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Author Harry G. Enoch
Speaks at the Filson Historical Society

Colonel John Holder
Boonesborough Defender & Kentucky Entrepreneur

See a newsreel clip of a portion of the presentation


By Kathy Cummings

Everyone is familiar with Daniel Boone but not too many people know of John Holder. But, like Boone, Holder spent much time at early Boonesborough and on the Kentucky Frontier. Author Harry Enoch, sets out to change that. Enoch’s talk at the Filson Historical Society in Louisville, KY was well attended and very entertaining. His book brings to light the name of John Holder.

He filled in some of the facts of Holder’s life and corrected some of the incorrect information passed on by family and other traditions. Holder first came to Kentucky from Virginia in 1777. He was at the great Siege of Boonesborough in 1778 and took over command of the fort after Boone left. Boone was accused of treason after the siege because Richard Calloway among others started the accusations that Boone gave up the fort.

Boone left Boonesborough immediately after the court martial found him innocent and promoted him to Major. Richard Calloway was with the legislature in Virginia. So Colonel Holder became the ranking officer at the fort. He married Calloway’s daughter Fanny although one of the more interesting facts that Enoch’s research uncovered was the presence of other daughters by another woman named Margaret Drake.

Holder became an entrepreneur, surveying land, and creating business opportunities. Much of the early industry in the area surrounding Boonesborough can be credited to Holder. It included a store, tavern, boatyard, ferry, warehouse and mill. Much of the industry that spring up on Lower Howard’s Creek was also due to John Holder.

In addition to his presentation Enoch sold and signed books


Enoch’s book is published by Aclaim Press. Proceeds from the royalties of the book go to The Lower Howard’s Creek Nature and Heritage Preserve which is managed by Enoch’s wife Clare Sipple.

Click here to learn more about Lower Howard’s Creek. To learn more about Colonel John Holder pick up a copy of Harry Enoch’s book. Also see photos of the 2006 Historical trek to Lower Howard’s Creek made by re-enactors. This and other of Harry Enoch’s publications are available at the Bluegrass Heritage Museum.

About Harry Enoch:
Harry G. Enoch, retired biochemist, is a native of Mt. Sterling and now lives in Clark County not far from Fort Boonesborough. He chairs the Clark County-Winchester Heritage Commission and is editor of The Millstone, magazine of the Kentucky Old Mill Association. His previous books include In Search of Morgan's Station and The Last Indian Raid in Kentucky, Grimes Mill: Kentucky Landmark on Boone Creek, Fayette County, and Affair at Captina Creek.

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The Red River Museum

By Jim Cummings

They say if you look long enough, you find a diamond. This January I met an interesting man full of energy and excitement and with a big smile. His name is Joe Barnes and he was talking about a museum in Clay City, Kentucky called the Red River Museum. Joe spoke at a meeting we were attending and he invited everyone to come to see this diamond in the rough.

Well, we took him up on his offer and I’m glad we did. The Red River Museum is housed in a large 2 story, red brick building that was built in 1890 for The Clay City Bank.

Now, this is not your ordinary museum. On the grounds are several well preserved log cabins, moved and rebuilt on the site. One is an old schoolhouse. There is also a complete train station, complete with schedules and an old baggage cart out front.

And the best is yet to come. The museum is also home to the Old Mill Association and as such houses one of the largest collections of mill grinding stones in excellent condition that I have ever seen.

There is all that to see on the outside, and that’s before you even step inside. Among many items donated by area residents are mounted animals that come from the surrounding Red River Gorge area. There is a rattle snake, a and nearby is a petroglyph of Indian art that was found in a nearby creek bed. The Red River Gorge area was heavily populated with the Adena Indians.


These are just a few of the treasures that make this Powell County museum such a find. The Gorge area is popular among climbers, hikers, campers, amateur archeologists, and historians and the area is also rich in family and genealogical history.

The Red River Gorge is a beautiful area to explore. And the Red River Museum should be a stop on your trip. It isn’t a formal museum. But it touches on the coal industry and the timber industry that developed the area. The walls are lined with photos and signs, pieces from old stores and post offices, and the building itself still houses the old bank vault. Upstairs are spinning wheels and a loom,

old stoves and early washing machines from a bygone era. Records from Powell County are available to genealogists.

With gas prices ever on the increase, trips filled with a lot to see make sense. Starting on I-64 at Winchester, KY there are a host of places to visit. The Bluegrass Heritage Museum, The Civil War Fort at Boonesboro and The Winchester Art Gallery. The Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway starts just beyond Winchester and heads southeast. From there you can visit the area known as Pilot Knob, the place where Daniel Boone is first reported to have seen Kentucky. It is now a state nature preserve. The Red River Gorge is part of The Daniel Boone National Forest. Also nearby is Natural Bridge State Park, located just a bit further down the Mountain Parkway. Here, over millions of years, nature has formed the natural sandstone arch for which Natural Bridge is named.

The Red River Museum is open Saturday and Sunday afternoons or by appointment during the week.

RRMuseum 154

Visit The Red River Museum online at


Civil War Symposium

By Kathy Cummings

The Bluegrass Heritage Museum in Winchester, KY held a Civil War Symposium on April 8 -9, 2011.

Featured speakers included Kent Masterson Brown, Christopher Kolakowski and Robert Bell.

The Symposium opened on Friday evening with a keynote address by Brown. Mr. Brown was the first Chairman of the Gettysburg National Military Park Advisory Commission and the Perryville Battlefield Commission. He created and was first editor of the magazine The Civil War. His books include The Civil War in Kentucky: Battle for the Bluegrass State and Retreat from Gettysburg: Lee, Logistics and the Pennsylvania Campaign. He has also written, produced and hosted several documentary films including The Long Road Back to Kentucky, Retreat from Gettysburg, and Bourbon and Kentucky: A History Distilled. His latest book is One of Morgan’s Men: Memoirs of Lieutenant John M. Porter of the Ninth Kentucky Cavalry by John M. Porter.

Mr. Brown has received many awards for his work on historic preservation as well as his books and articles. Brown spoke again on Saturday.


Museum Director Sandy Stults introduced the speakers.

Saturday morning started with author Chris Kolakowski. Kolakowski has been immersed in military history since growing up in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He has worked for the National Park Service, The Civil War Preservation Trust, and Kentucky State Parks among others. He served as Chief Preservationist for the Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site, Chief Curator of the National Museum of The Army Reserves in Fort McPherson, GA and recently returned to Kentucky as Director of the General George Patton Museum at Fort Knox.


His book The Civil War at Perryville: Battling for The Bluegrass State was published in 2009, and his latest is The Army Does Not Retreat: The Battles of Stones River and Tullahoma, concerning battles in Tennessee in 1862 and 1863.

The second speaker on Saturday morning was Bob Bell. Bell’s passion is the stories of the African American’s involved in the Civil War.


 Bell is a living historian and charter member of the 12th United States Colored Heavy Artillery, Reactivated. Formed in late 2001, the 12th USCHA serves as the educational outreach arm of the Camp Nelson Heritage Foundation. He is a Life Member of Camp Nelson Heritage Foundation and a current board member.

Bob is a charter member of the United States Colored Troops Living History Association (USCTLHA), a national group dedicated to the preservation and presentation of the history of the African-American men that served during the Civil War. He has served as a board member, vice-president, and currently as treasurer.

He is a native of Louisville and still resides there with his wife Carolyn. They have two sons and two grandchildren.

The Symposium included lunch and a panel discussion on Saturday afternoon. Books by the authors were available for signing at The Bluegrass Heritage Museum where the group was treated to a tour of the museum and it’s Civil War Collections. 

Click here to see a slide show of The Civil War Exhibit at The Bluegrass Heritage Museum. To learn more about the museum visit


Kent Masterson Brown


Books by Kent Masterson Brown


Bob Bell is equally at home giving an on site presentation behind the cannon as he was speaking at the Symposium.

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