Established 1987 in Barbourville, Kentucky

Knox Historical Museum

History & Genealogy Center

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Chautaugua actors share the story of the Boones to Barbourville students

On Friday January 26, 2018, actor Kevin Hardesty portrayed Daniel Boone; then following, Actress Betsy Smith portrayed Jemima Boone at the Barbourville Middle School to the 8th grade class.

Through Kentucky Humanities, the Kentucky Chautauqua program's Hardesty and Smith gave stirring performances of the Boones’ exploits and endurances in “Ken-tah-ten” or Kentucky. Hardesty’s performance was titled “Daniel Boone – The First Kentuckian” and Smith’s was titled “Jemima Boone – Life on the Frontier.”

As evidence, John Filson's writings which chronicled the Boones’ struggles through the wilderness, were used. Students listened attentively during the performance. During the performance, Hardesty had the students repeating words from different Native American languages.

Doug Bargo was in attendance representing the Knox Historical Museum and Daniel Boone Festival, Inc. Bargo told the students of KHM’s working alongside Dr. John Fox ( and the organization's endeavors of mapping the Boone Trace through Knox County.

Enthusiasm erupted in the room when Bargo suggested that as a field trip the students might visit portions of the old trace, particularly where the old trace splits from the Wilderness Road. About 45 students were in attendance at the event. The afternoon proved to be a hit with the students as all enjoyed the performances.

Hardesty and Smith may be reached through the Kentucky Humanities Council at 859-257-5932 or through the website at Thanks goes to the administration of Barbourville Middle School for local sponsorship, social studies teacher Lynn Lockard, and Berea College employee Cathy Sue Smith. Photos were provided by Lynn Lockard.

Submitted by Douglas Bargo

kevin hardesty web  betsy smith web 

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