Community Day 2016
September 24, 2016
It was a grand day at the Holt Home.
More than 3,000 visitors came Sept. 24 to explore the history of Joseph Holt’s legacy when he served President Abraham Lincoln as the top lawyer for the United States Army.
They toured the antebellum mansion during the 8th Annual Holt Home Community Day, walked the beautiful grounds graced with trees and marveled at the renovation progress of the Hardinsburg structure. Smiles were a highlight of the day as visitors viewed the numerous improvements, such as the restored front and back windows. The beautiful replica of the back stair tower gave insight to master workmanship.
The crowd began arriving early pointing out and admiring the restored Holt fence. Throughout the day, the grounds were filled with compliments and people, locally and from all across the state and beyond. Those who attended enjoyed eating on the new picnic tables, seeing the recently placed flagpole with “Old Glory” waving among the tree tops, and watching the Civil War baseball game, the first official Kentucky Lincoln site to host one.
Bands played, stirring the atmosphere with patriotic, traditional, and period music. Breckinridge County students took great pride in performing songs from the period and sharing Holt’s history and national significance.
The echo of “Taps” at Holt’s monument was very moving at the wreath-laying ceremony performed by the U.S. Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox soldiers with Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Bagwell, the staff judge advocate. The Indiana National Guard Judge Advocate General (JAG) – COL Daniel Kozlowski - discussed the Onsite Training at the historic home in March and the importance of Joseph Holt’s legacy. Col. Kozlowski came to lend a hand supporting the Friends of the Holt Home to make Judge Holt’s dwelling become a national meeting place for Army JAGS across the nation. Judge Holt’s home holds a special place in the history of the JAG Corps.
Numerous speakers spoke briefly explaining the roles their stations contributed to the Community Day. Ninety-eight-year-old James Wimsatt was recognized and honored for his gift – the famous Holt print used for all events, promotions and programs. Tamara Langman, Louisville Actor’s Theatre Costume Shop coordinator spoke about the significance of history and costume connections. One of four state partners, the Kentucky Historical Society, provided the Kentucky History Mobile with the Civil War exhibit. Judge Tommy Turner, former Co-chair of the Kentucky Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, spoke about “The Legacy Project” of the Kentucky Lincoln Bicentennial, the acquisition grant that made possible the purchase of the home for the Breckinridge County Fiscal Court.
Craig Potts, executive director of the Kentucky Heritage Council, shared how partnership with the Holt Home, local partners and community support is shaping tourism, economic development and community pride across the state. Former State Representative Dwight D. Butler relayed the vision of saving the home, and how taking actions to protect and preserve our local community’s important history saves Kentucky’s rich heritage.
Keynote speaker, David L. Morgan, who was executive director at the Kentucky Heritage Council from 1984-2006, delivered heartwarming comments about preservation, the importance of protecting history and the numerous benefits it brings to local communities, the state and nation.
The cannon firings, Civil War campsite, fragrance of food and the community pride event will long be remembered as the Friends of the Holt Home continue to take actions to protect, preserve and promote Breckinridge County’s historical jewel.
Friends President Susan Dyer emphasized in the morning welcome, “the Holt Home is our compass, a link to our past and our gift to the future.” She asked visitors to keep updated at http://www.jholt-houseky.org as the Holt Home is being developed to become an educational and tourism anchor for South Central Kentucky.