Department of Parks
Fort Boonesborough State Park Hosting ‘Gathering of Descendants’ June 13-14
RICHMOND, Ky. – Fort Boonesborough State Park is planning a special weekend in June dedicated to descendants of the settlers who lived at the fort in the late 1700s.
“A Gathering of Descendants” will be June 13-14 and is open to the public. The park plans to have historical organizations on hand to help guests with genealogical research to see if they had family members at the fort.
“Actual descendants, along with those who think they may be descendants, are invited to visit this weekend and find out more about their families who were at Fort Boonesborough,” said Parks Commissioner Elaine Walker. “This should be a fascinating weekend for anyone interested in Kentucky history.”
The park will also have information about some of its earliest residents, contacts for early Kentucky cemetery locations and property records, museum exhibits of artifacts from the original fort site, authors on hand to sign books about the early days of the fort, and historical interpretation of the daily lives, chores, skills, and trades of those who came to Fort Boonesborough.
There will also be hands-on activities planned such as splitting wood, making candles, starting a fire with flint and steel, throwing a tomahawk and surveying land.
“I think this is a huge don’t-miss event,” said Steven Caudill, a re-enactor from Winchester who portrays Daniel Boone and is a descendant of Squire Boone, Daniel Boone’s brother. “Anyone interested in frontier history would want their family there.”
While Boone is the most famous fort resident, the event is open to the public and any other descendants of families who were there.
“Your family could have an oral tradition of a family connection to Fort Boonesborough,” said Bill Farmer, the fort manager. “This could be a place where you could confirm this.”
Donna Jones of Lexington plans to attend. She’s related to 14 families who were at the fort, including a brother of Daniel Boone.
“Those people who established and lived in that fort did a lot to make my life what it has been, and I owe all of them a huge debt of gratitude and a lot of respect,” Jones said.
The event is free with paid admission to the fort.
Fort Boonesborough was established in 1775 along the Kentucky River by Daniel Boone and other settlers. The fort became a center of pioneer life and survived attacks by Native Americans during the Revolutionary War. It continued as a community for a few decades after the war but eventually disappeared. The land where the fort was built became a state park in 1963. A new fort, built on higher land, was opened in 1974.
In addition to the reconstructed fort, the park also has a campground, hiking trails, the Kentucky River Museum, mini-golf, picnic shelters and a gift shop. Fort Boonesborough is located near Richmond. From Interstate 75, take Exit 95 to KY 627. On I-64, exit at Winchester to KY 627. For more information, call 859-527-3131.
The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 49 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges -- more than any other state. For more information on Kentucky parks, visit our website at http://www.parks.ky.gov