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Why Glasgow, KY is a Great Place to Live

Glasgow-Barren County gives retirees and relocating families multiple reasons to call the area home

By Teree Caruthers on December 30, 2014

A dog wears a Scottish hat while laying in the grass during the Glasgow Highland Games.
Michael W. Bunch

When Bob and Carol Shoop started looking for a place to retire, they made a list of must-haves for their new home that included access to quality health care, a mild climate and plenty of good fishing.

As they narrowed down their choices and checked off amenities from their list, one community emerged at the top – Glasgow-Barren County.

“There were several reasons we picked this area,” Bob Shoop says. “For one thing, I like to fish and there’s good fishing at the lake. For another, my wife likes warmer weather than where she grew up in central Illinois, and it is officially about 10 and one-half degrees warmer each day in the wintertime here than it is up there. Since we’re senior citizens and we’re retired now, we wanted good medical care locally, and with T.J. Samson Medical Center, we have that.”

Plenty of People Skills

Prior to retirement, Shoop says his job was to talk to people all over the country.

“What I found out is that in certain areas of the country, people are very rude; they’re very abrupt; they’re very nonsocial,” he says. “But what we found out is in south central Kentucky and Kentucky in general, the people are extremely friendly and very nice, and we like that.”

Bob Cary agrees. He grew up in the area but left after college and stayed away for 40 years before moving back in 2008. 

“I think we’ve always liked the small-town atmosphere. The region itself is a beautiful region of the country,” says Cary, who has lived in Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Canada. “Another thing is the friendliness of the people of this area. This is an extremely friendly area. People make you feel welcomed. Those are the key things that I remember and are reasons we were happy to move back.”

Paying it Forward

Cary, chairman of the board of the Boys & Girls Club of Glasgow-Barren County, says the opportunities for volunteerism and community involvement influenced his and wife Joyce’s relocation decision.

“Getting involved in the community is one thing we do. We are very involved in community activities, and we like to go to local events and things around this area,” Cary says. “But if there was any one specific thing [that impacted our decision], it would be the community involvement.”

From Here to Everywhere

Glasgow’s central location is another amenity that attracts retirees and relocating families.

“We like the road systems in this area. It’s very easy to get from one place to another. They keep the roads up very nice. And if we wanted to go down to Nashville, we’re not that far, and we can go straight down to there. If we wanted to go up to Louisville and that area, we can go up to there,” Shoop says. “It’s very convenient having I-65, 31-E and the Parkway that make it very easy for us to get around.”

Arts in Abundance

Shoop and his wife are also artists – he’s a painter, and she’s a hand quilter – so a community supportive of the arts was on the must-have list.

“Being an artist, I wanted to keep painting but also wanted a place to show my artwork,” says Shoop, whose paintings are on display at the Glasgow Library, in a coffeehouse downtown, at the state park and in the art guild’s 212 Main Gallery.

This is an extremely friendly area. People make you feel welcomed. Those are the key things I remember and are reasons we were happy to move back.

Bob Cary
Retiree and Barren County resident
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