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Sherman Cahal, Adam Paris and Michael Maes to Participate in the Kentucky Book Festival with “Abandoned Kentucky”

Sherman Cahal, Adam Paris and Michael Maes to Participate in the Kentucky Book Festival with “Abandoned Kentucky”

August 24, 2023




What will Kentucky Book Festival visitors find on your table?

Abandoned Kentucky is a captivating hardcover book spanning 133 pages that transports the reader to a bygone era in the Bluegrass State, showing life as it was back then, and stirring in us a sense of wonder and curiosity about those who have gone before us and the lives they lived. 

Go inside the historic Columbia Theatre in downtown Paducah and the shuttered Union Station depot in Henderson. From the Old Crow bourbon distillery along Glenn’s Creek to the Parker Tobacco Company in Maysville, and a once grand farmhouse in McLean County, these photographs showcase the rich history and untold stories of abandoned places from one corner of Kentucky to the other. 

In the hands of intrepid explorers Sherman Cahal, Adam Paris, and Michael Maes, decay and rot are transformed into exquisite beauty. Their lens captures the essence of these forgotten locations, illuminating the elegance that time has woven into their very foundations. 





Whom do you invite to stop by? Who will benefit from reading your book?

Younger audiences who are interested in urban exploration or exploring abandoned places; middle-aged and older audiences who may have visited the locations outlined in the book or other locations when they were active; anyone who is associated with the 400,000-person Abandoned Kentucky Facebook group. 


Could you please tell us something curious about you and/or your book?

Abandoned Kentucky is a book that brings together the long-standing efforts of Sherman, Adam, and Michael. Over the course of many decades, they have traveled extensively throughout the Commonwealth, capturing photographs of various abandoned properties, such as homes, schools, and cemeteries. The purpose of their work goes beyond merely documenting these sites. They aim to reveal the hidden aspects and stories of these places and preserve their essence for future generations. In a manner similar to J. Winston Coleman, Jr. and his Historic Kentucky book, which captured a specific moment in time, Abandoned Kentucky endeavors to achieve the same feat. 


Is this your first time participating in Kentucky Book Festival? If yes – what are you looking forward to the most? If you’ve participated before – what was your favorite experience at the Festival?

This is our first time at the Kentucky Book Festival. We are looking forward to connecting with other authors who have developed similar pictorial hardcovers and others who have similar interests. 



Sherman Cahal is a photographer and historian specializing in documenting Appalachian architecture and culture. Adam Paris is an architectural photographer and historian. Michael Maes is an artist and photographer and has been documenting abandoned homes for almost two decades. The images in Abandoned Kentucky offer us a window into our past and stir a sense of wonder about those who have gone before us and the lives they lived.