Here is a little more about our history. The following is from Bourbon County Citizen article titled “Bourbon Heights’ History Is Recalled During Nursing Home Week,” May 13, 1996:
Bourbon Heights, Inc. a home for the elderly located in Paris, Kentucky, had its origin in an almost-casual remark which a Paris Attorney, William Blanton, made one day in the office of County Judge J.M. Leer.
Sitting back and putting his feet on an office table, William Blanton said, “Judge, Bourbon County needs a senior cititzen’s home.”
The idea appeared to be justified, and when the Bourbon County Fiscal Court held its next meeting, Mr. Blanton was on hand to present the proposal for consideration.
At this time there had been a home for the elderly completed in Campbell County and contact was made with the County Judge – asking him to tell the Magistrates about this home – Lakeside.
After hearing about the Campbell County facility, the Bourbon County Fiscal Court formed the Bourbon County Public Properties Corporation. The Board consisted of J.M. Leer, Chairman; Ed D. Paton, Secretary; William Blanton, Attorney; A.P. Adair, Jr., Kelley Haley, Richard Hinkle, Ernest Kiser, J. Vimont Layson, John Rainey, O.T. Sharon, Jr. and Raymond Wilson.
The plot of ground to build the home was purchased from Mr. and Mrs. W.O. Crombie consisting of 5.83 acres for $60,000 which was market price at that time.
Bonds were sold for the construction of the building, at a rate of four percent, and Bourbon County Public Properties Corporation saw to the construction of the building. Construction of the building was started in 1963 under the direction of Hugh Meriwether, Architect and Engineer, and Fain and Johnson, Inc. Contractors. The building, grounds, and equipment cost was $1,500,000.
The facility was then leased to an operating corporation known as Bourbon Heights, Inc. and chartered as a non-profit corporation, which began operation in July, 1965. Bourbon Heights, Inc. leased the building at a rental sufficient to make annual payments to retire the bonds over a period of forty (40) yeas. They were to be the governing body to the operation. A Board of Directors of Bourbon Heights, Inc. was appointed – William Blanton, Chairman; Julia Walsh, Secretary; Joe Allen, B.A. Batterton, Mrs. Phil Clements, W.O. Crombie, and Mrs. Miles Davis. Other members appointed to the Board throughout the years include Mrs. Ruth Day, Ray Lytle, Dr. James L. Ferrell, Rev. Leonard Boynton, Rev. William Cubine, Sam Clay, Rev. John Akers, Thomas Jacobs, Theodore Kuster, Jr., Sarah Swinford, Carey Adair, Frank Aulick, Jr., Rev. Lawrence Robotnik, Mrs. Walter Kaufman and David Martz. The Board of Directors serve without pay or compensation.
Two (2) of the first apartment residents were B.A. Batterton and Mrs. Hattie Hinton. Mr. Batterton remained in the apartment section until November 15, 1971 at which time he was transferred to the nursing section. He was in the nursing section until his death in November, 1972. Mrs. Hattie Hinton remained in the apartment section until January 9, 1974 at which time she was transferred to the nursing section and was in the nursing section until her death in January, 1977.
The original budget indicated nursing room rates as follows: $8.00 for a semi-private room; $6.50 for wards and $10.00 private room per day. In the Personal Care Section — $140.00 for a semi-private room and $180.00 for a private room per month. Apartments rented from $75.00 to $100.00 per month. The first original budget for the facility was $22,720.00
Don Earlywine worked with the contractors to build the building and was employed as Maintenance Supervisor in May, 1965.
Mr. William Bricker was the first Administrator from July, 1965 through May, 1966. Mr. Brooks Buckner was the Assistant Administrator and Mr. Buckner acted as Administrator during the months of June and July, 1966.
Mr. E. R. Davis, Jr. was employed as Administrator in August, 1966. At that time the facility was operating in the red of approximately $75,000. Several changes had to be made as soon as Mr. Davis became Administrator in order for the facility to continuing operating. From the fall of 1966 through February 1968 nursing beds were increased from twelve (12) to sixty-four (64). Rooms other than the twelve (12) that were occupied prior to this time were either room and board or personal care. The original thirty-eight (38) apartments remained the same.
In January, 1967, Medicare became effective for Bourbon Heights and most people who met the three (3) day hospital admission rule were eligible for stay here. This increased census considerably. In the Spring of 1967, the Thomas Fund Committee was formed with the inception of this committee numerous funds have been made available toward patients care and keeping the building and equipment in good repair.
In 1971, a decision was made to decertify the thirty-two (32) nursing beds on the second floor for Medicare and Medicaid. This was done on November 3, 1971. These beds being licensed for Nursing Home and admitted only private pay patients.
In 1978 Medicare criteria for a patient to qualify for skilled care became almost impossible. There was a great demand for Intermediate Care beds (a lower level of care) under the Medicaid program. On Octobe3r 1, 1978, twenty-two (22) of the skilled beds on the first floor were certified for Intermediate Care from Skilled. There was such a demand for Intermediate Care beds that eight private rooms were certified for eight additional Intermediate Care beds on March 20, 1979. This leaving only ten (10) skilled bed to be certified for Medicare and Medicaid.
Early in 1982, it was noted that the facility was losing approximately $60,000 per year in the Skilled Section which was certified for Medicare and Medicaid. After much discussion and study it was the decision of the Board of Directors of Bourbon Heights that the skilled section close effective November 30, 1982. Patients had to be transferred to other sections of the building and some of them transferred to other facilities. It was decided that we would reopen the Skilled Section in June, 1983 – admitting only private pay patients in this section.
At the time the facility was opened in 1965, salaries were low – compared to now —
Food Service Supervisor—$275.00 a month or $1.59 per hour
Administrator— $666.00 a month or $3.84 per hour
Maintenance Supervisor—$260.00 a month or $1.50 per hour
Director of Nursing—$400.00 a month or $2.31 per hour
Nurse aids, housekeepers and dietary helpers—85 cents to $1.00 per hour.
To name some of the oldest employees
- Don Earlywine – employed 5-1-65
- E.R. Davis, Jr – employed. 8-1-66
- Alice Hess – employed9-3-66
- Ruby S. Slade – employed 1-5-67
- Minnie Ginter – employed 8-29-67
- Mary Ann Powell – employed 4-28-68
- Elma Christopher – employed 6-5-68
- Margie Mitchell – employed 7-9-71
- Brenda Worthington – employed 4-6-72
- Wanda Tincher – employed 1-29-75
We have served a number of resident in the twenty (20) years of operation, serving approximately eight hundred, eighty-eight (888) different residents in the nursing section.
Some of the residents now at Bourbon Heights residing the longest include: Nursing – Ethel Taylor – admitted 2-23-72; Irene Chambers – admitted 6-8-1972; and Sarah Marshall – admitted 12-12-72. Personal Care – Josephine Hanely – admitted 12-20-1979 and Verna Wilson – admitted 4-2-1979. Apartments – Mrs. F.S. Dalzell – 9-24-1973, Mrs. Ruth Forsythe – 12-3-1975 and Mrs. Withers Davis – 11-6-1976.
At the present time the facility is licensed for ten (10) Skilled beds; thirty (30) Intermediate Care beds; thirty-two (32) Nursing Home beds; seventeen (17) Personal Care beds and thirty-eight (38) Apartments.
In April, 1980 the old brick house that was attached to Bourbon Heights, Inc. was damaged with a fire. The decision was made to tear down the old house and build a Chapel for the residents. After much discussion, as to the type of Chapel to be built, it was decided that a little country type church would be built. The Chapel was built under the direction of the Architect – Wilson Bon and Associations of Lexington, Kentucky and the builder was Bluegrass Construction Company of Richmond, Kentucky. The cost of the Chapel was $113,136.01.
The Business Offices, Lounge, and Conference Rooms was re-decorated in 1980. We were able to do this from funds of the B.A. Batterton and Thomas Fund.
The latest project we have been working on is the remodeling of the lounge on the first floor which was started in 1984. This is in the process of being completed and we were able to do this from funds of the B.A. Batterton Fund.
The current members of the Board of Directors of Bourbon Heights, Inc. are: Joe Allen, Chairman; Ruth Day, Secretary; Miss Julia Walsh, Thomas Jacobs, Dr. James L. Ferrell, Sam Clay, Theodore Kuster, Jr., Carey Adair, Frank Aulick, Jr., Mrs. Walter Kaufman and David Martz.
Written 11-21-85 for a newspaper article for the 20 year reunion.
Since this article was written, many more changes and updates have been completed.
- An Activity Room was added in 1985,
- 9 apartments were converted to a Skilled Nursing unit in 1991,
- Complete kitchen remodel was completed in 1995,
- Rehabilitation suite for inpatient and outpatient purposes was added in 1998,
- Adult day health center was added in 2001 with additional construction for Personal Care, Garden Dining Room, and additional storage facilities.
- New Garage built 2001
- Seven (7) personal care beds were converted to nursing facility beds
- Lounge, front lobby, central hallway and front offices were updated
- Central air units were added to all nursing and personal care areas with help from the B.A. Batterton and C.K. Thomas Fund
- New windows were installed with help from the B.A. Batterton and C.K. Thomas Fund
- Additional lot and house purchased adjacent to building, where an expanded parking lot was added
- Nursing Home licensed beds certified for Medicare
Administrators have changed as follows:
- E.R. Davis, Jr. retired 1991
- Thomas B. Davis – administrator from 1991 through 2001
- Angela G. Forsythe – administrator from 2001 through 2013
- Charlotte L. Roberts – administrator from 2014 through present
Current Board of Directors
- Bill Harney, Chairman
- Dr. Amanda McCauley Thornberry, Vice Chairman
- Harry B. Park, Secretary
- Ruby Slade
- Rev. Jeff Bell
- Rev. Sharon Fields
- Michelle Bales