Frankfort in Franklin County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
Fort Hill Overlooking the Kentucky River
Once known as Blantonís Hill after the family that owned the property, the hill that overlooks the Kentucky River and downtown Frankfort from the north has been called Fort Hill at least since the Civil War. There may have been a small, log fortification there during the frontier era. During the Civil War two earthwork forts were built on the hill. Their purpose was to protect pro-Union Kentucky state government and the strategically important bridges across the Kentucky River at Frankfort against Confederate attack. The construction of the first of these forts began in April, 1863, too late to save the Frankfort railroad bridge burned by the Confederates during their 1862 occupation of the town. Local militiamen lined the walls of this fort, known as Fort Boone, and fought off an attack by a detachment of General John Hunt Morganís Confederate cavalrymen in June, 1864. Federal authorities built a second, much more formidable fort atop the hill between then and the end of the war in 1865.
By Bernard Fisher, December 30, 2012
1. Fort Hill Overlooking the Kentucky River Marker
The forts were abandoned after the Civil War, and Fort Hill once again became farmland just as it had been before the war. Nearly a century after the Civil War, local attorney and banker Leslie Morris, who was by then the owner of the property, donated the hill to the City of Frankfort for use as a public park. Now, the Leslie Morris Park
on Fort Hill preserves the Civil War forts, the site of the 1864 skirmish, and about 125 acres of forest right in the middle of Frankfort. The City of Frankforts Department of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Sites operates the park, which offers historic tours and special events as well as nature trails and a visitor center in an 1810 log house.
2. Fort Hill Overlooking the Kentucky River
This early 20th Century photograph shows Fort Hill and the Kentucky River. During the Civil War era, the top of the hill had no trees and looked very different from its 21st Century appearance. Visible on the river in this photo are rafts made of logs cut from the forests of Eastern Kentucky and floated down the Kentucky River to Frankfort. Sawmills here cut the logs into marketable lumber. This was an important Frankfort industry for several decades in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Photo courtesy of the Capital City Museum, Frankfort Department of Parks, Recreation, & Historic Sites.
Location. 38° 12.25′ N, 84° 52.722′ W. Marker is in Frankfort, Kentucky, in Franklin County. Marker can be reached from Wilkinson Boulevard (U.S. 421) north of West Plaza Connector Road (U.S. 127), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Located along the Riverview Trail in Kentucky River View Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 404 Wilkinson Blvd, Frankfort KY 40601, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Gone But Not Forgotten – Frankfortís “Craw” (within shouting distance of this marker); Dry Stone Masonry in Kentucky (within shouting distance of this marker); Franks Ford, Fishtrap Island, and Craw (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Locks and Dams (about 600 feet away); Amos Kendall (1789 - 1869) (approx. ľ mile away); Veterans of American Revolution Elected Governor of Kentucky
(approx. ľ mile away); Old State House (approx. 0.3 miles away); Gov. George Madison (1763-1816) (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Frankfort.
By Bernard Fisher, December 30, 2012
3. Fort Hill sits atop the hill in the background.
Also see . . . Leslie Morris Park (Fort Hill). (Submitted on December 31, 2012.)
Categories. • Forts, Castles • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 31, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 342 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on December 31, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.