Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Cemeteries have become an area of interest for us in our travels. These places contain a large amount of history if one takes the time to look for it. They also tend to reflect the culture of the area that changes over time and it is reflected in the grave markers and the stories of those who rest there.
The Frankfort Cemetery is a fine example of this. Perhaps the most famous person buried here is Daniel Boone. Certainly for young boys growing up in the 1950’s and 1960’s, he was an icon of television adventure and the westward movement. But more than that, he really was an American adventurer and explorer. He is an example of the kind of history that can be found in cemeteries. It is said that he was the first who saw the valley that now contains the city of Frankfort from a hill above the river which is now the Frankfort Cemetery. He is buried on that hill overlooking the city and state capitol building. What also makes this history so interesting is that he left Kentucky and moved farther west, after the state political system created a convoluted property ownership scheme that benefitted some of the less scrupulous benefactors of the elected officials. As a result he and many other citizens lost their property to these groups. After losing over one hundred thousand acres of land, he decided to leave KY. Some years after his death, he and his wife were exhumed and reburied in KY. I can only wonder if he really would have wanted that to happen.
Like many cemeteries, the rich, the famous, the poor, the dishonest and the unknown rest together. This cemetery has as residents: 17 KY governors, a confederate general and his great grandson who was a US Army general during WWII, statesman –Henry Clay, unknown soldiers, politicians, a vice president of the United States, poets, and authors and on and on goes the list.
It is all there for those who have the interest.