Years at the Falls'
is central theme in event
at Farnsley Moreman Landing
to help mark 100 years
at Louisville attraction
Helen E. McKinney
(June 2007) On May 27, 1778, an audacious
young commander named George Rogers Clark led an expedition of 20 families
and a small army straight to the Falls of the Ohio. He left behind a
group of settlers on Corn Island, thus leaving his mark on the founding
of Louisville before going on to make one of the boldest military moves
in the history of the United States.
of re-enactors are scheduled
to perform during the 100 Years
at the Falls event in June in Louisville.
This expedition, known as the Northwest Campaign, proved
to be an extraordinary feat as it doubled the size of the colonies
and was set against the backdrop of the Revolution on the far western
front, said Rod Smothers. Two years ago, he created a non-profit
organization, Falls Landing Foundation, to commemorate the founding
of Louisville and its connections to Clark and the Revolutionary War
Smothers has been hard at work during this time organizing a founders
day celebration. 100 Years at the Falls is being planned
from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on June 9-10 at Riverside, The Farnsley Moremen
Landing, in Louisville. This event will be a timeline event spanning
the years 1765 to 1865.
With so many beautiful and important historic sites around the
state and the many important events and people who are connected with
the Falls, we felt that a timeline event would best showcase our history,
Some important events that occurred during this time include Clarks
founding of Louisville, his brother William Clark teaming with Merriweather
Lewis some 25 years later upon the Voyage of Discovery, the War of 1812
in which many prominent Louisvillians took up arms and fought, and Abraham
Lincoln visiting Farmington, now a historic home in Louisville.
There is also a lot of history to be found at Riverside, which was a
large Ohio River farm in the 1800s. The main home was built around 1837
by Gabriel Farnsley, and its inhabitants depended on the river for trade
and information. Alanson and Rachel Moreman bought the house and property
With so much history centered around the Ohio River, Riverside was a
logical site for Smothers to stage this event. One glance and
I knew we had found our site, he said.
Riverside is a 300-acre city park with two miles of river frontage in
an unspoiled, natural setting. Re-enactors and visitors both will
get a sense of what the Falls area was like in 1778, said Smothers.
Setting made Riverside a natural choice for this event, agreed Site
Manager Patti Linn. Since there is not much modern development,
it is easier to take oneself back in time, while visiting Riverside,
Camps will be erected that represent Native Americans, Clarks
militia, Clarks uniform army, War of 1812, Regency (1820) re-enactors
from Locust Grove, units from the Civil War, including an all black
Union Artillery Company that will give cannon demonstrations. Military
units will explain their weapons, drilling practices and camp life.
Sutlers will provide food and wares, 18th and 19th century music, and
a Chautauqua-style speaking series. Speakers include Gywnne Potts (first
director of Locust Grove and co-author of George Rogers Clark
and Locust Grove); Nancy OMalley (University of Kentucky
archaeologist and author of Stockading Up); Mandy Dick (Locust
Grove re-enactor); and Chuck Parris (retired Corp of Engineers employee
who will speak about the Falls and its changes in the past 200 years).
Organizers are hoping to schedule appearances by Clark, Abraham Lincoln
and Frederick Douglas. Frank Jarboe will provide an 18th century style
Sunday morning church service.
Several different public events are held at Riverside throughout the
year, said Linn. But this will be the first re-enacting event at the
site. Linn said she hopes this event will become an annual happening
Louisville Metro Government lent a supporting hand to this event when
Mayor Jerry Abramson named May 27 Falls Landing Day in 2005.
This gave organizers more momentum to plan an event that would recognize
Clark and the settlers that landed with him on the seven-acre Corn Island
Admission to the event is $6 adults, $5
seniors and $3 children. For more information, call (502) 935-6809 or
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