, Corbin, KY


August 27, 2012

Bronze, brave and unbridled

Daniel Boone statue unveiled in Barbourville

CORBIN — By Jeff Noble, Staff Writer

When the Daniel Boone Festival rolls into Barbourville this October, visitors will get to see Kentucky’s most famous frontiersman.  He’ll be waiting for them in front of the Knox County Courthouse.

And, he’s there now.

The long-awaited, life-size bronze statue of Daniel Boone was unveiled Friday morning during a ceremony at the courthouse square in downtown Barbourville. Those at the event said the handsome statue was the work of many people over many years, and would be a signature sight for the festival, the city and county.

“This was a monumental undertaking for such a small group,” said Ron Bowling, this year’s Daniel Boone Festival President, in his opening remarks.

Bowling also thanked the members of the festival, both active and lifetime, as well as the committee who worked on making the Boone statue a reality.

Done by Louisville artist Raymond Graf, the bronze statue weighs 450 pounds. It stands on a 3-by-3, four-sided cone shaped piece of granite that weights 3,800 pounds. And according to Bowling, the granite wasn’t an easy piece to cut.

“They cut that rock three times to get a pure piece. On the fourth time, it was smooth and perfect,” he noted.

On the front of the granite, Boone’s name and the year of his birth and death are listed, along with a quote from the explorer.

“I can’t say as ever I was lost. But I was bewildered once for three days.”

“We always liked that quote. It was his most famous one. That’s why we used it,” Bowling said.

The statue project has been discussed and in progress for a quarter of a century. Twenty years later, the festival had the $65,000 to have the statue finished and mounted.

Bowling said it’s all paid for.

“We saved the money every year to be able to get it done for today.”

And that it’s completed, well before the 65th Annual Daniel Boone Festival begins.

“I am so relieved today that this day has come,” Statue Committee Chairman Steve Valentine told the audience.

Many at the unveiling marveled at the intricate detail done by Graf on the statue, which shows Boone, rifle in hand and looking forward, ready to blaze the trail.

One person said it also portrays Boone in his real element, free from the coonskin cap that was Hollywood’s image of the explorer.

On this Daniel Boone, a fedora sits on his head.

“The statue research by the committee went all the way down to his hat and moccasins.  Everybody wanted to see Daniel the real way he is,” said Pat Hauser, a former committee member and former Barbourville mayor.

“You think about Daniel Boone, you think about Kentucky, and you think about the state’s slogan, ‘Unbridled Spirit.’ The spirit of the people of Barbourville, Knox County and southeastern Kentucky. That statue personifies that spirit,” said State Sen. Robert Stivers (R-Manchester), who represents Barbourville and Knox County.

“When these kids grow up, I want them to remember the Daniel Boone Festival… The committee is the backbone of the Daniel Boone Festival. And every time you see a committee member, thank them for the statue,” added Knox County Judge-Executive J.M. Hall.

It took three volleys from the Black Powder Shooters to unleash the statue. On the third volley, the wraps came down, and with that, a bold, bronze and unbridled symbol of Kentucky’s pioneer spirit came up for view.

The master of ceremonies for the program, Barbourville Independent School Superintendent Larry Warren, said it was fitting for the day. And for the festival that bears the explorer’s name.

“It’s been a splendid morning with over 250 people here. Daniel Boone and his descendants are very happy,” Warren pointed out.

Text Only
  • 0412 Keith Decker.jpg Keith Decker named Ky. Missionary of the Year for Cedaridge work

    Kentucky Missionary of the Year Keith Decker takes no credit for the success of the work he oversees in the foothills of Appalachia. The credit, he says, goes to the Lord.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0320 Shelley Foord-Kelcey MD2U.jpg House Calls

    Laura King, 93, sits back and smiles, relaxed and comfortable in the armchair as the doctor takes her blood pressure and checks on her condition.

    No, wait. That’s not a doctor.

    March 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • House calls: In home medical care has become a thing of the past. . . until now

    By Bobbie Poynter
    Features Editor
    Laura King, 93, sits back and smiles, relaxed and comfortable in the armchair as the doctor takes her blood pressure and checks on her condition.

    March 20, 2014

  • 0315 CCC Best Friends Program.jpg Christian Care Communities awarded funding for Best Friends program

    Christian Care Communities started a program for seniors, which initially began about 30 years ago in Lexington. The program is called the Best Friends program and it utilizes a social approach for people with various stages of dementia.

    March 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • KSP truck raffle.jpg KSP raffle features GMC truck

    The Kentucky State Police Trooper Island raffle features a vehicle ready for work or play this year.

    March 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0313 Deanna Myers-animal shelter.jpg Animal shelter director recognized for efforts

    The director of the Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter has been recognized for her efforts and work in the past year.

    March 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0305 Gerstemeier-JROTC2.jpg Fort Campbell Army battalion donates uniforms to CHS JROTC

    On Feb. 28, Corbin High School JROTC PFC Cadet Morgan Gerstemeier paid a visit to the Fort Campbell Army Base to pick up 150-200 uniforms, being donated to the high school’s JROTC program.

    March 10, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0306 Wburg Health & Rehab.jpg Williamsburg Health and Rehabilitation Center wins state, national honors

    Williamsburg Health and Rehabilitation Center took home top facility honors at the 2013 Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities (KAHCF) annual meeting Nov. 12-14 in Louisville.

    March 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0301 Bobby Mackey.jpg The Doctor is Out

    As a Korean War marine radio telegraph operator, young Robert Edward Mackey returned home in 1957 to Barbourville with an open mind on how he would spend his future.

    March 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0201 microfilm.jpg History Resurrected

    While researching an obituary for someone at the Whitley County Public Library, Patricia Jones, president of the Whitley County Historical and Genealogical Society, ran across a one-line news brief in an 1891 newspaper that read “The wife of Terrell Rains died Thursday of typhoid.”

    February 3, 2014 1 Photo

Front page
Featured Ads
AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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