Kentucky: a road trip through the state - Part 38 - Orlando / Florida Guide
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HISTORIC PLACES IN THE BLUEGRASS REGION
History beckons from every direction in the Bluegrass Region so here is just a sample of some of the attractions that are worth visiting if you happen to be in the area. There are so many that it would be almost impossible to list them all. One of the best things you can do if these type of attraction interests you is to always stop into the local information centre. The people who work in most of them are both knowledgeable and enthused about the local area.
If you visit the Shaker Village, which I will talk about in a later article, then you are just a few miles from Old Fort Harrod State Park in Harrodsburg. The fort is a scale replica of Kentucky' s first permanent settlement but it very well done and is adjacent to the Pioneer Cemetery. Also there is the Mansion Museum where most of the items on display are the genuine article with just a few replicas. The fort is open year round but the hours vary and the museum is closed for the winter months.
In Mercer County you can find the Old Mud Meetinghouse which is an 1800’s Dutch Reform church building. If this interests you then you need to call the Harrodsburg Historical Society as tours are by appointment.
South of Lexington is White Hall State Historic Site. This is an elegant Italianate mansion that was built around 1799. It was in the forefront on such things as indoor plumbing and central heating. The name of its owner is one you will recognise today in another setting. The story of its owner, Cassius Marcellus Clay, an outspoken emancipationist, newspaper publisher and Minister to Russia is well worth the time you may spend here.
There is another replica of a pioneer fort nearby between Richmond and Winchester. In Fort Boonesborough State Park you will find a site that replicates the frontier outpost settled by Daniel Boone in 1775, although more details of this are in a later article. The opening times are depended on the seasons so check before you make the trip. If you do go in the town of Winchester then the Main Street is a good example of a 19th century commercial district.
There is a large Civil War camp and cemetery called Camp Nelson just past Nicholasville which is south of Lexington. Camp Nelson was one of the largest bases of operation for the Union army. It was particularly relevant as a recruiting centre for African American soldiers where many thousands of Kentucky slaves joined the Union forces. After Emancipation thousands of African American families received official documents of freedom at this spot. There were however more than 4, 000 Civil War casualties who did not survive the war and they are buried in the Camp Nelson National Cemetery.
This is continued in part 39
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