The Boone Trace Project              

The Boone Trace Newsletter

May 2012

Sam Compton

President, The Boone Society

 

The Boone Society, Inc. is dedicated to preserving the Boone Legacy and this project offers us the opportunity expand on that.

  

Daniel Boone's greatest contribution was that he launched a movement that affected the nation with such magnitude. It best represents the quest for opportunity in a free land

  

When that first party of settlers stepped over the Gap and into the wilderness of the western territory. Kentucky became a vital part of American history

  

In the following years, 200,000 settlers traveled the trails to and through the area to develop a great nation

  

The State of Kentucky will benefit as it  adds to their rich history and will  help promote tourism along this span from The Cumberland Gap to Boonesboro.

   

The Boone Society can not accomplish this without the assistance and support of the federal, state, counties and townships, along this route. Please join us in this important project to preserve part of our nations history.

  

This Newsletter will keep you informed of the progress as we go forward.

 

 

David Wright

  

David Wright is a premier artist of the American Pioneer frontier. His painting "Gateway to the West" is featured as a wall mural in the visitors center in the Cumberland Gap National Park.

  

He is an honorary member of The Boone Society and a strong supporter of our organization. His works in the pioneer art are viewed in many shows and galleries across the nation.

  

David has asked if he could design the Highway logo signs to be used to mark the Boone Trace. We feel honored that these signs will have his trademark impression on them.

  

Tennessee
                                                        Crossroads:
                                                        David Wright
                                                        (2347-3)

Tennessee Crossroads: David Wright (2347-3)

 

 

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Click Here for Kentucky Tourism Video 

 

Kentucky has lots of exciting tourism benefits. It is rich in history with it's museums and state parks to enjoy. We hope you are sharing in this wealth of recreational entertainment.

 


update news sign

We have completed the phase of State Partnerships required to accomplish this mission.

 

Those joining us are the:

 

Kentucky Historical Society

 

Kentucky State Parks

 

Kentucky Travel and Tourism 

 

Recently we had our first meeting with the

 

Kentucky Dept. of Education

 

There is a negotiation in process that will explore a program to educate the youth on this historical event for the State of Kentucky and the nation as a whole.

 

We view the Boone Trace as a living classroom and encourage the counties and towns along the corridor to co-operate in building a chain of educational points, to attract day trips by schools or families to learn the history first hand on their own.

 

Educational booklets, web content and geocaching are some of the tools that will promote the use of this exciting experience. We feel that respectable traffic will be drawn to this feature.

 

Our next task is to organize the partners on the county and townships along the corridor. The six counties involved are:

 

Bell County

 

Knox County

 

Laurel County

 

Rock Castle County

 

Madison County

 

Clark County

 

The key contact for us will be the county tourism departments and the others recruited will be The Historical Societies, The Chambers of Commerce and the Mayors of the key towns in their bounds.  Together they will catalog the historical, educational and recreational aspects of their trail segment.

 

They will also explore any new enhances to the section, such as markers, parks, riding and hiking trails, canoe trips, museums and visitors centers. This along with the support of the parks with some of the same, we have an exciting corridor to draw traffic to the area for economical benefit.

  

The Department of Education is interested in a special project and we will soon make that announcement. Stay tuned as this project is snow balling with additional support.

 

The Boone Society has engaged in a project to identify, restore and preserve the trail blazed in 1775 by Daniel Boone, who was then an agent for the Transylvania Co. This famous road was used by thousands of settlers traveling to Kentucky. The Boone Trace entered Ky. at Cumberland Gap, crossed the Cumberland River at Pineville, ran northwest past London, and ended at Fort Boonesborough. "This pathway is the main artery to a new nation" and Daniel Boone's leading those first settlers into the wilderness of western expansion launched that movement. He is recognized the world over for his accomplishments. We should protect and preserve this important segment of American history.

 

 

"Gateway to the West" Painting by: David Wright

 

For early settlers and pioneers the Cumberland Gap was a gateway that led through the southern Appalachian Mountains into the great wilderness of Kentucky. They mostly traveled on foot, coming from as far away as Pennsylvania. Although many of these early travelers had different dreams and expectations heading west into Kentucky, they were all in search of land and a new start. 

  

They often traveled in groups for safety and had an insatiable drive to penetrate the great wilderness. Everyday was a struggle to survive as they lived off of the bounty of the land. In the late 1700's most of the population in the United States was found east of the Appalachian Mountains. Early pioneers and settlers travelled along the historic Wilderness Road west into the wilderness of Kentucky through Cumberland Gap. By the early 1820's it is estimated that several hundred thousand people travelled this historic route westward. Today, an estimated 47 million people in the United States are descendants of these early travelers! (reprinted from NPS: Cumberland Gap National Park)

 

The Wilderness Road was the principal route used by settlers for more than fifty years to reach Kentucky from the East. In 1775, Daniel Boone blazed a trail for the Transylvania Company from Long Island on the Holston River, originally in North Carolina, now Kingsport, TN through the Cumberland Gap into central Kentucky. It was later lengthened, following Native American trails, to reach the Falls of the Ohio at Louisville. The Wilderness Road was steep and rough, and it could only be traversed on foot or horseback. Despite the adverse conditions, thousands of people used it.

 

After passing over the Cumberland Gap the Wilderness Road forked. The southern fork passed over the Cumberland Plateau to Nashville, Tennessee via the Cumberland River. The northern fork split into two parts. The eastern spur went into the Bluegrass region of Kentucky to Boonesborough on the Kentucky River (near Lexington). This is the section known as the Boone Trace. The western spur ran to the Falls of the Ohio (Louisville).[8][9] As settlements grew southward, the road stretched all the way to Knoxville, Tennessee, by 1792. (Wikipedia)   

 

Maps of the Westward Movement Roads 

 

The Wilderness Trail Association 

 

 Daniel Boone and the Westward Movement

 

 The Wilderness Road and the Spirit of a Nation


 

 

   

Daniel Boone

First reached Kentucky in the fall of 1767 while on a long hunt with his brother Squire Boone. Boone's first steps in Kentucky were near present Elkhorn City.

 

While on the Braddock expedition years earlier, Boone had heard about the fertile land and abundant game of Kentucky from fellow wagoner John Finley, who had visited Kentucky to trade with American Indians.

 

 Boone and Finley happened to meet again, and Finley encouraged Boone with more tales of Kentucky. At the same time, news had arrived about the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, in which the Iroquois had ceded their claim to Kentucky to the British. This, as well as the unrest in North Carolina due to the Regulator movement, likely prompted Boone to extend his exploration.

 

On September 25, 1773, Boone packed up his family and, with a group of about 50 emigrants, began the first attempt by British colonists to establish a settlement in Kentucky. Boone was still an obscure hunter and trapper at the time; the most prominent member of the expedition was William Russell, a well-known Virginian and future brother-in-law of Patrick Henry. (Wikipedia)

 

 

The Wilderness Road

was the principal route used by settlers for more than fifty years to reach Kentucky from the East. In 1775, Daniel Boone blazed a trail for the Transylvania Company from Long Island on the Holston River, originally in North Carolina, now Kingsport, TN through the Cumberland Gap into central Kentucky. It was later lengthened, following Native American trails, to reach the Falls of the Ohio at Louisville. The Wilderness Road was steep and rough, and it could only be traversed on foot or horseback. Despite the adverse conditions, thousands of people used it.  

 After passing over the Cumberland Gap the Wilderness Road forked. The southern fork passed over the Cumberland Plateau to Nashville, Tennessee via the Cumberland River. The northern fork split into two parts. The eastern spur went into the Bluegrass region of Kentucky to Boonesborough on the Kentucky River (near Lexington). This is the section known as the Boone Trace. The western spur ran to the Falls of the Ohio (Louisville).[8][9] As settlements grew southward, the road stretched all the way to Knoxville, Tennessee, by 1792. (Wikipedia)
 

Maps of the Westward Movement Roads

 

The Wilderness Trail Association

 

(See video clip below)

  

  

(Photo courtesy of Native Sun Productions)

 

 

 The Westward Movement 

For early settlers and pioneers the Cumberland Gap was a gateway that led through the southern Appalachian Mountains into the great wilderness of Kentucky. They mostly traveled on foot, coming from as far away as Pennsylvania. Although many of these early travelers had different dreams and expectations heading west into Kentucky, they were all in search of land and a new start. 

 

They often traveled in groups for safety and had an insatiable drive to penetrate the great wilderness. Everyday was a struggle to survive as they lived off of the bounty of the land. In the late 1700's most of the population in the United States was found east of the Appalachian Mountains. Early pioneers and settlers travelled along the historic Wilderness Road west into the wilderness of Kentucky through Cumberland Gap. By the early 1820's it is estimated that several hundred thousand people travelled this historic route westward. Today, an estimated 47 million people in the United States are descendants of these early travelers! (Reprinted from NPS: Cumberland Gap National Park) (See video clip below.)

 

Daniel Boone and the Westward Movement

 

("Gateway to the West" Painting by: David Wright)

 

 

The Boone Trace

Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park is on the historic Wilderness Road. The road was the main route used by settlers fifty-plus years to reach Kentucky from Virginia In 1775, Daniel Boone blazed a trail for the Transylvania Company from Fort Chiswell in Virginia through the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky. It was later lengthened, following Native American trails, to the Falls of the Ohio at Louisville.

 

The Wilderness Road was rough and steep. In the early days of the trail, it could only be traveled on foot or horseback. As more travelers passed the road improved and horse-drawn wagons were able to follow the trail In spite of the conditions, thousands of people used it. Many of their descendants still live in in Kentucky.[ Including the members of the McNitt Company a group of pioneers who were attacked by Native Americans on October 3, 1786. The park is also at the intersection of Boone's Trace and the Wilderness Road. Boone's Trace was also blazed by Daniel Boone. It is still open today to hiking and the Wilderness Road has since been paved as part of Kentucky Route 229. (Wikipedia)

 

 The Boone Trace Markers

 

 The Boone Trace Project

The Boone Society takes on a most important project in restoring and protecting Daniel Boone's famous pathway for thousands of settlers, moving to expand this great nation. They braved the wilderness in search of opportunity and land grants. The dangers that lurked did not discourage these settlers as they strived to succeed. It was most costly for many and there were those that lost their lives in this endeavor.

 

We hope to finally give recognition to Daniel Boone for his achievements by creating a Boone Trace Corridor providing educational, recreational and historical significance along the pathway. The achievements of this time were overlooked as the Revolutionary War overshadowed the events taking place in the Cumberland Gap. This bit of history missed it's opportunity and over time received the attention of mostly historians.

 

The Cumberland Gap National Park has provided the best accounting of the era with a park featuring the pathway through the famous gap and a visitors center that educates the public on these historical facts. The painting of the wall mural by David Wright showing the Boone party coming over the gap has given us an image that represents this occasion. The film in the theater done by Gary Foreman and Native Sun Productions brings the activities to life for us,

 

Our efforts are to extend this work up the trace to Boonesborough to further tell the story of settling Kentucky and the great west beyond. This pathway will never be a continuous hiking trail as it has been made into roads, railway beds and private property. What we can do is identify the actual route of it and the historical sites along the way. With this we will include the recreational venues of hiking, biking, canoeing and many others. It will be a living classroom to educate our youth on early Kentucky history and how we became a great nation.

 

We have established the key State Partnerships required to make this corridor possible. These are the Departments of Historical Society, State Parks and Travel and Tourism. Letters of support have been dispatched and we are as of May 15, 2012 starting to organize the county and townships along the Trace. There are six counties involved. Bell, Knox, Laurel, Rock Castle, Madison and Clark. Each of these will be headed by the county Tourism and joined by the historical society and the chambers of commerce.

 

This team from each county will work to contribute the attractions for their area. These will include the historical, recreational and educational features within their bounds. They will first catalog the existing features and then consider improvements and new additions to the list. The more features there are, the better opportunity they have to draw traffic to their segment.

 

When we have completed the building of the six county features and benefits, there will be maps, brochures, web sites and a self guided drive yourself tour developed for distribution in the State Parks, The Cumberland Gap National Park and the tourist information centers. Several organizations have already developed tours along the trace with more to come.

 

The Kentucky Department of Education has been invited to join this effort as we strive to turn the corridor into a living classroom for early American and Kentucky history. Conversation is in the works for a curriculum to accomplish that mission. With the tutorials made available, their can be conducted classroom day trips or encouragement for parents to follow the guidelines to a successful experience of their own. The individual counties can contribute to the educational aspects to make the visit there, more successful.

 

The four Kentucky State Parks along with the Cumberland Gap National Park are spaced along the spine of the corridor to provide extra public recreation and exhibits to teach the historical facts. Brochure materials will be distributed in these parks to aid in the Boone Trace experience. Special events may take place in these parks and the lodges will provide a trail experience for those spending a couple of days to explore the region.

 

To accomplish this mission, we have drawn up a three phase plan that allows us to systematically work toward a common goal. Each phase is a mini project in it's self and could stand independently productive.

 

Phase One:

  • Research and Identify the route of the trace, from the Gap to Boonesborough
  • Develop a network of partners to accomplish this mission
  • Study the decisions made by the National Park Service in 1983
  • Seek protection of the monuments and markers on the route

Phase Two:

  • Request that Kentucky designate 25 E and 25 from the Gap to Boonesborough to be named "The Boone Trace."
  • Develop pages on existing web sites to promote the Boone Trace for education and tourism purposes.
  • Raise money in the counties and towns along the route for repairs of markers
  • Developing new markers to be placed at key historical sites.
  • Creating and placing Boone Trace logo signs along Hwy. 25 E and 25.

Phase Three:

  • Work with the Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism to develop promotional materials for the corridor.
  • Create a brochure with maps and places of interest, including state parks along the route for distribution in the Parks.
  • Create a DVD to be placed in a self guided tour kit and used for educational purposes.

This three phase approach can allow us to systematically work in a direction to accomplish our mission. If for some reason, the project halted at the conclusion of any phase, it would deem to be a success. Of course we intend to go all the way to complete all of the project, so that the rich heritage of Daniel Boone is preserved and the State of Kentucky benefits from the historical role it played in the advancement of this great nation.

 

This project belongs to the Boone families, the citizens of Kentucky and the people of this great nation. It can only be accomplished by the aid of the state agencies, the county and city governments, the business and chambers of Commerce along the route. If everyone shows an interest and gives support in some way, we can succeed in this endeavor. Hands of many make it an obtainable goal.

 

The Boone Trace has been overlooked and left behind to be lost forever, except for the few historians and family tales. That would be a loss for the state and the future generations, that need to know who they are and the struggles to build an environment that we enjoy today. Without this, we become a confused society as to who we are and one without pride. Through the centuries, the experiences of ancestors struggles gives appreciation and pride to build character in the following generations.

 

We have a chance to build on the rich history of the state and leave behind a legacy for all to appreciate. In addition to that, as we educate persons to the importance of this historical movement, we also create tourism along the route from the Cumberland Gap on to Boonesborough on the northern terminus. It will become a living classroom, for generations to benefit from.

 

The Boone Society has a website, www.boonesociety.org that will help you understand who we are and what our mission is. We are a non-profit organization and limited to resources necessary for a project of this size. We do realize that with your help, we can accomplish great things and we are grateful to all that lend a helping hand. The selection of contacts, we have approached all have a unique position to make this possible.

 

If we as a group, do not take action, The Boone Trace will continue to fade into the past and be lost forever. A lot of the pathway has evolved into highways, railways and towns. There is a large part that not belongs on private property. The daughters of the American Revolution placed a dozen stone markers along the route in 1915 and these have deteriorated over time and will soon fall down and possible removed from their sites.

 

The final phase will pull traffic of tourism for those in this span. It will be promoted to the benefit of the national and state parks and townships along the route. People will soon begin to tour this famous pathway for historical and entertainment purposes. The Boone Trace is a treasure for Kentucky and one that deserves to be preserved for future generations to come.

 

We invite you to join us in preserving The Boone Trace for educational and tourism benefits to the heritage of Daniel Boone and The Blue Grass State of Kentucky. 

Thank you for your interest and support. 

 

Contact Info
President, The Boone Society, Inc.

Sam Compton
615-406-6504

samcomptons@cs.com


 

This email was sent to dellariola@cebridge.net by samcomptons@cs.com |  

The Boone Society | PO Box 1187 | Hendersonville | TN | 37077