A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky by Heart: A look at events that could be included in Kentucky’s own ‘You Are There’ TV series

Author’s Note: This is the first of two-parts exploring what might be included if there were a ‘You Are There Kentucky’ TV series. By Steve Flairty KyForward Columnist As a child, my natural interest in history was encouraged by watching old reruns of the You Are There television series. The show originally appeared on both CBS Radio and Television, with the radio version from 1947...

Ron Daley: New statue in Capitol is opportunity to explore Kentucky history — with plenty of candidates

The discussion around and the removal of the Jefferson Davis statue in the Capitol rotunda has been a teaching moment for Kentuckians, especially its youth. The consideration of a new statue is an opportunity for young and old alike to learn more about Kentucky and its greatest citizens. Gov. Andy Beshear, the Historic Properties Advisory Commission and other pertinent historic organizations should...

Kentucky by Heart: One man’s top 10 bucket list of books not to be missed — what are your favorites?

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist My love of reading Kentucky-related books, particularly non-fiction, started as a child. Inspired by my father’s interest in showing our small family the people and places of the state, I devoured the biographies in the tiny Grant’s Lick Elementary School library dealing with the Commonwealth. I read books about Daniel Boone, Abraham Lincoln, Henry Clay, Mary...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Squirrel hunting for both food and sport has a long history in Kentucky

The fox squirrel, one of Kentucky’s two native species, is abundant in the park-like savannas of the state’s interior. (Photo by Gary Eslinger, US Fish and Wildlife Service) Hunting squirrels for food and sport is a tradition deeply embedded in Kentucky’s hunting culture. In early Kentucky, squirrels were present in our woodlands in startling numbers. Dave Baker, editor of Kentucky Afield...

Fort Boonesborough State Park’s ‘Fireside Chats’ feature famous characters from Kentucky history

In collaboration with the Fort Boonesborough Foundation, Fort Boonesborough State Park will host a series of “Fireside Chats” featuring famous characters from Kentucky history. Beginning on Feb. 8, Fort Boonesborough State Park will offer a “Taste of Frontier Fare” from 5:30-6:15 p.m., followed by the historical program at 6:45 p.m. Carol Jarboe portrays Maggie Delaney. • Feb. 8, 2020: Daniel...

Fort Boonesborough State Park special reunion site for ‘A Gathering of Descendants’ on June 15

Fort Boonesborough State Park is inviting anyone who had ancestors in the area of the historic fort during the 18th century to a special reunion on June 15. “A Gathering of Descendants” will be a chance to learn and find out about research on the history of Fort Boonesborough and its inhabitants. While Daniel Boone is the most famous fort resident, the event is open to the public and any other...

Fort Boonesborough State Park to feature famous characters from Kentucky history in ‘Fireside Chats’

Featuring famous characters from Kentucky history, a series of “Fireside Chats” sponsored by Fort Boonesborough State Park and the Fort Boonesborough Foundation will start at the Richmond park beginning Feb. 2. The fireside chats will be offered every Saturday during February, starting at 6:45 p.m. each day in the museum blockhouse. A “Taste of Frontier Fare” will be offered each Saturday from...

Kentucky by Heart: No shortage of inspirational quotes attributed to well-known Kentuckians

Editor’s Note: This column originally appeared at KyForward on January 3, 2017 By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist My dad used to say to me when I was growing up: “When in doubt, don’t.” I forgot his source for that bit of advice, but I have often recalled those words at appropriate times (though, frankly, I’ve not always heeded them). Fact is, focusing on people’s words can certainly...

Pioneer life, frontier skills: Salt Festival set for October 19-21 at Big Bone Lick State Historic Site

Step back in time as Big Bone Lick State Historic Site returns to days long past during the 36th annual Salt Festival the weekend of Oct. 19-21. The festival features live demonstrations of pioneer lifeways and frontier skills. Enjoy folk and bluegrass music, listen to a storyteller, view prehistoric Ice Age artifacts, and observe a blacksmith working red-hot iron. Guests can also see how salt...

Six Kentucky State Parks recognized with Kentucky Living magazine’s ‘Best in Kentucky’ Awards

Six Kentucky State Parks were recognized with Kentucky Living magazine’s “Best in Kentucky” Awards that were announced Thursday at the 2018 Kentucky State Fair: Cumberland Falls, Natural Bridge, My Old Kentucky Home, Fort Boonesborough, Green River Lake, and John James Audubon. “We’re honored to be included among the excellent tourist destinations across Kentucky,” said Parks Commissioner...

Kentucky by Heart: From Lincoln to Ali to Henry Clay, everyone has their favorite colorful Kentuckian

Editor’s Note: This column originally appeared at KyForward.com on July 4, 2017 By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist Who is your favorite Kentuckian from the annals of history books? Consider a person you find particularly fascinating who was Kentucky-born or, if not, made their mark while living in the state. Your choice may be one of sterling reputation, as mine is…or one of questionable repute—or...

Kentucky by Heart: Books demonstrate history is best explained by good stories told well

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist It’s been said that the learning of history is most effectively done when taught in authentic context through the element of stories. Following are a sampling of books I’ve previously reviewed for Kentucky Monthly that demonstrate the telling of Kentucky history in such a way. One deals with the topic of Confederate fighters in the American Civil War, a book...

Re-enactment of 1781 Long Run Massacre recalls chapter in Shelbyville’s frontier history

The Long Run Massacre Re-Enactment will be held on Saturday, Sept. 9, at Red Orchard Park in Shelbyville. Performed by the Painted Stone Settlers, this annual event recalls the 1781 Indian attack on evacuating settlers as well as the ambush of an aid party that followed, leaving many dead or wounded. The juried re-enactors take their name from an outpost built two and a half miles north of present-day...

Kentucky by Heart: From Lincoln to Ali to Henry Clay, everyone has their favorite colorful Kentuckian

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist Who is your favorite Kentuckian from the annals of history books? Consider a person you find particularly fascinating who was Kentucky-born or, if not, made their mark while living in the state. Your choice may be one of sterling reputation, as mine is…or one of questionable repute—or some other in-between person. If one uses the term “colorful” in describing...

New Daniel Boone memorabilia collection opening April 15 at Fort Boonesborough

A Daniel Boone memorabilia collection that will be displayed at Fort Boonesborough State Park will be unveiled on April 15 at the park. Ray Buckberry of Bowling Green spent a lifetime collecting the 351 items in the collection, which includes items books, prints, and other items relating to Daniel Boone items from the Daniel Boone television series. Buckberry donated the collection to the Fort Boonesborough...

Historic Boone Trace project promotes tourism in region while providing recreational opportunities

Boone Trace was the historic road that Daniel Boone was contracted to construct into the new western frontier from Virginia through Cumberland Gap. The Boone Trace project is a long-term, multi-county plan that will encourage both tourism in the area and promote recreational opportunities for outdoors enthusiasts. Boone trace is distinct from the Warrior’s Path and the later constructed Wilderness...

Kentucky by Heart: No shortage of inspirational quotes attributed to well-known Kentuckians

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist My dad used to say to me when I was growing up: “When in doubt, don’t.” I forgot his source for that bit of advice, but I have often recalled those words at appropriate times (though, frankly, I’ve not always heeded them). Fact is, focusing on people’s words can certainly have an effect on the way we act, and that can sometimes be a real positive. At other...

Battle of Blue Licks re-enactment of Revolutionary War event set for Aug. 20-21

Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park will commemorate the anniversary of the Revolutionary War battle with its annual re-enactment weekend on Aug. 20-21. The re-enactment commemorates the 1782 battle that included Daniel Boone and other pioneers along the Licking River. The outnumbered pioneers lost as they went up against British soldiers and Native Americans. Among the 70 pioneers who died was...

See KY: Just as Daniel Boone did, adventurers flock to state’s eastern highlands south region

Cumberland Falls is just one of the highlights found in Daniel Boone’s former stomping grounds in Kentucky’s Eastern Highlands South region (Stateparks.com Photo)   Mountains, forests, ancient stone arches, raw beauty.   This is exactly the place one would expect to find pioneer and coal-mining history alongside outdoor adventures like whitewater rafting, rock climbing, zip lining, hiking,...

‘A Gathering of Descendants’ June 13-14 is
a family reunion Fort Boonesborough style

‘A Gathering of Descendants” June 13-14 will bring together descendants of early settlers of Fort Boonesborough at the Fort Boonesborough State Park near Richmond. (Photo provided)   Calling all Boones … and other descendants of Daniel Boone and settlers who lived at Fort Boonesborough in the late 1700s.   Fort Boonesborough State Park will host “A Gathering of Descendants”...