Things to do in Louisville Before You Die" (2016) and "Louisville Beer: Derby City History on Draft" (2014).
If you want to meet Gibson, he has a couple of book signings scheduled for March 23 at Carmichael's Bookstore in Crescent Hill at 7 p.m. and the Market for Mischief on April 1.
Here are my five questions with author Kevin Gibson.

1) How did you find the "secrets?"
Some of it was using the internet, some of it involved some online library research, some was asking around on social media and among friends, but most if it involved going places, which is what made the book so fun. I logged a lot of miles last year while researching Secret Louisville, and it was a wonderful time of learning. Of course, when I went to the supposedly haunted Sauerkraut Cave in E.P. Tom Sawyer Park, I shouldn't have gone alone. That place scared the crap out of me. My girlfriend wants to visit it,
but I don't think I'll be joining her. My research on that place is done.
2) What are two of the biggest secrets that people probably don't know about?
One maybe was the history of Shippingport Island, which a friend briefed me on, along with the fact it has a public park now that seems very lightly traveled. It's a beautiful, serene place that looks toward the Falls of the Ohio. I guess the second would be the remains of two Catholic saints at St. Martin of Tours. My girlfriend had tipped me off to this three or four years ago – the mummies came here in the early 1900s and have been on display here ever since. How many cities can say they have the remains of a Roman Centurion within their borders?
3) Is there something that really surprised you while working on this book?
Probably that Louisville had a light rail system in the late 1800s. In fact, we got ours before Chicago did, if memory serves. But there are no remnants of it left in the city, so it has largely been forgotten. I had never heard of it, but I was surprised at how progressive the city was at the time.
4) What book do you have planned next?
The next book I am doing for Reedy Press will be Unique Eats, which will take a look at many of the established eateries here – anything from restaurants to diners to bakeries to delis. Louisville has such a rich dining culture, and it is going to be a lot of fun to dig into the back stories of these iconic places. As a food writer, I already know a lot of this history, so I expect big things from the book. I am also working on a true crime book, but I have yet to find a publisher for it. So, if you know of any agents…
5) I know you wrote "100 things to do in Louisville Before you Die" - what are your top three?
Oh my. Top three things to do in Louisville? Where do I begin? Well, I love going to Louisville Bats games, especially on Sunday afternoons. I love the atmosphere, the sun, the beauty of the game and, of course, the food. I also love visiting the Falls of the Ohio State Park because of what the Falls mean to Louisville. I used to hang out down there when I was a kid, too, and have so many amazing memories. I guess I'll cop out on the third and say visit the breweries in Louisville. I'm a beer history guy, and a beer guy in general, and I love what's going on in our brewing scene right now.
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