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Fessing up | Fort Boonesborough embraces Daniel Boone pop memorabilia

Donated by Ray Buckberry of Bowling Green

RICHMOND, Ky.–Pop culture’s Daniel Boone meets the historical Daniel Boone at Fort Boonesborough State Park, thanks to the donation of a memorabilia collection now on display at the historic site where the real Daniel Boone once lived.

Ray Buckberry of Bowling Green spent a lifetime collecting the 351 items in the collection, which includes items such as books, prints, and other items relating to Daniel Boone from the 1960s Daniel Boone television series. Buckberry donated the collection to the Fort Boonesborough Foundation, which is loaning it to the park for display.

Visitors view the Ray Buckberry collection of “All things Boone” at a dedication event on April 13, 2017. Photo: Kentucky State Parks

The Daniel Boone Memorabilia Collection represents a lifetime of collecting for Buckberry. The Bowling Green, Kentucky, native collected all things Boone. Realizing his collection had gotten too large to be stored comfortably in his home, Buckberry donated the collection to The Fort Boonesborough Foundation so that it could be enjoyed by Fort visitors.

The pieces range from a limited-edition bust of Daniel Boone to coloring books and lunch boxes from the Fess Parker TV series. Prints, posters, children’s toys, coffee mugs, and other items now line the walls in one of the cabins at the fort. A display case has also been added at the park campground.

Fort Boonesborough State Park manager Rob Minerich, left, introduces Ray Buckberry at the opening ceremony on April 13, 2017. Photo: Kentucky State Parks

An entire generation grew up with Daniel Boone, played by Fess Parker, on television and younger generations continue to learn about Boone. Although the foundation acknowledges that not all the items are correct to the time period, it is still a valuable look at the impact Daniel Boone had on the American public.

Photo: Kentucky State Parks

Fort Boonesborough was one of the earliest Euro-American settlements in the lands that would become Kentucky. Established by Daniel Boone in 1775, the fort was located along the Kentucky River near the route of the Wilderness Trail from the Cumberland Gap into central Kentucky. The large rectangular fortification was a temporary home and sanctuary to many families who found protection there from British and Indian attacks during the Revolutionary War. After the war ended, settlers attempted to establish a town there but the venture failed and the site was abandoned by 1820. The original fort site, marked with a stone memorial, is preserved in Fort Boonesborough State Park.

The fort is open 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, April through October. Other cabins feature period-dressed interpreters who can talk with visitors about life in the 18th century. For more information, call (859) 527-3131.

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