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Kentucky History And Genealogy Conference Starts Aug. 25 At Mercer County Public Library

Historical Dinners Planned For Aug. 25

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Robert Moore
Herald Staff

It’s time to check out the Kentucky History and Genealogy Conference at the Mercer County Public Library (109 West Lexington Street). The conference happens Friday, Aug. 25, and Saturday, Aug. 26, starting 9:30 a.m.

“We’re going to have speakers from all over the state,” said David Kirkpatrick, assistant director of genealogy at the library. “It’s a statewide event.”

More than 30 speakers are scheduled to give presentations over two days, including professional genealogist J. Mark Lowe, who is scheduled to speak Friday, and historic preservationist and author Kent Masterson Brown, who is scheduled to speak Saturday.

J. Mark Lowe

J. Mark Lowe has been researching families for more than 55 years. Lowe grew up in Tennessee with family roots in Kentucky. He was a former president of the of the Association of Professional Genealogists, former vice president and secretary of the Federation of Genealogical Societies. He is the coordinator for the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research and Georgia Genealogical Society and was awarded the Grahame T. Smallwood Jr. Award in 2007 and a Lifetime Membership Award in 2019 by the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Lowe has published articles and reviews in magazines and newsletters published by the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, the Genealogical Speakers Guild, the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and other local society publications. He currently hosts a YouTube Channel.

Kent Masterson Brown

Saturday’s speaker is a constitutional attorney who graduated from Centre College. Kent Masterson Brown helped form the Perryville Battlefield Association and was appointed chairman of the Perryville Battlefield Commission. He also had a presidential appointment as chairman of the Gettysburg National Military Park Advisory Commission and served on the Board of the Gettysburg Foundation. Brown is the president of the Witnessing History Education Foundation, Inc. and currently serves as a member of the Kentucky American Independence Semiquincentennial Commission, the Kentucky Film Commission, and a member of the Board of Directors of Smithfield Plantation in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Brown is the author of six books—including his latest, “Meade at Gettysburg: A Study in Command”—which have been selections of the History Book Club and Military Book Club. He has also hosted and produced eight award-winning documentary films for public and cable television, including: “Bourbon and Kentucky: A History Distilled.”

Among the local speakers are Tressa Brown of the Kentucky Heritage Council and Kandie Adkinson and Travis Horn of the Kentucky Secretary of State Land Office. For a full list of the speakers, visit

Kirkpatrick and Robin Ison, the director of the public library, say they’re excited to host the Kentucky History and Genealogy Conference. The library is currently in the process of renovating the property right next door to the library. Once complete, it will be home to a local history and genealogy research center, which is scheduled to have its grand opening later this year.

The Kentucky History and Genealogy Conference is free, but RSVP for space and refreshments. Register at For more information, call 859-734-3680 or visit online at

That’s hardly the only historical happening coming up.

The Harrodsburg Historical Society is hosting “The Birdwhistle Treasure: A Genealogical Mystery” on Friday, Aug. 25, starting at 5:30 p.m. Participants get a chance to locate the treasure and determine the legitimate heir. Dinner is $25, reservations required. The Harrodsburg Historical Society is located at 220 South Chiles Street. For more, call 859-325-9028 or visit

Chef Walter Staib returns to Mercer County for the “Taste of History” premiere party at the Lodge at Logan Vineyards (254 Hopewell Road) on Friday, Aug. 25, starting at 6 p.m. Staib and his staff will be on hand for the first showing of the episode filmed at Old Fort Harrod State Park here in Harrodsburg. Brisket and carved pork loin by the Swinery will be served. Dinner and tickets will be $30 dollars. Cash bar and bourbon tasting are optional. The evening is presented by Friends of Fort Harrod and the Mercer Chamber of Commerce. For more, call 859-559-1713 or visit Facebook @ Logan Vineyards.

For more great stories, check out this week’s edition of the Harrodsburg Herald. Click here to subscribe.

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