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‘Between The Rock and the Commonwealth’ to hold screening April 26

Morehead State University's Steven Middleton, instructor of mass communication, will have his new documentary film, "Between The Rock and the Commonwealth," screened at CoffeeTree Books, Wednesday, April 26, at 6:30 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public.

The film was co-directed with John Tanner Blevins, and had help on camera from John Flavell, convergent media faculty member and Patrick Brumback (16), a convergent media graduate. Kentucky Center for Traditional Music faculty member Scott Miller and his son, Elijah, produced the original film soundtrack.

The hour-long documentary deals with the controversial removal of the historic Indian Head Rock from the Ohio River in 2007. The rock removal led to political and legal battles from both Ohio and Kentucky.

"Between The Rock and the Commonwealth" examines the tale of Indian Head Rock, a 6-ton boulder that resided in the Ohio River near South Shore, Kentucky, hidden 16 feet below the water's surface for 87 years.

The rock earned its name from the crude carving of a face on its surface, and from some of the earli­est media documentation the rock drew travelers from far and wide to see the local legend. The creation of the lock and dam system on the Ohio River in the 20th Century caused the water levels to rise and the rock to disappear. In 2007, a team of Portsmouth historians located the rock and removed it from the river with hopes that its redis­covery would celebrate the history of the region. To their surprise, many Kentuckians felt as though the rock belonged to them, thus beginning a battle between two states, which captivated the nation, over the ownership of Indian Head Rock.

This film touches on geography, politics, history and archeology of Kentucky, southern Ohio and the Ohio River.

WOSU and KET will air the documentary in June. 

Additional information is available by contacting Middleton at 606-783-9583.

Watch the film trailer at