Fort Boonesborough's history dates back to the 1700's, but also has recent historical significance including the reconstruction of the Fort in 1974.
Life at Boonesborough during the early years of its existence offered little in the way of comfort. The cabins had only the bare minimum of comforts. A crude table made of a slab of wood, a bed with a feather tick or buffalo skins provide the early Kentucky householder with a dry and warm place to sleep. The fireplace provided the only source of heat for the one room that held all the pioneer family owned, as well as the pioneers themselves. The chimney of the cabin was at best crude. Made from sticks and mud, it provided a means for smoke to escape the cabin, but also posed a serious risk of fire. If a chimney fire occurred the ingenious pioneers would push the chimney away from the cabin to save it from burning.
Interest in Daniel Boone (1734-1820) the famous frontiersman has continued for over two centuries. Historians, novelists, and poets have continued to expend countless words on the exploits of this man. Artists have portrayed him in dozens of heroic poses. To many Americans, Boone remains the epitome of the free spirit of the wilderness. Therefore it is only natural that sites associated with his life be preserved and visited by those who revere his memory.
In 1934, the bicentennial of Boone’s birth, the Kentucky General Assembly established the Daniel Boone Bicentennial Commission. On May 25, 1934, the U.S. Congress enacted a law that would permit the minting of a Daniel Boone half-dollar to be sold “at par or at premium” by the Commission. Noted sculptor, Augustus Lukeman of New York prepared the dies for the new coin. Proceeds from the commemorative coins sale would be set aside for other Daniel Boone Bicentennial Commission’s projects.
By 1780 Boonesborough had grown too big for its namesake. Daniel Boone moved away from the fort to a spot across the Kentucky River in what is now Fayette County, Kentucky. In 1783 the American Revolution ended and the need for a fort around the Boonesborough settlement also ended. The old fortified settlement became an open and thriving town for a brief period of time. However, within a couple of decades it had all but disappeared.
The memory of Fort Boonesborough remained a vital part of the Kentucky frontier experience. The need to honor this hallowed site of pioneer Kentucky saw fruition in 1963 when Fort Boonesborough State Park opened on 153 acres on the banks of the Kentucky River. On August 30, 1974 a reconstruction of the historic fort was dedicated. The reconstruction is located on higher ground than the original structure and it is made up of 10,000 southern yellow pine logs. There is a museum of Daniel Boone’s life along with cabins displaying pioneer crafts.
Links and Resources
Teacher resources and interpretive programming engage students in the daily lives of early settlers on the Kentucky frontier.
Visit our Historical Documentation page for information as well as comprehensive descriptions of items and events with historical significance to Fort Boonesborough.
The Fort Boonesborough Foundation is a group of dedicated individuals who volunteer their time to sustain, foster, and promote quality programming at Fort Boonesborough State Park and Boone's Station Historic Site.
Wherever you travel in Kentucky, you are never far from one of our 50 Kentucky State Parks. Each park has its own unique attributes, from shorelines to majestic mountains, from winding caves to enchanting woodlands.
Visit our Contact page.
859-527-3131 ext. 216
Fort Boonesborough State Park
4375 Boonesborough Road
Richmond, KY 40475