Traveling through Kentucky can sometimes be a surreal experience. You drive in and out of hills covered in forests. Small towns come about every thirty or so miles, but there really isn’t much there. But if you are near Calvert City, near Paducah, take the time out of your day to see my friend Keith at his obscure sculpture garden and toy museum that seems like it came out of a storybook.
Keith’s story started about 20 years ago when he moved back to Kentucky from Los Angeles. He had inherited his grandparents land, and envisioned turning it into a roadside attraction complete with toy museum and outside sculptures. He even had backers interested in the project. But as happens with a lot of these things, once the neighbors found out about the project, they raised hell with the city, and Keith’s backers backed out.
At that point, Hillbilly Garden started becoming what we know and love it as today. Without the money to invest, Keith started to build out his attractions with whatever he could find. He would find ways to repurpose anything that he could, finding treasures in old landfills and on abandoned properties. Those pieces of junk were turned into pieces of art, each one representing another clever pun.
When you get on site, You will be greeted by Keith and his wife. Both are always eager to give a tour, as nothing is marked, so most of the sculptures are better understood with a little bit of explaining. Keith will be happy to tell you that he is in fact the hillbilly in all of this and everything is a little representation of himself.
Probably the coolest part of the property though, is the toyland. Inside a small 10×10 ft shack, is a collection consisting of hundreds of toys, all set up in specific arrangements. Everyone from Star Wars to Sesame Street has been collected together. Keith told me that this room was a hobby that he and his son enjoyed together. His son is no longer with us though, so this room lives on as a tribute to his memory.
Closest Supercharger Kuttawa KY 17 mi
62 Days Inn Dr, Kuttawa, KY 42055
Hillbilly Garden and Toy Museum
9351 US-68, Calvert City, KY 42029