Sunday, January 9, 2022

George Rogers Clark Powder Run

This is a long post, but after the George Rogers Clark Powder Run at Old Fort Harrod State Park I thought an explanation of the original powder run was in order.

Photo from the Library of Congress

By June 1776, James Harrod became an outspoken opponent of the Transylvania Company. He gained followers at the other stations, all wanting to separate Kentucky from Fincastle County. Jack Gabriel Jones was a lawyer and son of a prominent Virginia family. George Rogers Clark had a deep interest in Kentucky and also offered help.

Harrod called a gathering to elect delegates to represent them in the Virginia General Assembly and to ask for separation from Fincastle County. Harrod also wanted to stop Richard Henderson and his Cherokee land. Clark and Jones were elected as the delegates to appeal to Virginia to overthrow Transylvania and incorporate the country under her own government.

Harrod helped the men formulate the document as a defense of their land claims, based on bounty warrants granted by Governor Dunmore and on regular prior-occupancy laws of the colony. They also wanted their delegates to be recognized, claiming they had already elected a committee of 21 men to maintain the district.

Photo from Old Fort Harrod State Park

When Clark and Jones arrived in Virginia, Clark visited the new Virginia governor, Patrick Henry, to secure his backing for the Harrodstown petition. Clark then appeared before the Council at Williamsburg with a letter from Governor Henry, making the executive council aware of Kentucky’s shaky position and officially informing them of Henry’s support.

Clark ran into opposition from several peers who did not approve of frontier expansion. After much debate and arguing that the western settlements could not survive without gunpowder, the proposal was accepted and Clark was granted five hundred pounds of gunpowder.

On August 23, 1776, the gunpowder was sent to Fort Pitt in Pittsburgh. Clark sent a letter to Harrod to tell him to send a party to Fort Pitt to bring the powder home. Little did Clark know, but Harrod never received the letter.

Photo from Old Fort Harrod State Park

Months later, Clark and Jones finished their business in Virginia and prepared to return to Kentucky, but when a messenger from Fort Pitt reported that Harrod had not sent men to get the five hundred pounds of powder, their plans changed. Clark knew those twenty-five kegs of gun powder were vital to Kentucky’s defense, so they set out toward Pittsburg.

Once at Fort Pitt, they recruited a small group of men to assist them in transporting the black powder down the Ohio and then up the Kentucky River to Fort Harrod.

Unfortunately, Clark’s every move was being shrewdly watched and evaluated by British and Indian enemies, but he was not to be manipulated. Clark and his men slipped out of Fort Pitt in the middle of the night and silently started their long trip down the half-frozen Ohio River with five hundred pounds of high quality, rifle-grade gunpowder. They quickly made their way down the big river, with the success or failure of Kentucky resting squarely on their shoulders.

Photo from Old Fort Harrod State Park

Clark and his companions were forced to move between numerous bands of angry Indian war parties. Unwilling to run the risk of losing his cargo, he buried the powder in several spots and continued downstream for a few miles before abandoning the boats and setting them adrift as a decoy.

Clark headed off to the nearest settlement, McClelland’s Station and sent a messenger to Harrodstown explaining what had happened and asking for a party to retrieve the gunpowder. Then Clark left to meet up with Harrod to recover the gunpowder.

James Harrod and about 20 others left Harrodsburg on the second of January 1777, to recover the powder. Within a short time and without incident, the men reclaimed the gunpowder and returned to Fort Harrod. The brave settlers of Fort Harrod come through to save the day, retrieving the gunpowder and bringing it safely back to the fort through miles and miles of unfriendly, Indian wilderness. Once at Fort Harrod, the powder was divided and quickly distributed to the many struggling Kentucky forts and stations. This important event saved the country because now the settlers could now defend the forts and hunt for food.

Photo from Old Fort Harrod State Park


Thursday, January 6, 2022

Blizzar 2022

 Here are some photos from the blizzard of 2022, which hit Harrodsburg on January 6, 2022.

Photo from Haus of Reverie

Photo from Kevin Kirkland

Photo from Old Fort Harrod State Park

Photo from Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill

Photo from Bonnie Best

Photo from Eric Demonbreun 

Photo from Old Fort Harrod State Park

Photo from Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill

Photo from Old Fort Harrod State Park

Photo from Susan Barrington

Twin Hills Drive-In

Photo from the Clay Lancaster Slide Collection

From the Clay Lancaster Slide Collection (circa June 1979): I love this image - it screams Kentucky to me! Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Devine's Winter Funfest

Photo from Devine's Winter Funfest

With cold weather and snow in the forecast, Devine’s Winter Funfest is hoping to make their own snow or for the natural stuff to fall so snow tubing can open! Please keep an eye on their FB page.

Here are some 2022 photos of Devine's shaping up the snow tubing site.

Photo from Devine's Winter Funfest
Photo from Devine's Winter Funfest

Photo from Devine's Winter Funfest

Photo from Devine's Winter Funfest

A waiver is required for all snow-tubing participants. So, in order to save the time upon arrival at check-in, please go ahead and fill out the waiver at the attached link. It's only required one-time during the season and if you filled it out last year, there's no need to do it again*.
*Please note that this is not the same waiver completed during the corn maze for zip lining.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Harrodsburg Road


Photo from Arthur Younger Ford

Harrodsburg Road (near Shakertown), circa 1900 - I don’t know the exact location, but there appears to be a white Shaker building on the far right. Maybe West Lot when the road ran through the Village?
Photo from Arthur Younger Ford photograph album collection, University of Louisville Photographic Archives.

Luther Wells Country Store


Photo from James Hurley

Photo from the Luther Wells Country store in Dugansville provided by James Hurley. Saturday afternoon music with Walter Harley (his dad), Ben Harley (his grandpa), Hughley Cornish (his uncle), and the Grider Brothers. July 1957.

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Old Fort Harrod Memories

Photo from Old Fort Harrod State Park

With the New Year upon us, my mind is on to the next book project. Each month I will be soliciting personal memories, family traditions, or fun times associated with a certain area or event in Mercer County. For January it's Old Fort Harrod State Park. Please send me your memories of the Old Fort.

Photo from Old Fort Harrod State Park

Photo from Old Fort Harrod State Park

Photo from Old Fort Harrod State Park

Photo from Old Fort Harrod State Park

Harrodsburg Opera House

  This is a photo we had never seen and Belinda S Kurtz shared this from another group. “Wasn’t Bob Martin that used to run the radio statio...