Verona Lake Ranch
Located in Verona, five miles west of Walton and Route 16, sits Verona Lake Ranch. In the 1950s Verona Lake Ranch was a popular destination for country music and family entertainment. William “Bill” Scroggins opened the 80 acre Ranch in the early 1950s. The Ranch was open to the public throughout the summer and featured three fishing ponds, a picnic area and music performance on Sunday nights. In 1955, Scroggins sold the Ranch to Thurston Moore.
Moore maintained strong connections within the county music industry of Nashville, Tennessee, and Cincinnati, Ohio. Through his connections and his talent for business, Moore greatly increased Verona Lake Ranch popularity drawing in summer audiences from Indiana, Ohio and throughout Kentucky.
During the week, visitors went fishing or picnicking at the Ranch. On Sundays from Memorial Day to Labor Day, hundreds of people flocked to the Ranch to see some of the biggest and up and coming acts in country music. Entertainers such as Jimmie Skinner, Ray Lunsford, Ernest Tubb, Webb Pierce, Faron Young, the Stanley Brothers, Bill Carlisle and a young Jonny Cash graced the Verona Lake Ranch stage. Georgianna Moore, Moore’s wife, served as Master of Ceremonies while a three-piece house band entertained visitors between acts. Visitors could also enjoy the Ranch’s concession stand, pony rides, games of chance and a merry-go-round. During the Moores' first season in 1956, over 25,000 adults plus children were admitted into the Ranch. With such a successful turnout of visitors and fans, it is not surprising the Walton Advertiser deemed Verona Lake Ranch “a park where you’ll be proud to come and bring your family and friends” and a great source of “good, clean, wholesome entertainment”.*
Thurston Moore and his wife sold the Ranch to private owners in 1959 to pursue other ventures. Moore went on to edit and publish the Hillbilly and Western Scrapbook and The Country Music Who's Who, often considered the “Bible” of the country music industry. In 1986, Moore and wife established a theatrical group in Tennessee called the “Tennessee Player, Inc.”