On this day in 1860, Kentucky native Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States. But long before Lincoln was born in 1809, one of Locust Grove’s most famous residents, George Rogers Clark, was fighting the good fight as leader of the Illinois Regiment, securing Lincoln’s second home state of Illinois for the fledgling United States during the Revolutionary War. Now, I know what you might be thinking. “Hannah, we know all this! What’s the big deal?” Well, recently, Locust Grove sponsored an event that celebrated GRC and the American Revolution, paving the way for Lincoln and his ideas for a “new birth of freedom”. On Wednesday October 15th the Bullitt County Campus of Jefferson Community and Technical College put on a Revolutionary War Day. This event was put on in partnership with Locust Grove, and was facilitated by Amy Liebert, historical interpreter, and Brian Cushing, our program director. Amy and Brian were kind enough to share the following photos and write-up of the day, demonstrating Locust Grove’s ongoing outreach education efforts.
According to Amy, Locust Grove provided a great deal of material support including costumes for Bullitt staff and students and textboards about George Rogers Clark and his life and the war in the West. Locust Grove Program Coordinator Brian Cushing was there as a volunteer. This was Brian’s second trip to visit to Bullitt, as he visited earlier this semester to give a talk on Locust Grove and George Rogers Clark.
Amy is a transplant from the San Francisco Bay Area, and in her professional life, she is a history instructor for Jefferson Community & Technical College at the Bullitt County Campus and Downtown Campus. She has also been involved in living history for over a decade, through the Great Dickens Christmas Fair and the Guild of St. George, Inc. in Northern California.
Amy began volunteering at Locust Grove within two weeks of her arrival in Louisville. “Carol Ely told me I was not going to have any free time after I got here,” Amy grins. “This has proven very true, and I couldn’t be happier!” Amy volunteered as a consultant when Locust Grove was redesigning their First Person Interpreter Program and serves as the Theatrical Director for the program. “When I moved to this new city, Locust Grove was there to give me a community. I have made some amazing friends there, and I am so excited for all the things ahead!”
Students and volunteers were treated to a meal prepared by Bullitt Campus librarian Sandy Smallwood with authentic 18th century recipes. Brian Cushing and Lance Minnis, a regular volunteer at Locust Grove’s Market Fair, portrayed members of the Illinois Regiment of the Virginia State Line and Kentucky Militia. They gave a lecture on George Rogers Clark and the differences between Militia and State Line troops. Afterwards there was a demonstration of fire from Lance and Brian and a cannon demonstration from Taylor Rose Historical Outfitters. Taylor Rose is a frequent vendor at many Locust Grove events.
It was Carol Ely, Locust Grove’s executive director, who made the offer for Locust Grove to partner with the campus. “One day last fall when I was at the Grove with a colleague of mine, Carol made a point of chasing us down to tell us how much the Grove would love to partner with our campus. I certainly did not forget that offer!” said Amy. “This was an incredible opportunity to give our students a real, tangible connection to the material we have covered in class. How many American history students are able to taste rabbit stew or see a musket demonstration?!”.
Lance and Brian were also able to share their research experience with students.
“Our students often struggle with understanding the difference between primary and secondary sources. Having Lance and Brian come in to back up that part of our curriculum was very helpful.”
American History students at Bullitt can visit Locust Grove for extra credit any time during the semester. And in addition to Revolutionary War Day at Bullitt, Brian and Archives intern Sam Hagan visited a local school for yet another outreach opportunity. Locust Grove is certainly making it around the community!
We look forward to welcoming Bullitt students (and every other kind of student!) to Locust Grove! Thanks for sharing, Amy and Brian,and for all that you do!
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