The Boone Society is working on a program called The Boone Trace Project, to educate people about Daniel Boone and the Westward Movement.
According to Sam Compton, President of the Boone Society Inc. “The principal goal of the Boone Society is to identify and preserve Boone-related documents, artifacts and historical sites. Because we are a non-profit organization, funds must often be raised to finance this important work.”
The Boone Society consists of 340 members coast to coast and also two foreign countries (Belgium and Austria). Most of the members are descendants of Daniel Boone but some are also genealogists and historians.
Compton states, he was already excited about early American history and our founding fathers but he didn’t realize what a rich gold mine he fell into as president of the Boone Society.
Currently six communities are involved in this project: Bell, Knox, Laurel, Rockcastle, Madison and Boonesborough.
Compton is currently setting up group meetings in these communities to locate key areas within the county to bring economical impact by tourism into the area.
The Boone Trace Project is being used to develop a corridor from Cumberland Gap to Fort Boonesborough. This pathway is the one Daniel Boone took from Cumberland Gap into Kentucky with thousands of settlers into what we call the Westward Movement, added Compton.
Neil Hammon is the author of books from the Boone era such as “My Father Daniel Boone”. With his knowledge the organization is working to locate the pathway, Compton said.
The pathway is being developed along highways (25 and 25E), townships, etc., as it will never be an actual walking trail because it is too far gone, Compton said. There are, however, according to Compton key points along the way where you can actually walk in the path of Daniel Boone.
Ultimately some of the trail will be followed by automobiles. There will be a series of signs on U.S. 25 that will state you are following Boone Trail.
The Kentucky Department of Education is working with the Boone Society to restore what Compton states is a large amount of lost history.
“It has been looked over and left behind as a whole,” said Compton. “Historians know about it but not the general public. Daniel Boone is the father of the Westward Movement and the expansion of our nation.”
The Kentucky Department of Education is also working with Compton to add curriculum and help educate the fourth grade level in this subject by teaching students in the classroom about the Westward Movement and the Gateway to the West, which is Cumberland Gap.
The Boone Society is working by GPS to set up education stations along the trail to guide and educate students with this piece of history. Compton adds, he wants students to talk to their parents and bring brochures home to encourage them to make a day or weekend trip to what he calls an “education vacation” to travel up this corridor.
Compton said he believes the void in history from the colonies to Louis and Clark was overlooked during the Revolutionary War in 1775.
“We didn’t get our fair share. The Boone family and the state of Kentucky didn’t get their fair share in history,” Compton adds.
The Kentucky Department of Education along with the Kentucky Historical Society, Kentucky Department of Parks and Kentucky Travel and Tourism are all key partnerships.
“Without them we wouldn’t have a project,” said Compton. “It took a year to get them comfortable in the project to move forward. No extra money was asked for, as this is out of their normal budget.”
Once the project is under way in Kentucky, The Boone Society is going to move the project to another level and include five states with the help of the Kentucky Department of Education.
According to the Associated Press, The Fort Boonesborough Foundation is offering two-day tours that include overnight lodging at Pine Mountain State Resort Park in Pineville on Sept. 26 and 27. Those tours will retrace Boone’s steps starting at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.
Chase Smith is a staff writer for the Middlesboro Daily News and can be contacted at email@example.com.