WOODFORD COUNTY, Ky. — A group of people from all over the country have come together to preserve the story of Huntertown, an African-American "free-town" that existed in Woodford County for over 130 years. They form the Huntertown Community Interpretive Park Project.
"The Huntertown Community Interpretive Park Project is an ad hoc citizens group of all sorts of people from across the county that have come together to preserve the history of this place, which is the Huntertown Community, an African American hamlet settled right after the Civil War in 1871," said Sioux Finley, part of the group.
Back in 2016, faculty and students from Woodford County High School undertook a research project on Huntertown, later presenting their findings to the Woodford County Fiscal Court with the hope of gaining support for the development of an interpretive passive community park on the land.
"This has been a town by itself. The railroads, the store, the community, it's a deep- rooted area out here. And that's why it's so important to bring it back alive to let the people know here in Woodford County, a lot of people dead and gone, but it never will be forgotten," said Donald Morton, a supporter of the project.
For Eveleen Morton, returning to this land is like stepping back in time.
"Some of the people that lived out here, long gone now, they was just like mothers and fathers, obviously, they wasn't my mother and father, but they treated us like we were their children. And coming back out here just brings back a lot of childhood memories," said Eveleen.
The project is also a way to remind people of history.
"If we can build our history and remind people of the history, it has way of bringing unity to the community. Also has a way of inspiring those who live out here to be more committed and get them more involved in the community and don't feel bad about themselves," said Larry Blackford. "I think you never want to leave your history behind."
The project also hopes to preserve and archive the area's history by producing a traveling interpretive display to educate, engage, and support the vission of a county park on the site all while telling the story of Huntertown.
"We want to have an interpretive green space park that blends history and nature, and a great place for the whole community to enjoy," said Finley.