We went to Frankfort to visit the Museum of Kentucky History. We spent a couple of hours going through the exhibits which ran in chronological order starting with the Native Americans and ending
|Native American flute|
One of the early exhibits showed a Native American flute. I have heard the sound of these in documentary films but I cannot recall ever having actually seen one. It appears to play something like a European recorder. Apparently these were made throughout North and South America and were used for religious ceremonial purposes. On the (admittedly few) occasions when I have seen Indian dance performances I have only seen drums and rattles as instruments and the flute kind of surprised me.
The painting shown here is a famous picture of "Daniel Boone Leading Settlers through the Cumberland Gap" that you see reproduced all over the state. Underneath is a well preserved flintlock long rifle that "may have belonged to Daniel Boone". There were at least three of these in the Museum. Now Daniel lived to be 90 years old and spent most of those years as a soldier and/or hunter and may well have owned dozens of flintlocks during his lifetime but I suspect it is kind of like pieces of the true cross. Anyone can scratch "Daniel" into the stock of a rifle.
Here is another one of Daniel Boone's alleged rifles along with a plaster cast of his skull made when they transported his body from Missouri, where he died, back to Kentucky where they reburied him in the new Frankfort Cemetery 15 years later. The Missouri branch of the Boone family says they got the wrong skeleton and Daniel is still buried in Marthasville. This was generally considered sour grapes until a forensic anthropologist in 1983 declared that the plaster cast was most consistent with the skull of an African-American. Oh, and Daniel Boone apparently never covered that skull with a coonskin cap. He preferred felt hats. The coonskin cap was used on the television show to allow Fess Parker to wear the same getup he used for Davy Crockett.
This is not an early version of the Sousaphone. It is a pot bellied still from the prohibition era. Kentucky and Tennessee worked hard to keep the east coast speakeasies supplied with alcohol. This was specially made for the job, unlike many that were put together out of old car radiators, allowing lead and antifreeze to leech into the whiskey and give it a little extra kick.
Later in the Museum they had a model T Ford on display. Apparently Ford set up a factory in Louisville Kentucky in 1913 which managed to turn out a whopping 11 cars per day. There is still a Ford plant in Louisville, although not at the same location, which makes Explorers and Escapes.
The entrance fee to the museum includes tickets to the Kentucky Military Museum and the Kentucky Museum of Women's History which we did not have time to see, but also included a
|The Old Capitol Building|
|Free floating stairs|
|Large windows in the capital dome|
|Our tour guide in the old state assembly chamber|
|The center family house at Pleasant Hill|
|Shaker hand crafts|
|The east family compound|
The war became their undoing anyway. Their location near the battle of Perryville brought thousands of soldiers to their doorstep, many sick or wounded and they did their best to care for both sides. They were literally eaten out of house and home that year and were never really able to fully recover after the war. American society changed significantly and the number of converts dropped off to almost nothing. Celibacy has always been a hard sell and as year after year went by and Christ failed to appear, their central dogmas appeared less and less likely to hold up. By 1900 there were only 34 members of the community left and the last Kentucky Shaker died in 1923.
The boat ride was pleasant and had narration by the captain who had a dry sense of humor. The trip took us underneath one high railroad bridge and, in each direction, just as we approached the bridge a train came by. The boat captain told us that it was the same train, it just goes around in circles all day long to entertain the boat passengers. I think he was kidding.
|Boating on the Kentucky River|