Markers need more marketing

Published 11:42 am Monday, January 22, 2018

Key chapters of Clark County’s storied history are told on the 26 roadside markers that dot the county, with each one opening a different window into the past.

These markers tell of Homer Ledford’s career as a bluegrass musician and instrument maker, of the rescue of Daniel Boone’s and Richard Callaway’s daughters from Native Americans along the Kentucky River, of the oldest continuously attended church in the state, of Civil War soldiers, Clark County’s roots in the hemp industry, of Kentucky’s 12th governor, of the county’s founding fathers and much more.

Beyond the role of preserving local history, these markers are intended to draw tourists and pique the interest of residents who may not know the past.

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But the biggest question remains: Who is actually looking at them?

We love the markers that span our county and appreciate the hard work it takes from local historians to get these recognized by the Kentucky Historical Society, but we also think we are only scratching the surface when it comes what we can do to promote our past and use it as an educational tool for our youth.

Much work is already in progress to take this to the next level. Winchester-Clark County Tourism Director Nancy Turner has been working closely with CGIS Coordinator Stephen Berry to create a map showing the locations of Clark County’s markers along with other markers in the community that are not KHS-recognized. Through a website Berry has been working on, residents and other interested people will be able to take a virtual tour of Clark County’s markers. KHS also has an app that can be searched by county.

Turner agrees that historical tours showcasing the local markers, particularly when it comes to history pertaining to Daniel Boone and Fort Boonesborough, can be an important step forward in terms of tourism.

Hopefully this project will gain some momentum and come to fruition quickly.

We would also like to see our school district and local colleges work to create standing field trips that would educate our youth and students about our rich past. After all, giving them a better appreciation of the context of our county will give them a better appreciation of our heritage.

Creating a love for where they came from is an important step when it comes to keeping our best and brightest here.

We have often said our past can be important part of our future. This project is a perfect example.