Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Pioneers, Indians, and Lincoln
I had never heard of Fort Harrod and when I learned that the fort located in the state park in downtown Harrodsburg was a replica, we almost decided to give it a pass. But in the end, we visited the fort and were very glad we did.
The fort was the first permanent settlement in Kentucky and the original cemetery located adjacent has some great history. The cemetery was founded in 1775 and holds the grave of the first white child to be buried in Kentucky. Most of the graves before 1800 were marked with simple field stones without names. On the rugged frontier there were no stone masons. In this cemetery is a son of the preacher who married Abraham Lincoln’s parents’ right here in Harrodsburg. Also resting here is a soldier of the Revolutionary War.
The Fort itself saw a large number of battles with the Native Americans during the Revolutionary War. As the need for the fort waned, it was disassembled and the lumber and other materials were used to build homes on farms or buildings in the growing town. The docents at the park brought the history of the fort and pioneers of the then wild west to life.
We also discovered that on the grounds was a federal monument to these same pioneers.
Wandering around, we saw what appeared to be a small church, but it turned out to be a “temple” that was built to protect the log cabin where Thomas Lincoln married Nancy Hanks in 1806.
Lastly there is the home of a local prominent lawyer from the Civil War era. There were a number of Civil War memorabilia along with his family history. What I found most fascinating were the summaries of personnel histories of the people that lived in the house. Hopefully you will be able to read the account of a slave girl in the picture at the side bar. It should be quite clear if you click on it and enlarge.
It would have been a shame to blow off this historical site.
Oh,yes-Anneke scored some Osage apples from the cemetery. They were everywhere. These are supposed to make spiders crazy. Coming from a historical site should just make them more powerful.