Camp Nelson National Monument turns 1!
One-year anniversary event scheduled for Saturday
By Brittany Fuller
Camp Nelson National Monument will host a special event Saturday to mark the one-year anniversary of the park becoming a National Monument.
“We are excited that the first year has gone so smoothly in the transition from the county to the national park service,” Judge-Executive David West said. “We look forward to many great events and the growth potential for tourism and businesses that the visitor can bring to Central Kentucky, and we’ve enjoyed partnership with the national park service so far.”
Last November, President Trump’s first national monument designation for Camp Nelson was made after receiving congressional and public input of the parks importance.
Receiving designation through the Antiquities Act, the President was able to use his authority to declare the park a national monument. Over the course of three years, the national government will work to create a budget and gradually add more funds towards its ownership of Camp Nelson, making the Jessamine County Fiscal Court budget for Camp Nelson smaller.
It was announced last year that county employees would remain at Camp Nelson and be paid for by the fiscal court until the federal government takes complete ownership. Over time, national park service employees would be added to the staff, and recently National Park Service Southeast Regional Director Robert A. Vogel announced his selection of Catherine Bragaw as the new superintendent.
Last year, The Jessamine County Fiscal Court said it was hopeful Congress would include funds in their next budget for acquisition of the Glass Farm which would then be purchased by the national government wiping out any debt the fiscal court may have left on the land.
This Saturday, visitors to the park will tour the White House (Officers Headquarters), the only remaining building from the period of the supply depot and largest training center for the U.S. Colored Troops soldiers in Kentucky as well as the third largest USCT training center in the nation at that time. Speakers will include Abraham Lincoln portrayed by Larry Elliott, Frederick Douglass portrayed by local reenactor Michael Crutcher and Yolanda Burgess, a descendent of a USCT soldier and his wife. Children will also be encouraged to participate in the School of the Soldier. Visitors will learn about the life experiences of those who came to Camp Nelson seeking freedom from 1864-1866.
The day’s activities begin at 10 a.m. with a one-year anniversary ceremony that will take place in the reconstructed barracks building near the park’s visitor center.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, visitors will have numerous tours and activities to choose from throughout the course of the day. The event is free and open to the public.
A schedule of events includes: White House Tours at 11 a.m., noon, 1 and 2 p.m; School of the Soldier for children at 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.; presenter Abraham Lincoln at 11 a.m., Yolanda Burgess at noon and Frederick Douglass at 1 p.m. Forts of Camp Nelson and Cemetery One Tour will take place at 11 a.m.
A Park Film will be shown every 30 minutes in the visitor center and tours of the museum will take place on the hour.
For more information visit the park’s website at: http://www.nps.gov/cane