In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s transportation again changed the face of Olive Hill. U.S. 60’s course was changed. The area known as Garvin Ridge with its hairpin curves was removed from U.S. 60. In the downtown area, U.S. 60 was rerouted from Railroad Street to its current position. The street had to be widened so many stores, churches, and homes had to be torn down to make room for the road.
More recently, Interstate 64 was constructed in the late 1960’s; this again changed the face of the city. The main road in Olive Hill, U.S. 60 no longer carried many of the driving public that once travelled through our small town, but one attraction that remains on U.S. 60 is Carter Caves State Resort Park. Carter Caves has always had a positive impact on Olive Hill because Olive Hill is the closet town to the park. The park became a state park in 1946 and has provided an enormous economic lift to local businesses. The park was purchased in 1946 from the Lewis Family. The purchase was made possible by the efforts of many in Olive Hill and the surrounding area. One group known as the Kentucky Coronels played all over Eastern Kentucky raising money to help purchase the park.
In 1961 the City of Olive Hill held its 100 year centennial. It was quite an event with many activities such as a play depicting the history of the city, residents dressing in costume, men growing beards, and of course a beauty pageant. The Centennial Queen was Joyce Bellew, runner up Carol Sue Masters and the queen’s court were Patty Boggs, Betty Sue Raybourn, Gayle James, Betty Tackett, Kay Griffey, Joyce Stevens, Nancy Brown, and Joyce Layne.
Those of us, who are old enough to remember the Olive Hill of yesteryear, look back to a simpler time with nostalgia of the little town that we grew up in. We remember Frank James’ grocery, Glen Clay’s store, Stamper Brothers. There was always the Dairy Cream on a hot day, John Elliston’s Restaurant, James’ Drive-Inn, The Little Hobo, and Willie Grills’ Burger Bar. Clyde James’s skating rink, Stevie’s Pool Room, little league baseball on the hill, Archie and McCarty’s Men’s Shop, Gabbard’s Dept Store, Layne’s Dad And Lad Shop, Howell’s Clothing, Kiser Style Shop, Fern’s Marca Mae Shop, The Justice Sisters, Walter Smith’s Drug Store, lemon blends at DeHart Pharmacy, or waiting for the latest comic books to arrive at the bus station. Having your hair cut at Tom Parson’s Barber Shop or at “Fiz” Tackett’s. Going to the Dixie Theater on Saturday mornings and getting to stay all day for two milk tops off of Spring Grove Dairy milk cartons. Eating at the Cobblestone Restaurant, bowling at the Bowling Alley. And don’t forget all the wonderful Christmas productions and giveaways put on by local merchants. And finally, the Homecoming events in July, parades, greased pig contests, Tom T. Hall, Billy Carter, Jim Ed Brown. I think that most of us feel like that we were blessed by having the opportunity to share just a little of the storied history of Olive Hill. vintage style items for party in the night
Throughout all the history of the town of Olive Hill, it has always shown a spirit of loyalty, neighborliness and civic pride that makes it a place where people want to live and raise their families.