11th Annual Holt Home Community Day / History is
The historic Holt Home is
part of the portrait of America. The Friends of the Holt
Home, Inc. work diligently each year to bring history
back as MG Joseph Holt might have entertained. The
yearly family event on the fourth Saturday of September
has become a tradition as the doors are open to the
peopleís home! During the restoration the public has
been invited year after year to be a part of the
Preservation is slow done the right way. As the next
phase of restoration continues visitors who come on
September 26, 2020 will see a remarkable change in Judge
Holtís home, the only home in America today that tells
the complete story of the Lincoln Conspiracy Trial where
Holt presided. As you view pictures from the September
26, 2019 event you can just imagine how the Holtís
lived, and learn of how Joseph Holt helped develop the
Judge Advocate General Corps.
Much work has been done to
gain and continue the partnering with the United States
Army JAGS and other state partners. Support your local
history where the Showplace of Breckinridge County is
returning along with the home of one of the Army JAGSí
heroes and our most famous son!
to Judge Nottingham
2019 Student Day at the Judge Joseph Holt Home
Friends of the Holt Home, Inc. were honored to present
Student Day on September 25, 2019 for 5th grade pupils
to encounter an educational field trip to explore the
past at the historic Judge Joseph Holt Home in rural
Breckinridge Co. The Friends appreciate the wonderful
partnering of all the schools and volunteer scholar
guides to make this a continued success.
The History Alive Program of President Abraham Lincoln,
the Civil War and MG Joseph Holtís connection to Lincoln
along with Holtís national importance of his military
career and home both tell important stories with, ďA
link to the Past, and our Gift to the Future.Ē
to Judge Nottingham
President Lincoln, Gen.
meet, greet at Holt Community
Photo Courtesy of the KY Heritage Council/ State
President Abraham Lincoln and Gen. U.S. Grant will be
available to meet and greet those attending the 11th
Annual Holt Home Community Day Sept. 28.
The President, portrayed by
Larry Elliott, and Gen. Grant, portrayed by Curt Fields,
have been heralded as amazing lookalikes and highly
proficient authorities on two of the key figures in the
U.S. Civil War. Theyíll headline a program thatís
scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. CDT on the grounds of
the historic Judge Joseph Holt home in Hardinsburg.
The Friends of the Holt Home,
Inc. cherishes its position by presenting the Holt Home
Community Day where families and visitors of all ages
are entertained in the period as Abraham Lincolnís
Lawyer might have entertained. And are proud to
coordinate fund raising efforts and events for the home
of Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt. Holt, a
Breckinridge County native, was appointed Judge Advocate
General, in 1862 by President Lincoln. His 19th Century
14-room mansion will be open for public viewing.
In addition to the Lincoln and
Grant portrayals, other Community Day highlights include
a silent auction, a wreath-laying ceremony at Judge
Holtís monument, period music by the Breckinridge County
Concert Band and Chamber Singers, performances by the
Berea Festival Dancers, Kentucky Home Guard Band and the
Guilderroy Byrne Band. A Civil War baseball game will be
conducted along with cannon firing by the 14th Kentucky
Light Artillery unit.
Proceeds from the Silent Auction
assist with costs for the Community Day, which is free
and open to the public. Those wishing to contribute an
item should contact the Breckinridge County Chamber
(270-756-0268), the Breckinridge County Fiscal Court
(270-756-2268), or the Friends of the Holt Home
Guided tours of the Holt Home
will focus on continuing restoration projects for the
160-year-old mansion. Copies of the latest book
concerning the homeís restoration also will be
available. Author Susan Dyer will sign Joseph Holt
Mansion: Saving and Restoring the Home of Lincolnís
Judge Advocate General.
Judge Holtís most memorable role
as judge advocate general occurred when he presided over
the trial of the Lincoln assassination conspirators. His
6,225-square-foot home with its Italianate architecture
is listed on the National Register of Historic Places
and sits on 19.5 acres owned by the Breckinridge County
The Holt Home is located at 6205
Highway 144 in Hardinsburg. More information is
available at www.jholt-houseky.org or by calling
270-756-2269, 270-756-0268, or 270-756-2573.
Fort Knox JAG Corps initiates
service for Holt
A request to perform service
work for the grounds of the Judge Joseph Holt Home was
granted to the Fort Knox Recruiting Command of the Judge
Advocate General (JAG) Corps.
service approval enabled the Fort Knox group to begin
its efforts by filling in an old cistern on the homeís
grounds. The work was performed May 8 and included a
reception sponsored by the Friends of the Holt Home,
Charles Allen, judge advocate trial council for U.S.
Army Recruiting Command at Fort Knox Command, initiated
the request following the 10th Annual Holt Community Day
in September. The request also included the
establishment at the home of professional development
for the command.
approval was given by the Kentucky Heritage
Council/State Preservation office for work on the
Professional development activities were held with The
Friends group who provided a history of the home, its
national significance, the 15 grants received, and
partnerships with individuals and organizations.
Allen pointed out that he emphasized to the JAG corps
that the Holt Home was a special place with an important
national history. He noted that he had learned about the
annual community day on Facebook and had attended
several such events with his wife. That led him to
ďshare with others the integrity of this fine home.Ē COL
Lance B. Turlington and LTC Michael Cusack were
impressed with the virgin timber in the Holt Home, and
with the community-based project!
Bramblett of WXBC was on site and interviewed COL Lance
Turlington, and Susan B. Dyer, President of the Friends,
and taped a video of Charlie Corbet, Friendsí member
giving a tour of the Holt Family Cemetery, who provided
a detailed history of Holtís siblings and how the family
was divided by the Civil War. A tour of the home was
conducted by Friends President, Susan Dyer, who also
gave updates on the restoration project.
Judge Maurice Lucas and the Breckinridge County Fiscal
Court provided materials for the cistern project.
Photos courtesy of U.S. Army Recruiting Command
at Fort Knox
Fort Knox Recruiting Command
of the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps
Uniforms for Service Work to the Holt grounds!
Charlie Allen, Sam Moore,
Lance Turlington, Maurice Lucas
Working on the Cistern
Charlie Corbett, Friend's
COL Lance Turlington and
Friend's President, Susan Dyer
Rain failed to dampen
10th Annual Holt Home Community
Rain failed to dampen
the enthusiasm of those attending the 10th Annual
Holt Home Community Day.
an all day drizzle, hundreds of visitors turned out
Sept. 22 to tour the home and grounds of the Judge
Joseph Holt estate.
President Abraham Lincoln, portrayed by
and Gen. and Mrs. U.S. Grant, portrayed by
Curt and Lena
Fields, greeted those in attendance. With
umbrellas in hand, the crowd purchased Susan Dyerís new
book, The Joseph Holt Mansion: Saving & Restoring the
Home of Lincolnís Judge Advocate General, as a lasting
remembrance of the Holt Home project.
Preservationist Stephen Collins, one of the key
speakers, focused on the value and historical
significance of the home and how it will bring economic
development to the community, region and state.
And, Col. Andras M. Marton, representing the
Pentagonís Judge Advocate General Office, stressed Judge
Holtís national importance and legacy to the nation and
Marton also led the wreath-laying ceremony at the
cemeteryís Holt Monument as the Breckinridge County High
School Band played taps.
school band, the Guilderoy Byrne Band, Kentucky Home
Guard Band, and the Breckinridge County Chamber Singers
provided musical entertainment. The Berea Festival
Dancers performed period dances, cannon firing was
provided throughout the day and the rain failed to halt
a period baseball game. The Ninth Michigan
Volunteer Infantry provided an authentic military
Modern Woodman provided a $2,500 matching grant to
assist the Holt project and a new National Register
plaque and additional cemetery plaques were unveiled.
Charlie Corbett of the Friends of the Holt Home spoke
about research concerning Judge Holtís brothers and
sister who are not buried in the family plot.
Corbett also discussed anticipated work on the next
phase of the mansion restoration.
Highlights from the 10th Annual Holt Home Community
September 22, 2018
President Lincoln portrayed by
Larry Elliott. Visit
General Grant portrayed by Curt
Photo Credit to Tender Loving Care Photography
Ed Ford, developed the idea of
the vintage baseball game, suggested getting the Berea
Festival Dancers and has assisted the Friends with
numerous ideas for the Holt Home Community Day events,
speaking with Miss Jaydyn Dyer.
Judge Kelly Easton, Master of Ceremonies portraying
Judge Joseph Holt who donated the very nice podium for
events at the historic Holt Home.
Berea Festival Dancers bringing dancing back to the Holt
Opening Ceremonies to begin the 10th Annual Celebration!
Boy Scout Troop and Club Scout Pack #95
Beautiful period selections sung by the Breckinridge
County Chamber Singers enhanced the crowd.
Chamber singers performing
Phil Jennings directing the Breckinridge County Chamber
Singers (The Friends appreciate the partnering!)
General Ulysses S. Grant & Mrs. Grant posing with young
Field Desk of General Ulysses S. Grant with Mrs. Grant
by his side. Portrayed by Curt Fields and Lena Fields.
The 14th Light Artillery recently purchased a large
Civil War cannon and Judge Maurice Lucas is at work
Gordon Brandenburg explains and demonstrated the Civil
War era cannon (a crowd favorite!)
The Ninth Michigan Volunteer Infantry greets visitors at
the Civil War campsite.
A Berea Festival dancer taking in the dayís festivities.
Paul Joseph OíDonoghue and Alison Mattingly singing
songs from Judge Holtís era in the parlor
A re-enactor loading his gun.
Firing in precision (The Ninth Michigan)
Ninth Michigan (at arms.)
Firing of period guns occurred throughout the event.
General Grant & Mrs. Grant speaking with Friendsí
President, Susan Dyer.
Breckinridge Concert Band directed by Ricky Dudgeon,
(Friends of the Holt Home appreciate the partnering!)
Umbrellas and tents lined the grounds. However, the
people came and enjoyed the living history alive.
Powerful patriotic music put the crowd in a spirited
Sounds of music assembled throughout the grounds
11:00 a.m. Program Speakers Judge Kelly Easton, Master of
Ceremonies, Key Speaker, COL Andras M. Marton,
Representing the Office of the Judge Advocate General
from the Pentagon, Susan B. Dyer, President of the
Friends of the Holt Home, Inc. Breckinridge County Judge
Executive Maurice Lucas, Key Speaker, Stephen L.
Collins, Preservationist & Chairman of the Kentucky
Heritage Council, and Nicole Konkol, Archaeology
Transportation Review Coordinator KY Heritage Council.
the playing of the National Anthem.
Breckinridge County Judge Maurice Lucas
Susan Dyer, recognizing individuals and families whom
have donated beautiful pieces of furniture from the
1860ís to the historic Holt Home.
Nicole Konkol, KY Heritage Council reviewing archaeology
work recently completed on the Holt grounds in 2018.
Charlie Corbett, one of he Directors who gave updates on
the Holt family plaques and summarized the restoration
work for the next phase on the Holt home project.
Stephen L. Collins spoke on what advantages the historic
Holt Home will bring Breckinridge County with economic
development and tourism.
COL Andras M. Marton,Representing the Office of the Judge
Advocate General, who is the Strategic Planner for
General Pede, The Judge Advocate General of the United
States Army. Spoke about the importance of Brigadier
General Joseph Holt and how his legacy is respected by
the U.S. Army JAGS of today.
COL Andras M. Marton giving Friends President Susan B.
Dyer a hug from the Colonel
NeilTindell retired Guidance Counselor from the
Independent Cloverport Schools made a surprise
presentation by presenting the gift of the newly
discovered Joseph Holt Bible (in French.) Signed by
Joseph Holt and found in the Cloverport United Methodist
Church and will be on permanent loan to the Holt Home
once restoration is completed.
Tindel (showing Holtís signatures) & explaining how the
signature was researched along with learning Joseph Holt
was fluent in French.
Neil Tindel showing the wonderful Bible of Holt to the
The Ninth Michigan Volunteer Infantry leading the crowd
to the Holt Family Cemetery.
Vestal Rogers Leads the Ninth with the stars and strips
to honor Judge Joseph Holt, Holtís legacyÖÖÖ. the reason
for the celebration.
General Grant portrayed by Curt Fields from Tennessee
awaits COL Andras M. Marton with preparing the laying of
the wreath at Holtís monument
President Abraham Lincoln portrayed by Larry Elliott,
COL Andras M. Marton representing The Judge Advocate
General from the Pentagon &General Ulysses S. Grant
portrayed by Curt Fields giving honor to Breckinridge
Countyís most famous son, Joseph Holt.
President Lincoln, COL Marton and General Grant (giving
Salutes given to Brigadier General Joseph Holt.
Honor given as the crowd surrounds the Holt Family
Cemetery (inside and out) for the presidential
Paying respect in a quiet & appreciative manner to
Joseph Holt who served our great nation and numerous
Presidents in very distinguished positions!
Civil War Baseball Team for Holt!
And the game begins!
Hit after hit!
Holt Field is a favorite place to gather on the Holt
Home Community Day.
Playing Americaís pastime in the rain takes a very
distinguished group of young men!
KY Home Guard Band played strong patriotic tunes that
could be heard across the grounds.
The band plays onÖÖ.
Taking time for a picture with (history of how the Holt
Jeff Nalley with Modern Woodman proudly presents a
$2,500 matching grant to the Friends of the Holt Home.
President Lincoln, Susan Dyer, and General Grant
Berea Festival Dancers inside the historic Holt Home.
Period dancing was enjoyed by high school students
making up the Berea Festival Dancers.
Visitors enjoyed watching the period Civil War dancers.
What fun, as the music and dancing resumed once again
inside the Holt Mansion.
Authentic costumes brought dance Alive!
Guilderoy Byrne Band provided the beautiful tunes for the
Annual Student Day
well attended by
County Fifth-Grade Students
Fifth graders from
Breckinridge County schools experienced a living history
event about the nationís 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
Lincolnís 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 Lincolnís 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
Kentuckyís 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 Holtís beloved home and grounds
is filled with a full-scale day of events all in the
period as Lincolnís 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. Ė 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 Kentuckyís
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 Holtís 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 nationís 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 Holtís
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 Holtís 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 yearís 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
communityís 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 Oí Donoghue and Alison
OíDonoghue 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
Lincolnís 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 Holtís 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
Holtís 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 Kentuckyís Civil War
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 todayís historians, volunteers, and advocates are
striving to make Judge Holtís home again ďThe showplace of
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