How To Join Friends of Fort Harrod and Our Membership Application



Hello and welcome to the Official website of the Friends of Fort Harrod!

Thanks for your interest in joining the Friends group. We hope you will decide to join us. Let us tell you a little about the Friends group.

Friends is a small group of about 35 people from the Harrodsburg/Burgin/Mercer County community, who share one thing in common, we love Old Fort Harrod and the State Park and we promote and preserve them! We are the "Guardians of the Fort"!

The Friends of Fort Harrod is a chartered member of the Kentucky State Parks Foundation and a 501(c)(3) tax exempt, non-profit, public charity. Many state parks now have similar "Friends" groups who are citizens dedicated to preserving and promoting our state parks. "Friends of Fort Harrod" is the only citizens group "Officially Sanctioned" by the Old Fort Harrod State Park, Kentucky Department of Parks and Kentucky State Parks Foundation to support the Park.

We all visit the Fort often. We played there as youngsters. We play there today. The Pioneer Cemetery is a special place to us. It is the sole remnant of the original Fort Harrod, having been located just outside the Southwest corner of the original fort. It now holds the remains of about 480 pioneers. The Friends love the Fort's real history and work to educate others about it.

To us, the Fort is a source of pride and it symbolizes our true heritage. If James Harrod had not built that wooden fort there on Old Fort Hill above the Big Spring in 1775-1776, then there would be no Harrodsburg. It's as simple as that. We owe a great debt to Jim Harrod, his sacrifice and his courage. Friends of Fort Harrod honor James Harrod and strive to preserve his legacy.

Friends are volunteers. We clean and prep the Park and the Amphitheater at the beginning of each new season. We provide concessions, volunteers and other support for the Park's events. Friends host a variety of historical events and fundraisers from which all proceeds go to benefit the Fort and the Park and are used to make repairs and improvements or purchase equipment.

Fundraisers include the Park's annual Settlement and Raid on Old Fort Harrod in June of each year, a re-enactment of the early Shawnee attacks on Fort Harrod. Many Friends members participate in the Settlement and Raid and host concessions. You may become a part of it all!

We also sponsor the annual 18th Century Market Fair in November each year. The  Market Fair is a group of vendors from all over who assemble in the James Harrod Conference Center to sell their services and wares, all relevant to the pioneer period. 18th Century re-enactors can find just about everything they need here.

One of Friends greatest achievements has been saving the Old Fort Harrod Amphitheater and returning it to use for summertime outdoor dramas. It had fallen into disuse and disrepair since it closed in 2004 and we found it on the verge of condemnation by the local building inspector.

Starting in 2012, Friends raised money by events and fundraisers to make repairs and improvements to the amphitheater and buy much needed equipment. That effort was joined by the Harrodsburg Mercer County Tourist Commission, the State, and others and the amphitheater was restored to good working order.

Once repairs were made, the amphitheater was still unused. Then, our member, Lisa Botner Goodrich, developed the dramatic play "James Harrod The Battle for Kentucky". It is the story of the Transylvania Company's attempt to steal the rightful land claims of James Harrod and those who settled Kentucky by claiming ownership of the lands of Kentucky by an illegal purchase from the Cherokee Nation. It is the story of that "Battle" between those groups, which eventually resulted in the voiding of the Transylvania Company's claims. It featured Allan Barlow as James Harrod along with a fine cast made up of local talent including the Ragged Edge Community Theater.

It was difficult in the beginning. We had little money for professional actors or equipment. But, by the summer of 2013, Friends of Fort Harrod, the Old Fort Harrod State Park and Ragged Edge Community Theater partnered for season two. The play was expanded and improved with new sound equipment, more black powders rifles and new costumes.

The play ran successfully for two summers and by season three, the State agreed to support us. In 2014, the State awarded a grant of $41,000.00 to produce two plays this summer in the amphitheater. The Ragged Edge Community Theater took the lead and produced the "Sound of Music" in June and "James Harrod The Battle for Kentucky" in July.

For the 2015 season, the State again funded two outdoor dramas. Ragged Edge did "State Fair The Musical" in June and "James Harrod The Battle for Kentucky" in July.

Now in its 5th Season and once again funded by a sponsorship from the Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet, Ragged Edge Community Theater will do "James Harrod The Battle for Kentucky" each weekend in July beginning July 7, 2016. They just finised "Lil Abner" in June.

Friends members come from all walks of life. They work together to accomplish their common goal. Friends members are volunteers. Some are re-enactors and living history interpreters.

Friends meet on the 4th Monday of each month at 7:00 pm in the Fort Harrod Conference Center, which is located at 330 West Lexington Street. All are welcome!  Please join us in our effort to preserve and promote the Fort and Park! Membership dues are just $20.00 per year (or $30 per Family). All are welcome!

If you love Old Fort Harrod and the Park and want to see them preserved, come join us! Joining Friends of Fort Harrod is easy. There are several ways:

1. Email us at

2. Print out and mail the following application:


3. Call us at 859-734-3314 (Fort Office)

4. Best yet, come to a meeting! You will be welcomed!

Thanks for visiting!

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