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 The Pioneer Times   January-March 2005

January 2005

Woodland Indian Skills Workship Held in Ohio

by Kathy Luttrell

Perrysburg, Ohio - A workshop for Indian skills was held at the Ft. Meigs visitor center on January 29, 2005. It was a hands on experience for Indian and Pioneer re-enactors.

The workshop was sponsored by Smoke & Fire and Ft. Meigs of the Ohio Historical Society. Donlyn Meyers, owner of Smoke and Fire was instrumental in setting up the workshop and was on hand to work with the participants and taught a section on edge beading. Meyers is a hands on individual who is always giving back to the re-enactor community.

Other instructors and their classes were: LindaMyers on brain tanning; Brian Jensen on arrow making; Mike Burcewicz on flint knapping; Maria and Ken Jackson on quillworking; Pat Scott on twined bags and Tammy Spillis on 12 things to do with a deer leg.

Kathy Luttrell in the bag twining class

Each session was taught at four times during the day. The 75 participants were divided into four groups and rotated through the classes. Attendees wishing more instruction on a particular class could opt to stay for an additional class in that section.

Everyone that particpated was enthusiastic about the skills learned Participants did say though, that they wished the day had been longer. With so much information available and with a high level of skilled instructors on hand the day went far too quickly. Said one participant “I would rather have come for two days and spent more time in each session.” 

Sessions were scheduled from 9 AM to 3:45 PM., but many of the out-of-towners followed the day with a dinner at a nearby restaurant.


Scott New gives farewell
performances as Daniel Boone, Pathfinder

By Kathy Cummings

Veteran re-enactor and Chatauqua performer Scott New announced recently that he is leaving his post at Martin’s Station for a new job at Colonial Williamsburg. Scott New has appeared in various films, at Fort Boonesborough and most recently at Martin’s Station at Wilderness Road State Park in Ewing, Virginia as the pathfinder Daniel Boone. .

New does not yet know what character he will be portraying at Williamsburg. He said most interpreters there have a variety of figures they portray. He already knows he will be working with horses and the rest will fall into place after a brief training period.

Scott and Berni New are scheduled to make the move shortly, as he will start at Williamsburg on March 1st.

January 2005


KY Highway Name Controversy Gains National Attention

Last Year Rep. Brent Yonts of Muhlenburg County sponsored a resolution in the Kentucky House about renaming Hwy 25E from Corbin to Cumberland Gap as The Daniel Boone Wilderness Road Highway. It passed in the house but was defeated in the senate. Previously Yonts had brought forth a resolution to restore the name of the Hal Roger’s Parkway back to The Daniel Boone Parkway. It was defeated. The highway was called the Daniel Boone Parkway since it was first built. In 2003 under Governor Paul Patton the Kentucky Parkway system renamed the highways in honor of elected officials that had contributed to the state.

With the help of The Boone Society and Boone descendants the controversy has resurfaced and reached a national level.

Click here to read more about this controversy.

Links to other Pioneer Times Stories about the Controversy

Gains National Attention

Boone Goes to Frankfort


Early Year Trade Fairs Begin at Linton, Indiana

by Jim Cummings

One of the first trade fairs of 2005 was held this past weekend at Linton, Indiana. Linton, Indiana sits about 50 miles northwest of Jasper, Indiana or about 45 miles from Bloomington.

The Trade Show was put on by the Buck Creek Muzzleloaders at the Roy Clark Community Building in Linton. Due to bad weather the crowd was down a bit on Saturday but the sun began to shine and the people came out on Sunday.

It was nice to get out of the house and shake off the hum-drums, meet old friends and some new acquaintances. One of the main attractions this year was author James Alexander Thom. Almost every one of us has read at least one of his books. Accompanying Thom was his wife and co-author Dark Rain. They were selling and signing their books including her recent title Kohkumthena’s Grandchildren The Shawnee and their collaboration of Warrior Woman. This was my first time meeting them and I enjoyed talking to them.

Authors James Alexander Thom, Dark Rain Thom and John Curry


Roy Underhill Speaks at Fort Boonesborough

Although well known for his PBS show The Woodwright’s Shop, Roy Underhill is a man that wears many hats. He is an author and although most of his books deal with wood working his latest book is entitled Khrushchev’s Shoe and Other Ways to Captiviate an Audience from 1 to 1,000.


And captivate an audience he did, at a workshop for Kentucky Park employees that Underhill gave at Fort Boonesborough. Although often known as the master housewright at Colonial Williamsburg, Underhill was also later named director of interpretive development at Williamsburg and certainly knows the ins and outs of being an historic interpreter.

He began with a video presentation from sites around the world. It seems that wherever he has traveled Underhill took video clips of various interpreters. He would play each clip (some good - some bad) and analyze them with his audience. It was easy to see from the clips he had chosen when an interpreter was in control of their audience and when the interpreter had completely lost them. Even when the clips were in a language other than English, body language told the tale.

Years of working with interpreters at Colonial Williamsburg has given Underhill a finely tuned sense of dealing with the public and also what the public expects when they travel to an historic site.

As this year’s season opened for Kentucky Parks interpreters at many sites will be wearing period clothing. And tips and tricks to go with the clothing were being dished out from a master.

He made practical suggestions as to how to make your audience comfortable and more detailed ideas on how to deal with the everpresent remarks like “I didn’t know Daniel Boone had electricity”. After discussing various ways to handle each situation the group broke up into smaller groups and walked through the site looking for ways to utilize his suggestions.

The workshop was sponsored by The Fort Boonesborough Foundation and included employees and managers from various parks and several members of the Boonsborough Militia. Also present were Phil Gray, park manager, Bill Farmer, living history coordinator and George Ward, The Commissioner of Kentucky Parks.

February 2005

Nathan Logsdon on the high seas

(Above) It was a full house to hear Roy Underhill

(Left) Small study groups walked the fort to consider the practical applications of what they had learned.


Long time Re-enactor Nathan Logsdon of Corydon, Indiana took a semester away from college this winter. And as Nathan described it.... I was rather bummed out one day and thought to myself ... if this was the 18th century I’d run away to sea...Well, it’s the 21st century but he still ran away to sea. Below are photos and his comments from his recent trip. When not at sea, Nathan works at The Frazier Arms Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, He is also a member of the Scurvy Dogs.

This is our gunner on the Lady Washington preparing to blast the Bill of Rights out of the water... There is a friendly little competitive spirit between the ships. After each battle the playful arguments would roll; each ship's crew rally being the same... "It's obvious who won today... We did!!" (Regardless of which ship) On each ship there were pet phrases in reference to the other side. On the Lady Washington the crew would refer to the Bill of Rights as "The Bilge of Rights" or the Lady Washington's "Red-headed Stepchild". On the Bill of Rights, the retaliation was to move one letter aft and rename her the "Bill o' Frights" or to simply yell "It ain't over 'till the fat Lady sinks!!!"

Here is a picture of me on board the Bill of Rights with the Lady Washington in the background. Moments after this picture was taken, the Lady Washington opened up a fine volley of cannon fire, but the Bill got the points for the battle because our one shot counted as a transom shot which in real battle would have destroyed her rudder and left her at our mercy, whereas her volley would have all been broadside shots which are not as crippling to a ship.

This is a picture of the two ships I sailed on. (Lady Washington, which is the 1750's Brig, for the first week, and Bill Of Rights, the 1890's schooner, for the second week.) Both were a blast to sail. This picture was taken from a rented kayak that I used to put around the harbor in Morro Bay

This is a picture of the Lady Washington on the tack. True beauty and grace...

 This is an OFFICIAL website for the Lady Washington.


March 2005

Howard Blatch Re-Enactor and Engraver

Howard Blatch was trained as a Commercial Artist. He liked to draw so much as a child, it seemed a natural career choice. But, after college and two years in the Army, he only worked six weeks for an Ad Agency before leaving that field. He knew quickly that the high pressure, deadline oriented world of Advertising wasn't for him. He first migrated into the related field of piping drafting, then into art, designing packaging, then back into drafting. He now works as a Technical Illustrator at Lexmark.

Howard Blatch is a member of the 71st Fraser Highlanders. He has also engraved the dirk (right) he is seen wearing above.

Howard began re-enacting a few years ago with the 71st regiment. Now some things have come full circle. His art career has resurfaced in his engraving. The patient, detail oriented Blatch has found his niche. Even though he never stopped drawing his work always tended to the small and detailed pieces. It is a perfect match for engraving.

After taking two college courses and studying with a well known Engraver/Gunsmith, Howard has come into his own. He has used power tools, but prefers the traditional hammer and graver method, that the 18th Century Firearms Engravers used.

He spoke recently at a Painted Stone Settlers meeting in Shelbyville, Kentucky. He gave a brief demonstration of the techniques used and brought several of his own pieces for show.

Engraving he admits is an unforgiving art. A slip of the engraver’s tool is not easily fixed. Every mark shows up in the finished piece. So slow, steady and patient are the traits of an engraver. And as Howard Blatch’s work shows he excels at those traits.

Rococo style carving on an unfinished gunstock

March 2005


Boone Society Wants
Kentuckians to
Decide Daniel Boone
Highway Controversy


The renaming of southeastern Kentucky’s Daniel Boone Parkway for Congressman Hal Rogers continues to take new twists and turns. The Boone Society has decided to ask the citizens of the Commonwealth to decide the matter in an Internet petition drive.

State Representative Brent Yonts has worked tirelessly to return an honor to Daniel Boone that was taken away in 2003 in a move, unbeknownst to Congressman Rogers, in which former Governor Paul Patton removed Daniel Boone’s name from what is now the Hal Rogers Parkway.

Governor Patton’s decision to honor Congressman Rogers in this way backfired and became a public relations nightmare. The media pulled the Boone Society in and the appearance of a feud developed between Congressman Rogers and the Boone Family. Recently, because of a story the Fox News Channel is working on, the controversy has been re-ignited.

In an official statement released by the Boone Society on February 14, 2005 we clarified our position, congratulated Congressman Rogers for the honor he received, and asked the people of Kentucky and state lawmakers to rename US Highway 25E in Daniel Boone’s honor.

U.S. Highway 25E is the perfect solution. It virtually traces the Wilderness Trail that Daniel Boone carved through the frontier over two centuries ago from the Cumberland Gap to present-day Corbin. Representative Yonts drafted HJR 7 to rename U.S. Highway 25E “The Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail” and began looking for support among his colleagues.

The Boone Society received a telephone call on February 14 from Congressman Rogers’ press secretary, Leslie Cupp, who informed us that Congressman Rogers fully supports Representative Yonts’ resolution.

Ms. Cupp also expressed Congressman Rogers’ desire to create a friendly and open relationship with the Boone Family; something we welcome and also desire.

Ms. Cupp asked the Boone Society to remind the public that Congressman Rogers is a great admirer of Daniel Boone and spearheaded Federal funding to restore the original Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail in the Cumberland Gap National Park. This includes obtaining funding to dig a new tunnel through the mountain at the Cumberland Gap, which allowed the original Daniel Boone trail to be restored.

The Boone Society is grateful for Congressman Rogers’ support in renaming U.S. Highway 25E “The Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail.” But just when we thought we had found a satisfactory solution, a new politician has thrown a wrench into the machine.

State Representative Jim Stewart, for reasons that remain unclear to us, will not support renaming U.S. Highway 25E “The Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail.” The Boone Society contacted his office for clarification and has not received a reply. Because of Representative Stewart’s opposition, the resolution to rename U.S. Highway 25E died in committee.

Going forward, the Boone Society would like to appeal to the people of Kentucky to let their voices be heard on this matter. We would still like to see U.S. Highway 25E renamed “The Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail”, but it should be up to the people to make that decision by contacting their political representatives. It will only be an honor if bestowed by the expressed will of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

The Boone Society has created an online petition asking that U.S. Highway 25E be renamed “The Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail.” We invite the public to sign our petition at


Your friends at the Boone Society


More from the Boone Society

Spring clean-up for the
Graveyard, final resting
place of Ned Boone

A spring clean up is planned at the Rockbridge Graveyard. Jeff Johnson of The Boone Society has been spearheading efforts concerning the final resting place of Ned Boone, slain brother of Daniel. The clean up is planned for Saturday April 23rd, 2005. Sunday the 24th will be the back up date in case of inclement weather on Saturday.

Edward (Ned) Boone was killed by Indians in 1780 while returning with his brother Daniel from the Blue Licks. Daniel was off hunting when Ned was attacked and killed. Boone and some others buried his brothers body near the creek where he was killed. It became known as Boone Creek.

The Boone Society has now uncovered new information concerning the Boone Grave. In 1827 some of the bones were washed up from the creek area. Elder Richard Thomas the Pastor of the nearby Rockbridge Church had the bones reinterred in the church graveyard. The church later lost is membership and fell into disrepair. The graveyard today has been rediscovered The Boone Society has undertaken the task of cleaning up the cemetery. It was declared a Kentucky landmark site in 2004.

Frank House of Bourbon County will help organize this event. Frank is a 19th century artisan who has worked as a consultant with Hollywood and TV. He trained Mel Gibson for “The Patriot” and more recently worked with Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise on the “War of the Worlds” remake.

Additionally, an 88-year-old lady from Middletown, Ohio is having her kids bring her to the clean-up event as her 89th birthday present. She wants to see Ned Boone’s two Bourbon County graves while she’s still alive. This should be a very special moment.

The Boone Society will be serving lunch.

To learn more about the history behind the two Ned Boone graves and for more information on the cleanup at the Graveyard visit the Rockbridge Cemetery web site

Re-Enactors And Consumers Face Set Back Over High Gas Prices

By Jim Cummings

Re-Enactors and consumers in general are facing an extra burden this coming spring, summer and fall with higher gas prices.

Along with higher gas prices will come higher prices for food (grocery and restaurant), clothing, camping gear and many other items. But the gas prices are what will be felt first. And then what the economists call trickle down economics will set in.

Higher prices will effect everyone. The more that it costs at the pump, the less the consumer will travel and the less they will buy. That’s trickle down economics.

We are an “on the go society.” Every one of us have things to do and things to see. We are always on the go. And the big oil conglomerates know this and are using it to their advantage. Their will be less travel by some simply for economic reasons. Not every one makes $25.00 an hour and these will be the families that simply will have to cut back their travel. State local and federal park systems will feel the pinch this summer.

As re-enactors we want to entertain and teach the public, and hopefully entice a few others to become re-enactors. It is our way to share living history and tell the stories we have studied and know so well.

It is estimated that traveling to an event will cost between 40% to 60% more this year than last. For example - say a trip from Louisville, KY to Manskers Station in Tennessee - just North of Nashville. If last year your gas and stops for meals or snacks - round trip cost you $100. you can expect to pay about $140 to $160 this spring.

And re-enactors don’t always travel light. Camping gear, or sutlers wares usually mean traveling in a truck or SUV and often times mean pulling a trailer. That results in less gas mileage than a compact car.

But re-enactors are a resilient lot. And like our ancestors that traveled through the Cumberland Gap or down the Ohio River - we will push on. And the promoters of these events from Martins Station to Manskers Station and from Vincennes to Boonesborough and all the stops in between will persevere in giving the public the best of living history throughout this spring summer and fall.

See more on the gas prices on the Editorial Page

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