Draft plan in works for Logan's Fort preservation

July 28, 2004|EMILY BURTON

STANFORD - A grassroots effort to protect and preserve a priceless piece of Kentucky history was bolstered with a public display of support Monday, as Logan's Fort Foundation members and the community meshed with historic preservation specialists to discuss the future of the 230-year old fort and Revolutionary War battlefield.

The meeting was held to determine the community's vision for the Logan's Fort site and battlefield, which is now being turned into a draft plan to be submitted to the National Park Service's American Battlefield Protection Program.

"I was very impressed with the presentation and am excited about the possibilities it can bring to Lincoln County," said Chamber of Commerce director Andrea Miller.

After the draft plan's completion, it will be read during a public hearing, hoped to be held in November or December, said Logan's Fort Foundation president Lynda Closson.


The plan is set to include the possibility of tourism and a buffer zone to protect the battlefield's neighboring land. It is being drafted by McBride Preservation Services LLC, public history specialists Mudpuppy & Waterdog Inc. and Global Information System specialist Philip B. Mink. A $30,000 grant from the American Battlefield Protection Program is paying for the draft plan.

Citizens who attended brought ideas regarding land preservation, the preservation of multiple surrounding springs, possible funding and infrastructures in place to help advance the project. Also discussed were the possibility of forming a buffer zone of land around the battlefield area to protect the view from encroaching development and past efforts to protect the battlefield.

National Park Service does not condone fort replicas

What the draft presumably will not include are plans to rebuild Logan's Fort on the exact site. Stanford Mayor Eddie Carter said many at the meeting were surprised to hear that the National Park Service does not condone fort replicas.

"We spent a lot of time over the last several years to obtain this property, so we could build this fort on the exact site," said Carter. But a feasibility study recently released by the South Eastern Kentucky Tourism Development Association stated, "the Secretary of the Interior and the National Park Service do not support or advocate the support of fort replicas," read Carter.

Those working toward reconstruction might find funding for the project elsewhere, Carter said.

Aside from plans for fort reconstruction, the companies at Monday's presentation said they would work with the community to "develop a preservation and management plan and GIS that will address the needs of the site and the Logan's Fort Foundation and will serve as a blueprint for the long-term preservation and management of the fort and battlefield."

The first efforts to protect the site began in 1996. "We knew there was a battle, but we had no idea how important it was to the U.S. Park Service," said Closson.

The fort, one of the triad of first permanent settlements in Kentucky, played a key part during the Revolutionary War. If Logan's Fort, Fort Harrod or Fort Boonesborough had fallen, the borders of Canada might have been the Ohio River, said Closson.

"These forts had a huge impact on the settlement of America," Closson said.

Since the movement began, it has been mostly uphill, said Closson. Only recently has the public shown such support for the project, though county and city government have been interested in the plans.

Closson said more citizen involvement is needed to help save a vital part of Kentucky and American history. "I'm a firm believer that the more people we have involved, the better it will be," said Closson.

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