Courtesy of the H. Edward Richardson Collection, Ekstrom Library, University of Louisville.
Jesse Stuart at desk
Jesse working in his bunkhouse after a long day at school.
Housed in a stately former post office in downtown Ashland, the Jesse Stuart Foundation fulfills many literary services to regional writers and their fans.
The foundation was established in 1979 by Jesse Stuart and other business and educational stakeholders to manage, preserve and celebrate the author’s considerable literary estate. The foundation owns and manages the rights to Stuart’s works, published or unpublished. Every year the organization publishes one or two titles Stuart, who died in 1984, produced—a small amount to keep from depleting the collection or having works compete against each other.
The foundation’s offices hold a collection of rare and first-edition books Stuart wrote. A gift shop is stocked with hundreds of regional titles, and the Leming Gallery contains photos focusing on various regional motifs. The foundation also hosts workshops and book signings and sponsors tours of W-Hollow as well as an annual Jesse Stuart Weekend during the fall.
In the late 1980s, after locating in Ashland—just a county over from Stuart’s Greenup County—the foundation began receiving requests from other regional writers to “do for my books what you’re doing for Jesse’s,” said the foundation’s CEO and senior editor, James Gifford. Soon, the Jesse Stuart Foundation became a regional publishing house and produced the works of other exceptional regional writers such as Billy C. Clark, Thomas Clark, Harry Caudill and Allen Eckert.
If you go …
Jesse Stuart Foundation
1645 Winchester Ave., Ashland
(606) 326-1667, jsfbooks.com