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Kentucky Heritage Council
Friends of the Holt House and Breckinridge County Fiscal Court to host 2nd Annual Holt House Community Day September 25

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, September 08, 2010  
Contact Information:  Diane Comer
(502) 564-7005 Ext. 120

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The public is invited to a second annual community day and open house from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. CDT Saturday, Sept. 25 at the Judge Joseph Holt House in rural Breckinridge County.  This event drew more than 1,500 visitors in 2009.

Judge Joseph Holt (1807-1894) had a long career in the national spotlight, serving as Secretary of War under President James Buchanan and 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 and a position he held until 1875.  Holt will be a featured character in the upcoming film The Conspirator, directed by Robert Redford, scheduled for release this fall.

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.

The home is a featured site along the Kentucky Lincoln Heritage Trail, and a marker denoting this designation will be unveiled at noon by “President” Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, as portrayed by Larry and Mary Elliott of Louisville.  Other activities will include period music, self-guided tours of the home and grounds, refreshments, a portrayal of Judge Holt by Hardin County Circuit Judge Kelly M. Easton, Civil War re-enactors, and a book signing by Susan Dyer, author of Lincoln’s Advocate: The Life of Judge Joseph Holt, published by Acclaim Press. 

A military honor guard will perform a wreath-laying ceremony at 11 a.m. on Judge Holt’s grave located in a family cemetery next to the house.

The Holt House was purchased in December 2008 by Breckinridge County Fiscal Court through a $158,000 grant from the Kentucky Heritage Council / State Historic Preservation Office made possible by the Kentucky Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, which named the house’s preservation an official Legacy Project of the bicentennial celebration.  To assist fiscal court in long-term rehabilitation plans for the house, a steering committee has been formed including representatives of the Kentucky Heritage Council, Kentucky Historical Society, local leaders and elected officials, volunteers and advocates.

The site is located north of Hardinsburg along KY144, six miles from the intersection with U.S. 60 east of Cloverport.  For more about the event, visit, call 270-756-0268 or email

The Kentucky Lincoln Heritage Trail is a scenic driving route across central Kentucky made up of historic sites that in some way shaped the Lincoln legacy and influenced the president throughout his life.  For more, visit

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An agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, the Kentucky Heritage Council / State Historic Preservation Office is responsible for the identification, protection and preservation of prehistoric resources and historic buildings, sites and cultural resources throughout the Commonwealth, in partnership with other state and federal agencies, local communities and interested citizens.  This mission is integral to making communities more livable and has a far-ranging impact on issues as diverse as economic development, jobs creation, affordable housing, tourism, community revitalization, environmental conservation and quality of life.


Last Updated 9/8/2010