Local festivals are rich in history

Tim Mills Until Then

October 10, 2013

This week the streets of Barbourville have been filled with all kinds of people, activities and even some strange sights. The Daniel Boone Festival represents, or means to the youngsters in our families, a time of fun that includes rides, fun foods hanging out and playing with friends.

Teenagers who live in Knox County might have a little different take on things. For teenagers familiar with the DBF, this time will include food and hanging out with friends. But there is so much more to this event than their perception of things. I realize sadly for some in Knox County they may not even be taking notice of the festival, its historical importance or understand what it is all about. This facts saddens further when it is discovered that some of these are lifelong residents of Knox County and the have just never seen beyond the activities of the court square or perhaps the frustration of attempting to drive across town.

Barbourville, and Knox County, has a most rich history in the development of our commonwealth and the United States. This in part due to the geographic location and the discovery of the Cumberland Gap and in part due to what happened because of the travels of Dr. Thomas Walker and that pioneer Daniel Boone.

Bell County —Pineville/Middlesboro — has a rich history. We have the Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival as one of the “gems” of the mountains. Harlan County has The Poke Sallet Festival which is extremely unique and about as mountain as it gets. Harlan County has the Black Bear Festival, too.

If you ask anyone who has traveled away from home for any length of time, they will all nearly say that we have just as much history, unique facts and things to see and do as any other place in the world. Folks here at home will generally call your hand on such and say that this is not true, but I believe it is.

The Daniel Boone Festival is one of those facts. Each of our counties and cities has local residents who have volunteered their time to develop museums that highlight this area we call home. When you hear of an opportunity to watch an old film of the area you should jump at the opportunity to go. This is history you need to see, worthy of being seen and events like this we should take our children to, and after viewing sharing with them our personal memories of that time past.

I know and understand our children may not want to hear our old stories, but there will come a day and time they wish they could hear them again, so I encourage you to go ahead and share. At least give them the opportunity to have remembered them and the memory of the time you did once shared the stories with them.

I believe a visit to Dr. Thomas Walker State Park is always in line when talking about history. To think that this is as far as Dr. Walker and his explorers got because of the brush and thickets, is amazing as it relates to history.

A drive down through Old Flat Lick and a stop at the markers of the Wilderness Trail are worthy of a family visit too. Hundreds of thousands walked, rode a mule, rode a horse or traveled in a wagon from the Carolinas over the Cumberland Gap and continued their travels here, which is plenty worthy of historical documentation so our children can pass on the story of our heritage as a people and the richness of our land in the development of America.

The Bible says that He created everything, and that He has a plan and a purpose for everything too. I am so thankful that we can let our minds run on the value of history as we dream about the future we are going to lead from this history location.