Wednesday June 18, 2008
Historic Locust Grove
will celebrate our nation’s birthday this summer with the grand opening of the new permanent exhibit in the state dedicated to Kentucky’s involvement in the Revolutionary War. The exhibit, entitled, “A Country Worth Defending: Land & Family in Early Kentucky,” will occupy a portion of the new 1,200-square foot wing of the Visitors Center.
The event is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and will also include a military reenactment of Louisville founder George Rogers Clark’s company, other costumed folk in character as people from the site’s history and period music. Light refreshments (drinks and desserts) will also be available for purchase. At noon, a short ceremony celebrating Clark and the soldiers of the American Revolution will take place on the porch of the main house, commemorating their fight to win the land west of the Appalachian mountains.
In addition to its being Independence Day, July 4th was chosen for the opening as it is also the anniversary of the day Clark’s Illinois Regiment captured the British at Kaskaskia, Illinois in 1778. The victory was crucial to secure the Northwest Territory-Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan-for the new nation.
The new wing expands the area available in the Visitors Center for interpretation of the American Revolution in the West and the people who settled and built the Louisville region. The general exhibit focuses primarily on the surveying work of Clark, as well as on the life of his brother-in-law, William Croghan, builder of Locust Grove. A recreated surveyors’ office exhibit, constructed in the 1810 log building, is a part of the new exhibition, which was created by the award-winning local firm Solid Light.
JRA Architects of Louisville designed the new wing and funds for the project were raised by Historic Locust Grove, Inc., a private non-profit organization. However the building, the final cost of which came to nearly $900,000, will be owned by the people of Louisville through Metro Parks.
Locust Grove is a National Historic Landmark on 55 acres of the original 694 acre farm established by William and Lucy Clark Croghan in 1790. George Rogers Clark spent the last nine years of his life at Locust Grove, from 1809 until his death in 1818. The site has also hosted three U.S. Presidents, Monroe ,Jackson and Taylor, and was a stopping point for famed explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark upon their return from their expedition to the Pacific.
Locust Grove was also home to numerous enslaved African-Americans who lived and worked on the farm and contributed to its success. Locust Grove is owned by Louisville Metro Government and operated by Historic Locust Grove, Inc.
Locust Grove is located at 561 Blankenbaker Lane (between Brownsboro and River Road). For more information, visit www.locustgrove.org or call 502-897-9845.