When Jim and Sheree Gage moved to Danville nearly six years ago, they didn’t know anyone locally.
“We moved here without knowing one single, solitary soul,” Jim said.
The couple had attended a family reunion in Louisville in August 2004 and decided to take a Kentucky bourbon distillery tour out of Bardstown as a day trip during their visit.
“We weren’t even bourbon drinkers,” Sheree said. “Not yet, anyway!”
“I was a home brewer, beer,” Jim said. “I wanted to see how they did it on a large scale.”
They went for a nice drive after the tour and ended up here.
“We liked it,” Jim said.
By June 2006, the Gages had moved to Danville.
Stories like the Gages’ are not uncommon in Danville, named the fourth best place to retire in the United States by Money Magazine in 2011.
Mandy Ryan of the Danville and Boyle County Convention and Visitors Bureau said she receives at least two phone calls each week from folks asking her to mail a package of relocation information to them.
“The chamber gets even more requests than I do,” she said. “Most of the people who call are older but that may just be because younger people may be doing their research online.”
People new to the community tell her what attracted them, mostly, is the people who already live here.
“Everybody talks about how friendly and helpful everybody is here,” she said. “And the preservation efforts do not go unnoticed, how we repurpose buildings here, especially downtown and, of course, the cost of living and the hospital downtown and our parks. There is a lot.”
Ryan said she recently had two men from California come in who were in town for business.
“Two guys, in their 30s, were in here for more than an hour and are seriously considering, they said, moving here.”
The Gages, who have two grown kids each, nine grandkids and six great-grandkids, have been married for 25 years now. Jim is from Missouri but went to college in Arizona, where Sheree was born and raised.
“Arizona was just a great place to live, to raise a family and to run a business,” Jim said.
The couple had a tax business early on that they sold before buying a business manufacturing underground utility products.
“Every house that was built then required two of our products,” Jim said. The housing bubble was very good to the Gages.
An offer to buy their company came from a big international company in Dublin, Ireland, not long after their trip and before the market took a turn for the worse. They sold at precisely the right time to realize the optimum profit from their years of hard work.