, Corbin, KY


October 8, 2010

Long rifles are tradition at Daniel Boone Festival

CORBIN — By Carl Keith Greene/Staff Writer

Saturday morning at 10 a.m., the smell of exploded black powder, the sound of muzzle-loaders and cheers following bulls-eye shots will fill the air at the 63rd annual Daniel Boone Festival at Barbourville.

Daniel Boone and his company, Dr. Thomas Walker and his followers and most of the pioneers coming across the Cumberland Gap carried the long rifle for protection as well as fulfilling the need for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The tradition of the long rifle shootout at the festival goes back to 1963, when it came time to determine, once and for all, which was the better shot with the long rifle, Pennsylvanians or Kentuckians.

And the tradition continues each year on Lay Field behind Knox Middle School.

Forty-five years ago, David Cornett, who manages the annual shootout, said Tuesday he had his first taste of black powder at the festival.

He even has a photo of himself at 17 made that day with a long rifle in hand, he said.

A couple of years earlier, Kentucky Gov. Bert Combs and Pennsylvania Gov. William Scranton got together and set up the shootout.

Cornett explained that there had been a long-standing argument between the states, both commonwealths by the way.

“We called it the Kentucky rifle and they called it the Pennsylvania,” and a feud between the states developed. The rifle “actually came down through Pennsylvania, but the Kentuckians refined it. The man lived in Kentucky who had actually engineered the long rifle and perfected it,” Cornett said.

So the governors got together and made a little wager.

And that’s how the long-standing shootout at Barbourville each October came about.

In the challenge made by the governors they said, “You bring your best shooters from Kentucky and Pennsylvania.” They flipped a coin and Kentucky turned out to be the shootout site.

Since Daniel Boone was so good with the long rifle, it was decided the Daniel Boone Festival was the most suitable location.

The Kentucky Corps of Long Rifles, along with some good Knox County men, made up the Kentucky team and the shootout filled the air with smoke and lead at what was then the Knox Central High football field.

“They decided it there, with Kentucky winning the bragging rights,” Cornett said.

Depending on the weather there have been 30 or more shooters at the annual event.

“We have the best marksmen from Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee,” he said.

Shooters can win prizes of as much as $100 in several categories.

In the long rifle shootout and round shooting contests first, second and third place shooters will be honored.

There’s novelty shooting and pioneer dress contests for men, women, boys and girls.

Last year in the long rifle shootout, Ance Wagers placed first, Hobart Hensley and Wayne Howard second and third.

In round shooters Wagers won first, second and third, Scott Cornett second and Hensley third.

Scott Cornett won first in novelty and Hensley in flint shootout.

Best eastern dressed man was Charlie Hobbs; woman, Cassie Tye; boy and girl, Jonathan and Amanda Gambrel.

And after the shootout the riflemen participate in the parade, firing off an occasional blank shot, he said.

Before the shootout people start arriving about 8 and 9 a.m. “Some people travel 250 to 300 miles to get there that early. It’s just a dedicated bunch of people.”

“You know Kentucky has the best shooters in the nation,” David Cornett said in the end.

Text Only
  • Floss, Pyatt to perform at Corbin High

    Promising “An Evening of Fun and Entertainment,” humorist, comedian and storyteller Howard Floss will join multi-award winning singer and songwriter Dale Pyatt on stage in Corbin on Saturday, May 17.

    April 16, 2014

  • Arena home to circus two nights in May

    It’s been said everyone loves a circus. With that being said, “The Greatest Show on Earth” is coming to Corbin next month.

    April 16, 2014

  • 0413 Redbud Festival.jpg Redbud Fest kicks off Friday

    The Redbud Festival is right around the corner for Barbourville.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0404 empty bowls.jpg Hunger Paints

    As she dipped a paint brush in a container of bright purple paint, Sarah Pedersen announced her design plans for a clay bowl she held.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0401 Ride for PRIDE logo.jpg Gates open Wednesday for Ride for PRIDE event

    Ride for PRIDE begins Wednesday and continues through Sunday, with trail rides taking place through the Daniel Boone National Forest and festivities taking place at the London Drag Way at 3385 White Oak Road in London.

    April 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Storyteller at Corbin Library next week

    Calling himself “an unsung ambassador for Eastern Kentucky, professional Appalachian storyteller, author, poet and humorist Stephen Hollen steps in to Corbin for an event next Tuesday, April 8.

    April 1, 2014

  • Native American Weekend kicks off Friday

    Native American culture is coming to Cumberland Falls this weekend.

    March 27, 2014

  • Grills Gone Wild BBQ .jpg Grills Gone Wild BBQ Festival begins Friday in London

    Get ready for some serious weekend grilling! The Grills Gone Wild Barbecue Festival, organized by the Inferno Group of Harrogate, Tenn., is finally here and will begin its festivities Friday.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0325 Brian Theodore.jpg A well of hope for a dry village

    Four years after a horrific earthquake shook the Caribbean nation of Haiti, a Corbin artist hopes a picture he painted will help get a simple water well built in one Haitian village.

    March 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Humane message: primates aren’t pets

    Monkeys might be cute, but they do not make good pets.

    March 24, 2014

Front page
Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter