Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association
January 18, 2019
Present: Nancy and Larry Hobbs, Larry Fleenor, Randell Jones, Ron and Joan Short, Randy and Peggy Rausch, Bob McConnell, Grant Hardin, Nancy Childers, Joy and John Mullen, Caden Kilgore, Joe Fuller, Gretchen Cope, Jim Addington, Jim Stallard, Eunice and Mary Laster, Benny and Barbara Reed, Robert Chapman, Scott Bowen, and Grace Bradshaw
A meeting of the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association was called to order at 12 noon by president, Joan Short. She greeted and introduced visitors Larry and Nancy Hobbs, author Randall Jones, and speaker Caden Kilgore.
Joe Fuller moved and Bob McConnell seconded that the minutes from the November 16, 2018 meeting be accepted as written. The motion was approved.
Gretchen Cope offered the Treasurer’s Report (attached).
Robert Chapman gave a report on the state of the park. He said that they would be starting the hiring process, though they have suffered a 2% cut in funding and are currently operating with a “skeleton staff.” He disclosed that the new Interpretive Center is open from 10-6 daily. The grand opening on December 10th had to be cancelled due to inclement weather. It will be rescheduled, possibly near the time of the Trade and Muster Fair (April 26-28, 2019). He also remarked that Craig Seaver had sent an email which Gretchen would forward to all DBWTA members regarding bills currently before the Virginia General Assembly so that members can send letters of support to delegates regarding the necessity of supporting these bills and amendments which will provide funding for the Interpretive Center and other Park operations.
Joan remarked that we should feel grateful to Marilyn Maxwell, former head of MEOC, who is using her considerable influence with the legislature to advocate for Park funding.
Scott Bowen reported that Wilderness Road State Park is also currently operating with a skeleton crew, but will begin hiring back employees in April. He also announced the during the third week of February, Billy Heck will teach a black powder class. They will be raffling a hand-built Liberty Project rifle this year. There will be militia musters the third weekends May-October. Paddling on the Powell River will start in June. He has met with Pam Eddy to discuss a partnership program with Cumberland Gap celebrating the 250th anniversary of Daniel Boone’s first excursion into Kentucky. The celebration will take place September 14-15.
Bob McConnell reported that the Interpretive Center is now open and that field trips are scheduled for the last weekend of February. The Library is not yet open. A library committee will be formed to jury books and materials related to Boone. Evelyn Smith, Assistant to the President of LMU, will do a program on the preservation of archival material for the library.
Joan noted that the LMU Library has all the Robert Kinkaid papers, which document the book Kinkaid wrote, The Wilderness Road. His book is considered an authoritative source on Daniel Boone and the Wilderness Trail.
Joan also noted that she would try to get a classroom set of William Steele’s book The Old Wilderness Road, which was written for young readers.
The program was offered by Caden Kilgore. He noted that Virginia is #6 in the United States in apple production. In his own orchard, he has planted a number of heirloom apples. He gave a brief history of the spread of apple cultivation in the United States and noted that there are now 2500 varieties of apples. He explained that homesteaders could claim land on which they had planted 50 apple trees and that the apples were generally used for making cider.
Randell Jones, author of In the Footsteps of Daniel Boone, was very pleased with his visit to the Interpretive center and plans to write an article about it He also noted that he has found the DAR historical marker regarding the Wilderness Road that used to be at Clinchport and has been missing for years. He would love to see it placed at the new Interpretive Center.
Joan reiterated that the Grand Opening of the Interpretive Center may be on the weekend of April 26th and that she would keep members informed.
There being no further business, Ron Short moved and John Mullens seconded that the meeting close at 1:15 p.m.
Grace C. Bradshaw