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Frankfort Historical Sites To Resume Regular Hours

The Kentucky Historical Society will resume regular operating hours this week at its Frankfort campus.

Due in part to budget and staff cuts, the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, the Old State Capitol and the Kentucky Military History Museum were closed to walk-in visitors over the winter months.

Spokesperson Lisa Cleveland says that gave the remaining staff a chanceto do some archival work.

“Our staff, over the winter, made a great deal of progress in getting more than 500 new artifact records online. We transferred almost 20,000 records to a new, more user friendly database,” she said.

The sites will resume regular hours starting Saturday. Cleveland says interim workers have been hired to augment the permanent staff during the spring and summer.

More information can be found here.

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Frankfort Historic Sites To Close Temporarily

Due to staff shortages at the Kentucky Historical Society, three historic sites in downtown Frankfort will temporary close next month to give employees time to update the society’s archives.

Society spokesperson Lisa Cleveland says its staff has shrunk consistently since 1999, and there hasn’t been enough money to hire more employees.

“We started out with around 95 full and part-time employees. We’re now down to about 59,” she says.

The remaining employees have been working additional jobs at the society, sometimes staffing the front desk or answering phones. The society will close the Center for Kentucky History, the Old State Capitol and the Kentucky Military History Museum from mid-December through mid-March while the employees catalog artifacts and put exhibit information online.

The sites will re-open for two days in January and February, and large groups may also schedule tours. When the sites re-open permanently, the society will attempt to find part-time workers or volunteers to help ease the burden on current employees.

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Panel To Plan War Of 1812 Commemoration

By Sheila Ash

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear recently appointed an 18-member commission to commemorate Kentucky’s role in the War of 1812.

The bicentennial commission will be administered by the Kentucky Historical Society.

Stuart Sanders, Community Services Administrator for the KHS, says it’s important for the public to understand the sacrifice Kentucky soldiers made in the conflict.

“Approximately 60 percent of the war’s total casualties were Kentuckians. Basically Kentucky suffered more casualties than any other state combined. It really became a political proving ground for a lot of the state’s leaders. Many of the governors during the 19th century were War of 1812 veterans,” he said.

Sanders says 30 of the state’s counties are named after prominent casualties or officers in the war, including Adair, Graves, Ballard, Hickman and Calloway.

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Historian Lee To Deliver Clark Lecture

Historian Jacob Lee will deliver a presentation on George Rogers Clark’s relationship with Native Americans this week at the Kentucky Historical Society. It’s part of the “History Speaks” series sponsored by the Society. Coordinator Erica Harvey says that Lee’s lecture will challenge the notion that Clark, a Louisville founding father, wanted Native Americans to be eradicated from the continent.

“Lee is taking the stand that Clark’s views were a little more complex than just being someone who loathed Native Americans,” she said.

The “History Speaks!” series allows audience members to ask questions and take part in lectures rather than just listening. Lee’s presentation is Thursday evening in Frankfort.

(Story by Simon Levine)