Friday, November 6, 2009
Old Fort Harrod, Harrodsburg, KY
As you know, George and I love to hike and search for new waterfalls. BUT--we also love history. George especially reads --and remembers---alot of history especially around the Civil War time. It is so interesting to be somewhere with him because he knows so much about our pioneers and what happened in the past.
We love to travel on the back roads (instead of the interstate) when we can. SO--once we left Indiana on 3/10/07, we drove down through the bluegrass region in Kentucky. Talk about GORGEOUS!!! When we got to a town called Harrodsburg, we read a sign saying that it was the FIRST Kentucky settlement. It was then called Harrodstown--and was founded in 1774 as the first permanent English settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains.
After getting into Harrodsburg, we passed by an old fort (Old Fort Harrod). At that time, we both said, "Let's turn around and check it out." AND--are we glad we did!!!! We got to experience life and history first hand in this full-scale replica of the fort, built by James Harrod. The cabins and blockhouses are furnished with handmade utensils used by the pioneers.
James Harrod was the unanimous choice to be the leader of the expeditionary company that founded Kentucky's first settlement. He was an expert in the use of a rifle, a successful hunter, and a skillful antagonist of the Native American. He was a feared enemy to them, yet he was highly respected by them. Harrod joined George Rogers Clark's expedition to destroy Shawnee strongholds across the Ohio River. The expedition was successful and more settlers came to the peaceful, lush Kentucky territory. Colonel James Harrod died mysteriously during one of his hunting trips in the winter of 1792. His body was never located.
Besides James Harrod and George Rogers Clark, another interesting person we learned about was Ann Kennedy Wilson Pogue Lindsay McGinty. Ann was the first home economics demonstrator in Kentucky. When she came over the Wilderness Road to Harrod's Fort, she brought her spinning wheel on her horse with her. She lived to a ripe old age, surviving FOUR husbands, and died in the fort blockhouse.
One of Ann McGinty's husbands was William Pogue. William was the handy-man at Harrod's Fort. He made spinning wheels and looms that kept his wife and the other women busy. He also made the first plow that turned the first bluegrass sod in Kentucky.
After taking in the fort, we visited the old cemetery. This was the oldest cemetery in the state, with over 500 pioneer sites. I loved looking at all of the old stones, trying to read any inscriptions. And finally, we enjoyed walking around one of the oldest and largest Osage orange trees in the country. VERY DIFFERENT!!!! I have already blogged about the Osage tree. Click HERE to see that post.
The picture above is George inside of the George Rogers Clark Blockhouse. This is where Clark planned his conquest, which saved the Northwest Territory for his country. He presented his plans to Patrick Henry, Governor of Virginia, and was given the authority to proceed. More pictures are below.
Old Fort Harrod is a replica of the original fort.
I am standing at the McGinty Blockhouse. Talented woman, Ann McGinty, died here after outliving FOUR husbands.
George stands at the blacksmith shop.
Here is where Clark planned his conquest which saved the Northwest Territory.
This is the Mark McGohon Cabin with wife BETSY's cord cherry bed and her bonnet!
Capt. James Harrod and 32 men started Harrodstown. This is the schoolhouse where...
...George sits and recites his ABC's. Can you hear him??????? ha ha
Handyman William Pogue made spinning wheels with the help of his smart wife, Ann.
Rev. John Lythe, who carried a Bible in one hand and an axe in the other, lived here.
Here's one more peak at the fort before leaving. What an experience!
We hope YOU get to go to Harrodsburg sometime and enjoy this wonderful piece of history.