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Contact: Pam Eddy, (606) 248-2817
On Friday, August 7th, 2009 Cumberland Gap National Historical Park (NHP) will host a birthday party to commemorate the 275th anniversary of the birth of Daniel Boone. Although his actual birthday is October 22nd, this unique celebration during Indian Summer will feature a walk with “Daniel Boone” through the Cumberland Gap. During this 1½ mile hike, follow part of Boone’s Wilderness Road, climb to the saddle of the gap, and descend the other side of the mountain to attend his birthday party. At the end of the journey, share in a celebration that includes a giant, glowing birthday cake decorated to retrace Boone’s 200 mile-long path now known as the Wilderness Road.
Boone and 30 axmen blazed the migration route in the spring of 1775, and by 1810, approximately 300,000 settlers had followed Boone’s Trace to settle Kentucky. When choosing the route for this now famous path, Boone often followed, and merged with buffalo trails that had also been heavily used by Native Americans for centuries before Europeans ever settled this region. Today, the descendants of those 300,000 settlers who followed Boone’s Trace to Kentucky, is estimated close to 50,000,000 people. But it is virtually impossible to estimate the number of descendents of the Native Americans who traveled through the Gap on the Great Warriors Path that merged with Boone’s Trace at the Cumberland Gap. No matter whom you are descended from, the Cumberland Gap figures heavily into the history of not only Kentucky, but the nation, and stands as the first true gateway to the west.
During Boone’s birthday party, the Genealogy Division of the Bell County Historical Society will commemorate this grand heritage and pay homage to Native Americans and pioneers who traveled through the Gap, when they present certificates to several families whom have recently received membership into one, or both of, two prestigious societies: The First Families Through the Cumberland Gap and Descendants of Kentucky Pioneers.
The celebration will commemorate both Boone and other courageous men and women who first explored or established homes in this land beyond the Cumberland Mountains. Come and remember our brave and spirited forefathers! To join in the hike, meet Daniel Boone and Cumberland Gap NHP rangers at the Daniel Boone Parking Area just outside of the town of Cumberland Gap, Tennessee at 7:30 p.m.! Remember to wear hiking boots or sturdy shoes for the 1½ mile hike through the Cumberland Gap to the party. For those who wish to just join in on the birthday party at the end of the hike, meet at 8:15 p.m. at the Thomas Walker parking area located at the intersection of the Pinnacle Road and Hwy 988 (Sugar Run Road). A shuttle will be provided to return visitors to their cars at the Daniel Boone parking area.
For more information about the above societies contact Wilma Johnson at (423) 869-0390 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information concerning Daniel Boone’s Birthday Party, contact Cumberland Gap NHP at (606) 248-2817 ext. 1075 or www.nps.gov/cuga.