Annual Student Day
well attended by
County Fifth-Grade Students
Fifth graders from
Breckinridge County schools experienced a living history
event about the nation’s Civil War era when they visited
the Joseph Holt home Sept. 19.
Approximately 300 students from Breckinridge County
schools attended the Third Annual Student Day sponsored
by the Friends of the Holt Home, Inc. They learned
directly about the Civil War period from President
Abraham Lincoln as portrayed by Larry Elliott and
through a tour of the historic Holt home, Holt Family
Cemetery and grounds.
students were told about the important role of Judge
JosephHolt as President Abraham
Lincoln’s Judge Advocate General. They learned he
was appointed to that post by President Lincoln and
served as the chief prosecuting counsel during the trial
of the conspirators related to Lincoln’s assassination.
The tour and commentary were provided by Breckinridge
County High School students who serve as volunteers for
the Holt project.
permitted, students enjoyed lunch on the grounds.
Students also learned about the 10th Annual
Holt Home Community Day when the historic mansion is
open to the public.
Students attended from the following
schools: Breckinridge County Public Schools, St. Romuald
Interparochial School, Cloverport Independent Schools,
and Pleasant View Baptist School.
President Lincoln greeted Students
Lincoln provided a wonderful living history outside for
Student guides intrigued the 5th graders!
Students also learned about the historic trees
Students were told about the recent restoration of the
back stair tower
10th Annual Holt Home Community Day
September 22, 9:00 a.m. to
hot air balloon rides
beginning at 7:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. weather permitting
Kentucky’s Last Official
Explore the past as the last official Kentucky
Lincoln site continues restoration.
If you come:
You will walk through what appears to be a time lapse. A
14-room mansion being beautifully restored. Judge
Advocate General Joseph Holt’s beloved home and grounds
is filled with a full-scale day of events all in the
period as Lincoln’s lawyer would have entertained. This
Lincoln site is unique with the man behind the legacy
buried on the grounds. And one of the few cemeteries in
Kentucky giving honor to the Union.
continues with partnering from the United States Army to
make the home a national meeting place for all the Army
JAGS across the nation, along with new uses for
regional, state and national. You may expect to see a
home like this in Washington D.C. but not in Kentucky!
Visitors will be intrigued by the charm of this
historical jewel. They will take in sights and sounds
and leave with the strong history alive today with the
most famous son of Breckinridge County in their hearts
Highlights of the event from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. CDT
with no admission charged include a Civil War baseball
game, dances by the Berea Festival Dancers, period bands
and singing throughout the day, cannon firing, tours of
the home, a majestic wreath-laying ceremony at the Holt
monument by the United States Cadet Command and Fort
Knox, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, The Ninth
Michigan Volunteer Infantry and a host of Civil War
re-enactors and campsites on the grounds, and
distinguished speakers at 11:00. The local Breckinridge
County Tiger Band and the Breckinridge County Chamber
Singers performing along with Larry Elliott portraying
President Abraham Lincoln.
New this year:
Hot air balloon rides from 7
a.m. to 10:00 a.m. weather permitting, Curt Fields,
nationally known will be portraying General Ulysses S.
Grant, and local author Susan B. Dyer will be on site to
sign her new book released by Acclaim Press,
The New Jewel in Kentucky’s
Civil War Crown.
served President James Buchanan as Postmaster General
and Secretary of War at the beginning of the Civil War
and was appointed Judge Advocate General by President
Abraham Lincoln. His most memorable role as JAG came
following the assassination of President Lincoln when
Holt presided over the trial of the Lincoln
assassination conspirators, which included the first
woman ever hanged by the federal government, Mary
home and surrounding 19.5 acres, now owned by
Breckinridge County Fiscal Court, are expected to become
major area attractions because of Holt’s significance in
national history and politics. The 6,225 square foot
structure, with its Italianate architecture, also is
listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Friends of the Holt Home, Inc. non-profit organization,
coordinates fundraising efforts, writes grants, plans
events for the home, has completed a site use plan of
what the historic home will become upon completed
restoration in progress. And efforts continue to make
the Holt Home become a national meeting places for all
the United States Army JAGS.
Be a part of this
unforgettable milestone with continued success of
celebrating the acquisition, restoration progress,
numerous grant awards, the partnering of four state
agencies, and teaching the region what true preservation
is, having patience, doing preservation the right way
the first time, helping gain community support, state
support and bringing national attention to the historic
10th Annual Holt Home Community Day, scheduled September
22, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (with hot air balloon
rides beginning at 7:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. weather
For more information visit
www.jholt-houseky.org or call 270-756-2269,
270-756-0268 or 270 756-2573.
Holt Home is located at 6205 Highway 144, Hardinsburg,
Annual Student Day at the Historic Judge Joseph Holt
September 20th, 2017
Learning about President
Abraham Lincoln and Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt
was an enjoyable lesson for the fifth graders.
Breckinridge County and those from Cloverport
Independent Schools were on hand Sept. 20 as they
listened to presentations about the nation’s 16th
president and Judge Holt.
Larry Elliott portrayed
Lincoln and provided details about his life.
Visual aids helped
develop accounts about the Civil War and Holt’s
connection with it.
Gifted students from
Breckinridge County High School gave tours of the
historic Holt Home with assistance from Veronica Ent and
Susan Dyer of the Friends of the Holt Home.
Tour guides guided
students and their teachers through the historic home as
they shared stories about Holt’s legacy, state
partnering, and continued restoration on the last
official Kentucky Lincoln site in the Commonwealth.
Schedules allowed some
schools to tour the Holt Family Cemetery and enjoy lunch
on the grounds.
The Friends of the Holt
Home continue to offer the opportunity for all fifth
grade Breckinridge County students to encounter what
life was like during the Civil War period.
As they explore the
past at the historic Holt Home, they also learned about
the annual Holt Home Community Day open to the public on
the fourth Saturday of each September.
School getting ready for a tour
B.C.H.S. Tour Guides gave highlights of the strong
history of Holt and his home
Cloverport Independent School's 5th grade listened
intently about history of the home
Students take time to pose with President Lincoln
Ben Johnson and Custer Elementary School at Student Day
Legacy Continued To Gain
at 9th Annual Holt Home Community Day
A year’s work in review welcomed a grand crowd for
the 9th Annual Holt Home Community Day September 23.
An estimated crowd of 2,000 came to enjoy the
community’s pride in the continued restoration of the
last official Kentucky Lincoln site in the Commonwealth.
There were numerous highlights.
Young ladies and gentlemen from the Berea Festival
Dancers danced tunes of the period and their director,
Jennifer Rose Escobar, sang lovely ballads. The
Breckinridge County Band, surrounded by visitors, made
its debut performing majestically on the lawn with
Director Ricky Dudgeon. Visitors surrounded the local
band as the music entertained everyone. Vocal melodies
filled the air with the Breckinridge County Chamber
Singers led by new director Phil Jennings singing
Lorena. Other locals, Paul Joseph O’ Donoghue and Alison
O’Donoghue Mattingly, sang period selections.
Entering the Holt grounds, guests were greeted with
music and the smell of wonderful food cooked by the
Breckinridge County Cattleman. Boy Scout Troop and Club
Scout Pack # 95 presented and posted the Colors.
Campsites by the Ninth Michigan Volunteer Infantry and
cannon firing by the 14th Light Artillery gave a glimpse
of what life was like in the 1860s. And, Kim and John
Nyberg shared pictures and information about the Holt
Home wallpaper analysis and its future restoration
Improvements of the home and grounds were met with
approval and visitors were amazed with all the
restoration that has occurred with grants and hard work.
Special speakers included Kentucky State
Representative Dean Schamore, Kentucky State Senator
Steve Meredith, and Jon Rollins, GRW architect for the
Holt Home restoration. Breckinridge County Judge
Executive Maurice Lucas was another key speaker and
Charlie Corbett, Friends of the Holt Home director,
recognized families and individuals for their support as
lifetime Honored Friends of the Holt Home. Susan B.
Dyer, Friends of the Holt Home president, honored
families and individuals for donations of beautiful
period furniture collections.
The community day was an opportunity to appreciate
what Brig. Gen. Joseph Holt did for our nation. COL
James A. Bagwell, staff judge advocate at Fort Knox, the
keynote speaker, emphasized how Judge Holt helped hold
our nation together and is a great example of a patriot
to the United States Army Judge Advocate Generals
(JAGs). The renovation of his home has been instrumental
in restoring the legacy of Judge Holt, Pres. Abraham
Lincoln’s Judge Advocate General for the U.S. Army. It
also has been key to partnering with the Friends of the
Holt Home, the United States Army Cadet Command and the
Fort Knox Office of the Staff Judge Advocate. The Fort
Knox JAGS have made it a tradition to come annually and
place a wreath at Judge Holt’s monument.
Many walked to the Holt Family Cemetery as the wreath
was placed by COL Bagwell and Master Staff Sergeant
Konrad Nikolao. Taps was played by Paul Rotramel,
Breckinridge County assistant band director, as the JAGS
gave honor to one of their own. Judge Kelly Easton,
master of ceremonies, reminded the community about
Holt’s legacy and his importance in American history.
The afternoon continued with Larry Elliott,
portraying President Lincoln, throwing out the first
pitch at the Civil War baseball game that continues to
be a big hit with visitors. The KY Home Guard Band and
the Guilderoy Byrne Band entertained the crowd as
Breckinridge County High School students gave tours of
the home, and trees from the grounds were sold.
Preservation efforts to save the Holt Home began 20
years ago. An account of that journey will be featured
in a new book by Susan B. Dyer, published by Acclaim
Press. Due for release in September 2018, the volume has
the working title, The New Jewel in Kentucky’s Civil War
Highlights from the 2017 9th Annual Holt Home Community
Photo Credit for the the photos on this page to Glen
Arnold, Arnold Studios & More, Garfield, Ky.
Berea Festival Dancers danced tunes of the period,
director, Jennifer Rose Escobar.
Berea Festival Dancers
Berea Festival Dancers danced the tunes of the period.
The Breckinridge County High School Band making its
debut with Director Ricky Dudgeon.
The Breckinridge County High School Band playing a
The Breckinridge County High School Band, performing
majestically on the lawn with Director Ricky Dudgeon.
Visitors listening to The Breckinridge County High
School Band perform.
Paul Joseph O’ Donoghue and Alison O’Donoghue Mattingly,
sang period selections.
Campsites by the Ninth Michigan Volunteer Infantry
Campsites by the 14th Light Artillery
Campsites by the 14th Light Artillery
Ninth Michigan Volunteer loading his rifle.
14th Light Artillery Cannon
14th Light Artillery loading the cannon, preparing for
Kentucky State Representative Dean Schamore
Kentucky State Senator Steve Meredith
Breckinridge County Judge Executive, Maurice Lucas
Susan B. Dyer, Friends of the Holt Home president
Charlie Corbett, Friends of the Holt Home director
Jon Rollins, GRW architect for the Holt Home
Judge Holt portrayed by Judge Kelly Easton (Master of
Judge Kelly Easton
COL James A. Bagwell, staff judge advocate at Fort Knox and
Presenting an award to COL James A. Bagwell, staff judge
advocate at Fort Knox, the keynote speaker
Ninth Michigan Volunteer Infantry
COL Bagwell and Master Staff Sergeant Konrad Nikolao.
COL Bagwell and Master Staff Sergeant Konrad Nikolao entering
the gates of the Holt Cemetery.
Taps are played by Paul Rotramel, Breckinridge County
assistant band director.
COL Bagwell and Master Staff Sergeant Konrad Nikolao.
COL Bagwell and Master Staff Sergeant Konrad Nikolao placing
wreath on Judge Holt's grave.
COL Bagwell and Master Staff Sergeant Konrad Nikolao
paying honor to Judge Joseph Holt.
The KY Home Guard Band entertained the crowd.
The Guilderoy Byrne Band playing music.
The Period Style Baseball Game is a Crowd Favorite.
Period Costumes of the day!
Players in Action!
Looks like a good hit!
Links to Previous Events and Articles
Partnering Helps get out the
word of the work behind the Holt project! And the effort that
www.jholt-houseky.org website and see how today’s historians, volunteers, and advocates are
striving to make Judge Holt’s home again “The showplace of
Site Originally Designed
Modifications and maintenance from
April, 2014 to present
by webmaster, Greg Hicks of America
Just Say It LLC.
For information or to comment on
Brandenburg Telephone Company