Heritage Tourism in Breckinridge County Gets a Boost

The Holt House in Breckinridge County, Kentucky held its third annual Community Day on September 25.  In addition to house tours, period music, a wreath laying ceremony, and speeches by portrayers of Judge Joseph Holt and Abraham Lincoln, the Holt House received a major donation.

Joseph Holt House Breckinridge County Kentucky heritage historic preservationThe nationally recognized historic site accepted a check for $500,000 from Marcheta Sparrow, Secretary of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. The money is for stabilization and rehabilitation of the house and it will be a catalyst for increased heritage tourism in this part of our region.

Secretary Sparrow and governor Steve Beshear, who visited the house in June, both see the value of the Holt House preservation project. At the event, Sparrow said, “Historic preservation will always be a vital tool for heritage tourism in Kentucky, just as on the local level, the Holt House has the potential to become a vital tool for heritage tourism in Breckinridge County.”

The house is named after Joseph Holt (1807-1894), a prominent attorney with a long career in the national spotlight. He served several posts under President James Buchanan and was appointed the nation’s first judge advocate general by President Abraham Lincoln, a role in which he subsequently presided over the trial of the Lincoln conspirators following the president’s assassination.

The house was constructed during this time of national service, with the original portion dating to the 1850s. Today the site is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is noted for its significance in the areas of national history, politics and architecture. It is owned by Breckinridge County Fiscal Court with support from the nonprofit organization Friends of the Holt House, a committee of the Breckinridge County Historical Society, which is working with the community to plan the home’s future.

The home is also a featured site along the Kentucky Lincoln Heritage Trail, a scenic route across central Kentucky made up of historic sites that in some way shaped the Lincoln legacy and influenced the president throughout his life. Its preservation is an official Legacy Project of the Kentucky Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

Find out more about the Holt House here or on their Facebook page.  You can also learn more about Breckinridge County on our regional profile.