April 20, 2017
Fort Knox, Pentagon Honor Holt Friends,
Susan Dyer for Development of Home
Fort Knox JAGS and Friends of the Holt Home
The Fort Knox Judge Advocate
General (JAG) unit and the Judge Advocate General’s
Legal Center and School (TJAG) at the Pentagon have
honored the Friends of the Holt Home and its president.
Friends received a plaque of appreciation and its
president, Susan Dyer, received a medal for outstanding
selfless service. The awards took place April 20
at the Breckinridge County historic mansion of Joseph
Holt, Lincoln’s judge advocate general.
award to Dyer was presented on behalf of Brig. Gen.
Flora D. Darpino, Judge Advocate General for the U.S.
Army. The Friends president was cited for 20 years
of dedicated service and duty to Holt’s legacy and
restoration of his home. She also was given a
certificate of appreciation.
James Bagwell, Fort Knox Staff Judge Advocate, brought
his entire JAG team to the event along with the legal
community from the Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox for
a historical professional development/field trip
colonel, in his remarks, praised Holt for his tireless
energy and work “during a crucial time in our nation’s
history” as the top legal advisor and lawyer for the
U.S. Army during the Civil War. PFC Christian
Arbec and Specialist Caroline Bedoy reviewed Holt’s
career under President Abraham Lincoln.
Breckinridge County Judge Executive Maurice Lucas
welcomed the team of JAGS and briefly shared how Holt
is remembered as the Prosecuting Judge of the Lincoln
continue to develop the Holt Home into a national
meeting place for the JAG corps.
Ft. Knox JAGS US Army Cadet
Command at the Judge Holt Home April 20,2017
Photo by Tiffany Cashman, The
James Bagwell, Fort Knox Staff Judge Advocate addressing
the JAGS team and Friends of the Holt Home.
by Tiffany Cashman, The Breckinridge Herald-News
COL Bagwell encouraging his JAG team to visualize how
today’s Army was compared to Judge Holt’s era.
SG Love standing by Judge
Maurice Lucas came and toured the historical facility of
national significance prior to the JAGS visit and
planned the day. Master Sergeant Konrad Nikolao standing
by the picnic table gave a brief talk of appreciation
for the work of the Holt Home and presented Certificates
of Appreciation and a medal.
Knox JAGS US Army Cadet Command & Friends of the Holt
Photo by Tiffany Cashman, The
Annual Holt Home Community Day
September 24th, 2016
A Holt Home blog .
They came and saw how
historic mansion becomes an educational, tourism anchor
It was a
grand day at the Holt Home.
3,000 visitors came Sept. 24 to explore the history of Joseph
Holt’s legacy when he served President Abraham Lincoln as the
top lawyer for the United States Army.
They toured the antebellum mansion
during the 8th
Annual Holt Home Community Day, walked the beautiful grounds
graced with trees and marveled at the renovation progress of the
Hardinsburg structure. Smiles were a highlight of the day as
visitors viewed the numerous improvements, such as the restored
front and back windows.The beautiful replica of the back stair
tower gave insight to master workmanship.
begin arriving early pointing out and admiring the restored Holt
fence. Throughout the day, the grounds were filled with
compliments and people, locally and from all across the state
and beyond. Those who attended enjoyed eating on the new picnic
tables, seeing the recently placed flagpole with “Old Glory”
waving among the tree tops, and watching the Civil War baseball
game, the first official Kentucky Lincoln site to host one.
stirring the atmosphere with patriotic, traditional, and period
music. Breckinridge County students took great pride in
performing songs from the period and sharing Holt’s history and
The echo of
“Taps” at Holt’s monument was very moving at the wreath-laying
ceremony performed by the U.S. Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox
soldiers with Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Bagwell, the staff judge
advocate. The Indiana National Guard Judge Advocate General
(JAG) – COL Daniel Kozlowski - discussed the Onsite Training at
the historic home in March and the importance of Joseph Holt’s
legacy. Col. Kozlowski came to lend a hand supporting the
Friends of the Holt Home to make Judge Holt’s dwelling become a
national meeting place for Army JAGS across the nation. Judge
Holt’s home holds a special place in the history of the JAG
speakers spoke briefly explaining the roles their stations
contributed to the Community Day. Ninety-eight-year-old James
Wimsatt was recognized and honored for his gift – the famous
Holt print used for all events, promotions and programs. Tamara
Langman, Louisville Actor’s Theatre Costume Shop coordinator
spoke about the significance of history and costume connections.
One of four state partners, the Kentucky Historical Society,
provided the Kentucky History Mobile with the Civil War exhibit.
Judge Tommy Turner, former Co-chair of the Kentucky Lincoln
Bicentennial Commission, spoke about “The Legacy Project” of the
Kentucky Lincoln Bicentennial, the acquisition grant that made
possible the purchase of the home for the Breckinridge County
executive director of the Kentucky Heritage Council, shared how
partnership with the Holt Home, local partners and community
support is shaping tourism, economic development and community
pride across the state. Former State Representative Dwight D.
Butler relayed the vision of saving the home, and how taking
actions to protect and preserve our local community’s important
history saves Kentucky’s rich heritage.
speaker, David L. Morgan, who was executive director at the
Kentucky Heritage Council from 1984-2006, delivered heartwarming
comments about preservation, the importance of protecting
history and the numerous benefits it brings to local
communities, the state and nation.
firings, Civil War campsite, fragrance of food and the community
pride event will long be remembered as the Friends of the Holt
Home continue to take actions to protect, preserve and promote
Breckinridge County’s historical jewel.
Friends President Susan Dyer
emphasized in the morning welcome, “the Holt Home is our
compass, a link to our past and our gift to the future.” She
asked visitors to keep updated at
as the Holt Home is being developed to become an educational and
tourism anchor for South Central Kentucky.
Highlights from the 2016 8th Annual Holt Home Community
Photo Credit for the the photos
of this event go to Glen
Arnold, Arnold Studios & More, Garfield, Ky.
|Maurice Lucas, Breckinridge County Judge
Executive speaking about the improvements for the Holt Home and continued
Susan B. Dyer President, Friends of the Holt Home, and local
author “ Preservation at its Best” is when local people get
involved, dream big, and work diligently changing attitudes,
teaching preservation and the importance of saving our heritage
telling Joseph Holt’s national significance with President
Buchanan and President Lincoln.
|Hardin County Circuit Judge Kelly Easton, Master of Ceremonies
|Judge Kelly Easton, Honoring James L. Wimsatt , 98 year old who
has given the gift of art, The famous Holt print to be used for
all events, programs, and website for the Friends of the Holt
Home and upcoming book of Susan Dyer.
|Tamara Langman, Actor’s Theater, Costume Shop Coordinator.
Spoke about the importance of costumes with living history.
|Julie Mario Kemper, Senior Curator, KY Historical Society, KY
History Mobile. ( Kentucky Historical Society) is a state
partner with the Judge Joseph Holt Home.
|Alison O’Donoghue Mattingly, singing the National Anthem,
|Jonathan Bennett, Coach, Civil War Baseball Game, Inviting
visitors to the period baseball game. Much work and preparation
was done by the Vintage Baseball team, All Volunteers!!!!
|Craig Potts, Exec. Director, KY Heritage
Council/ State Preservation Office. Spoke of partnerships
and strengths with local communities. Life time partner with
the Judge Joseph Holt Home
Judge Tommy Turner, La Rue County Judge Executive, Former Co.
Chair KY Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and on the National
Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. Spoke about the KY Lincoln
Bicentennial Commission making Holt Home a “ Legacy Project” of
the KY Lincoln Bicentennial.
|Isaac Myers, Field Representative for Governor Matt Bevin.
Addressed visitors that the Governor’s office would assist.
|Dwight D. Butler, Former Kentucky State Representative, The
first local elected official to assist with bringing attention
to the historic Holt Home. Diligently encourages, “ Only
positive work brings good results!”
|Susan Dyer, Introducing COL Daniel Kozlowski, Staff Judge
Advocate, Indiana National Guard JAGS as the Friends continue
working to make the Holt Home become a National meeting place
for all the Army JAGS across America. And Introducing David L.
Morgan, Key-note speaker, mentor, friend, and resource for the
historic Holt Home.
|Daniel Kozlowski, Staff Judge Advocate Indiana National Guard
JAGS. Spoke about the On Site Training on March 5, 2016 at Judge
Holt’s home. And how important Joseph Holt is to American
History and the United States Army.
|David L. Morgan, Key-note speaker, Preservation Advocate for the
Holt Home and Kentucky! David continues to be a Resource
Agent for the Holt Home since his retirement as Executive
Director at the KY Heritage Council in 2006.
|Boy Scott Troop #95 Presenting and Posting of Colors
|Presentation of the National Anthem, Boy Scott Troop #95
|Kathy Tabor and the Breckinridge Co. Chamber Singers/ Singing
Solo/ Breckinridge Co. Chamber Singers
|Kathy Tabor, Directing Breckinridge
County Chamber Singers
|Visitors came to enjoy the singing and being a part of seeing
step by step how the last official KY Lincoln site in the
Commonwealth is restored.
|The record crowd continued throughout the day!
|Breckinridge County Chamber Singers/ Partnering their talents
with the Friends of the Holt Home.
|KY Home Guard Band played patriotic music
before speakers were welcomed.
|Susan Dyer and Tamara Langman take a moment enjoying history
being made at the historic Holt Home.
Blake Bennett with his mother, Lori Bennett
|A proud member of the Breckinridge County
|Troop 95 in action!
Assistant Scoutmaster Wayne Denner and his wife Stephanie Denner
Ted Guillaum, European Organ Grinder( Beloved by all visitors,
and a crowd favorite!)
|Chamber Singers making music!!!!!
|Blake Bennett and Ted Guillaum join
forces for a welcoming song!
|Breckinridge County Vintage Baseball team
A loyal member of the Ninth Michigan Volunteer Infantry
|Campsite of the Ninth Michigan Volunteer Infantry as would
appeared doing the Civil War
14th Kentucky Light Artillery preparing the cannon
|Through the day the 14th Light Artillery fired the historic
Civil War cannon, enjoyed by visitors.
|The Breckinridge County Vintage Baseball team preparing to eat
|Members of the Breckinridge County Vintage Baseball Team ( the
first official KY Lincoln site to host a game!)
|Judge Kelly Easton, Portraying Judge Joseph Holt as he threw out
the first pitch in Holt Field to begin the game.
|And the pitch was successful for Judge Joseph Holt, portrayed by
Judge Kelly Easton.
|What a game it was!!!!!!
|Reaching high for the ball!
|A mini section of the large crowd.
The baseball game is special at Judge Holt’s home!!!!
|KY Home Guard Band, Preparing for the “
Taps” echo honoring Breckinridge County’s most famous
|Lieutenant COL Jimmy Bagwell, Staff Judge Advocate, United
States Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox and MSG Jerome D.
Klein, Chief Paralegal NCO United States Army Cadet Command and
|Staff Judge Advocate, United States Army Cadet Command and Fort
Knox, Partnering, honoring one of their own.
| Salutes given to Brigadier General Joseph Holt “Lincoln’s Lawyer” and
Judge Advocate General.
|Honoring the legacy of Judge Joseph Holt
Previous Holt Home Community Days links...
David L. Morgan. Key Note Speaker for
the 8th Annual Holt Home Community Day
David L. Morgan had his professional
home at the KY Heritage Council from 1977-2006. And was
Executive Director from 1984-2006. For eighteen years as Exec.
Director David established a well- earned reputation as the
nation’s most energetic and creative state historic preservation
officer. And continues to serve as a Resource agent for the Holt
COL Daniel Kozlowski, Staff Judge
Advocate, Indiana National Guard
Indiana National Guard JAGS are helping the Friends of the Holt
Home, Inc. make Judge Holt’s structure a National meeting place
for the Army JAGS across the nation.
Renovation at its Best: Judge Joseph
has new look for 8th Annual
and protecting Joseph Holt’s legacy and home continues to be
inspirational for Friends of the Holt Home, Inc. a non-profit
organization who works in a cooperative -agreement with
Breckinridge County Fiscal Court. Restoration for the historic
Holt Home has not happened over night to bring funding for the
last official Kentucky Lincoln site and member of the Kentucky
Lincoln Heritage Trail Alliance to be restored located in rural
Breckinridge County. Perseverance, continuous grant writing, and
an array of state and local partners along with working Friends’
volunteers provide a remarkable event for south central Kentucky
and the Commonwealth.
What is so remarkable is
visitors come yearly to see progress. And the amazing factor is
the historic Holt Home is the people’s home. If you come on
September 24 you can view four grants in use.
happened since last year? The grounds have been meticulously
cleaned, original sidewalks unearthed, the historic Holt fence
restored, front windows completely renovated, back stair tower
replica rebuilt, back windows restored along with the purchase
of new picnic tables gracing the grounds, and a security system
Visitors will be able to tour the antebellum
showplace from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. CDT and see a number of
special events, including a Civil War baseball game with local
players, music by period bands, local singers, cannon firing,
infantry demonstrations, an appearance by President and Mrs.
Abraham Lincoln- as portrayed by Larry and Mary Elliott, the
Kentucky History Mobile, and wreath-laying ceremony by The Fort
Knox Office of the Staff Judge Advocate.
Morgan, a distinguished Centre College alumni, who had his
professional home at the Kentucky Heritage Council from
1977-2006 and was Executive Director from 1984- 2006 “where he
established a well-earned reputation as the nation’s most
energetic and innovative state historic preservation officer”
will be the key-note speaker at 11:00 a.m. CDT.
and continues to serve as the
Resource Agent for the Holt Home.
Holt, Breckinridge County’s most famous son was appointed
Judge Advocate General by President Abraham Lincoln and
prosecuted the president’s accused assassins in the Lincoln
Conspiracy Trial. Judge Holt built his beloved home in the
1850’s during his time of national service in Washington
Home and surrounding 19.5 acres were acquired by
Breckinridge County Fiscal Court in 2008. The 6,225 square
foot mansion listed on the National Register of Historic
Places continues extensive exterior renovation. And at last
year’s event the home received a $500,000 Phase II
Transportation Enhancement Grant from Kentucky and former
Governor Steve Beshear’s administration along with $199,000
tax credits from the Kentucky Heritage Council, a life-time
The Holt Home is located at 6205 Highway 144 in Hardinsburg.
Additional information is available at
or by calling 270/756-2269 or 270/756/2573.
This is My Old Kentucky Home
What an Exciting Time for the Judge Joseph Holt Home!
“Nothing can happen without a dream.”
“Saving a piece of old Kentucky is priceless,” as the late John
Egerton has stated.
Our history is strong as it is the
story of what life was like and, for Breckinridge County, it is
telling the story of its most famous son. Attorney Joseph Holt
was known for his legal expertise all across America during the
Civil War. And that is why President Abraham Lincoln chose him
to serve as the “Father of the Judge Advocates.”
preservation, education is the strongest element. This involves
teaching community, region and state that saving history
strengthens your community and that retelling the important
story of American history keeps this nation strong. The Friends
of the Holt Home, Inc., is a non-profit organization that works
in a cooperative-agreement with the Breckinridge County Fiscal
Court . Through grants and assistance from state agencies, the
quest of restoring and reusing Judge Joseph Holt’s beloved home
and grounds continues.
The Holt Home is becoming what it
used to be when its facilities hosted and entertained the most
distinguished individuals from across America. This national
treasure is bringing attention to Kentucky and gaining it
additional respect nationwide.
Citizens are invited to play
an active part of this educational and worthy project. Plan to
be a part of something unique in seeing step by step how the
last official Kentucky Lincoln site in the Commonwealth is being
restored and will be reused.
www.jholt-houseky.org website and see how today’s historians,
volunteers, and advocates are striving to make Judge Holt’s home
again “The showplace of Breckinridge County.”
Activities, Renovation Work
Progressing on Holt Home
The Indiana National Guard JAGS have announced
they will work with the Friends of the Holt Home, Inc. to make
the historical facility a national meeting place for the Judge
Advocate General corps.
Roger Wilson, legal administrator
for the Indiana guard’s 38th Division, made the announcement
recently after the guard’s onsite training program at the Holt
Home March 5. Fort Knox apparently will assist with that effort.
Since 2011, the work of making the Breckinridge County
structure a national meeting place has been in progress.
Friends of the Holt Home, Inc. have led that project and
continue efforts to preserve and protect the structure.
With the beginning of the spring season, many improvements have
been made. Historic sidewalks have been uncovered, all front
windows restored along with the pediments above them. With a
grant, the Friends group has installed a security system for the
home and cleaned the fence rows and grounds. Recently,
permission was received to utilize the Save America’s Treasures
Grant ($150,000 grant, 50-50 match) for restoration on the back
of the home. This will be accomplished during the summer.
addition, a concrete wall around the front porch (not original)
has been removed. The Friends also have installed new picnic
tables and a fence has been removed for restoration.
consultant, Kim Nyberg, has been employed to develop a site use
plan for the home. That activity has been funded by a grant from
the National Trust of Historic Preservation.
Home received a $500,000 Transportation Enhancement Grant for
Phase II renovation from Kentucky and with assistance from Gov.
Stephen Beshear’s administration and a $199,000 Tax credit (same
as cash) from the Kentucky Heritage Council/ State Preservation
Office. Work is expected to begin in 2017.
Breckinridge County elementary schools visited for a living
history day April 12, and Friends President Susan Dyer was the
key speaker for the Jefferson County (Ind.) Civil War Round
Table Gordon Whitney Memorial Dinner May 13. A second wedding
has been schedule at the Holt Home and will be conducted June 4.
Also, Mrs. Dyer is continuing to work on “The New Jewel in
Kentucky’s Civil War Crown,” a follow-up book on how the Holt
Home has been saved.
The 8th Annual Holt Home
Community Day is scheduled Sept. 24. The keynote speaker is
David L. Morgan, former executive director at the Kentucky
Heritage Council/ State Preservation Office. Morgan now serves
as a resource agent for the Holt Home.
Home Hosts Indiana National Guard JAGS Onsite Training
March 5th, 2016
The Indiana National Guard JAGS (Judge
Advocate Generals) held its Onsite Training in the Judge Joseph
Holt Home March 5, the first new reuse for the historical home.
Onsite Training program consisted of a training session partly
in Bloomington, Ind., because of heavy fog and then later at the
Holt Home, arriving in three Blackhawk helicopters. Following an
official welcome, a luncheon was given in honor for the 26 JAGS,
including the Indiana Supreme Court Justice Stephen David. There
was a short meeting in the classroom set up in the historic home
for the JAGS, a tour given by Susan Dyer - President of the
Friends of the Holt Home, and Interviews by area media.
Media covered the landing of the three Blackhawk helicopters
flying from the Guards 2002 South Holt Road location.
The home of Judge Holt, Abraham
Lincoln’s top legal adviser, is undergoing exterior renovation
that will lead to complete restoration of the Italianate
structure built around 1850. Holt’s most memorable role as
Lincoln’s JAG occurred when he presided over the 1865 trial of
the Lincoln assassination conspirators.
Friends of the
Holt Home, Inc. received a grant from the National Trust of
Historic Preservation in 2015 for a site-use plan of what the
Holt Home will become. The home will have local, state, and
national re-uses. The non-profit organization is diligently
working to make the Holt Home a national meeting place for Army
JAGS across the nation.
The home and surrounding 19.5 acres,
were acquired by the Breckinridge County Fiscal Court in 2008
through grants from the Kentucky Lincoln Bicentennial placed in
the Kentucky Heritage Council/ State Historic Preservation
Office. The 6,225 square-foot mansion is listed on the National
Register of Historic places and is undergoing extensive
renovation. The Friends of the Holt Home, Inc. coordinate
fund-raising efforts and events for the property and work in a
cooperative agreement with Breckinridge County government.
More information is available at www.jholt-houseky.org. and
by calling 270-756-2269 or 270-756-2573. The home is located at
6205 Highway 144, Hardinsburg, Ky., 40143.
JAGS Everywhere at the Holt Home!!!
Blackhawk helicopters returning for
Wow!!!!!!!!!! History was made at the
Judge Joseph Holt Home. Three Blackhawk helicopters landed
from their journey beginning in Indianapolis, IN.
26 Judge Advocates and the Indiana
Supreme Court Justice David attended the Onsite Training March
Smooth Landing at Judge Holt's home
for the Indiana National Guard JAGS on March 5, 2016!
The First New Use for the Historic
Holt Home was by the Indiana National Guard JAGS!
Rick Brown, Production Manager, Wave
3TV stayed all day to capture the history being made!!! Our
thanks to Wave 3TV's Partnering for the Judge Joseph Holt Home!!
The day's event was televised March 6, on the 11:00 p.m Wave 3TV
Hardinsburg Elementary and Irvington
Elementary Schools learned about President Lincoln’s connection
with Judge Joseph Holt, and his historic home
History was made again as two
elementary schools Hardinsburg Elementary and Irvington
Elementary were the first in the county to explore the past at
the historic Judge Joseph Holt home on April 12, 2016, the
anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War.
Bennett, Guidance Counselor at H.E.S. understanding the
importance of education opening the mind and expanding it
planned the educational field trip for the fifth grade students
to inspire and motivate pupils to observe and learn from
President Abraham Lincoln’s (Larry Elliott’s) presentation
portraying the life of the 16th President at the historic home
of Lincoln’s top legal advisor for the U.S. Army, Brigadier
General Joseph Holt who was Lincoln’s Judge Advocate General.
The students arrived hearing the “Battle Hymn of the
Republic”. An introduction welcoming students was given by
Breckinridge County Judge Executive Maurice Lucas. Judge Lucas
spoke about the national importance of the Holt home, how they
would learn about Lincoln’s life, and enjoy a tour learning the
history of Judge Holt’s legacy, and home.
began with his birth, and humble beginnings, his desire for an
education, the stories and events in his Kentucky years, moving
to Indiana, how he mastered the desire to become a lawyer, and
to lead our nation and unite our country saving out democracy
and freeing the slaves. Numerous visual aids were used to tell
the story of our most beloved President. Students were attentive
as they experienced History Alive and were involved with a fun
Mrs. Susan Dyer, Author of “Lincoln’s Advocate”
and President of the Friends of the Holt Home, Inc. shared the
important history of the Holt home and how the legacy of Joseph
Holt was connected to President Abraham Lincoln and the United
States and how Holt’s dedication and deserving legacy makes the
historic Holt home hold a special place in the JAG Corps’
Students enjoyed lunch at Brigadier
General Joseph Holt's home
Hardinsburg Elementary School enjoyed a
living classroom experience at the Judge Joseph Holt Home on
April 12, 2016.
Irvington Elementary School students
learned from President Lincoln at the Holt Home on April 12,
Partnering Helps get out the
word of the work behind the Holt project! And the effort that
www.jholt-houseky.org website and see how today’s historians, volunteers, and advocates are
striving to make Judge Holt’s home again “The showplace of
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