Fort Boonesborough
Kentucky History Award

Winner of 2 History Awards From the Kentucky Historical Society



The Fireside Chats are presented annually in February by
 The Fort Boonesborough Foundation


Maggie Delaney brings her emotional story to The 2013 Chats

Maggie Delaney portrayed by Carol Jarboe received rave reviews. It was her third performance at the Fireside Chats - having been there in 2009 and 2010. Jarboe has done extensive research into indentured servitude and has compiled them into a dynamic first person portrayal in which “Maggie Delaney” tells the story (at the insistence of her master- Parson John) of her life,  from leaving her home in Ireland and boarding the ship for the colonies. She and her husband and 3 children signed indenture papers  for their passage since they could no longer pay the inflated rents in Ireland.

It was in Maggie’s words “no gentle journey” being sold into virtual slavery and having no control over her life.

Comments from our Visitors:

We have attended many historical programs, but Maggie, the Indentured Servant, had to be the best! “

“ We want to tell you Saturday night was the best program we have ever seen, the lady was wonderful.  Thank you for all you do in getting these programs up...”


Visit the Pioneer Times to learn more about Maggie Delaney and her performance at the Fireside Chats

Tecumseh and The Prophet

tecumseh 3a

The 2nd February Chat on February 16, took visitors on a time travel through the late eighteenth century to the early nineteenth century. The Shawnee Indian,  Tecumseh grew to manhood during the Indian wars following the American Revolution. Born about 1768 - he traveled extensively through the Ohio territory where he was born, south to the Cherokee land in Tennessee, west to Missouri and north into Canada.

Michael Fields who portrayed Tecumseh and Randy Bales as his brother The Prophet gave the audience a glimpse into their lives. The Indian lands were constantly being diminished by the new American government and by about 1803 Tecumseh was active in building a confederation of all Indian tribes. His brother was actively dealing with the more spiritual aspects of Indian culture - encouraging his followers to return to the old ways.


Visit the Pioneer Times for more photos and a newsreel of this performance.

Pvt William Greathouse brings a fresh face to The Fireside Chats


The first Chat of 2013 was Pvt William Greathouse a War of 1812 Militia Soldier. Portrayed by 17 year old Harry Smith, visitors were transported to the year 1813. The War had started the previous year and Kentucky’s sons had volunteered in great numbers. As the most populated frontier state, Kentuckians felt they had the most to gain in pushing back Tecumseh and his Indian confederation along with the everpresent British.

Smith’s presentation had all of the exuberance of a young man heading off to war. He told his story which touched upon the somber - encountering the remains of bodies after The Battle of the River Raisin, and the deaths of many Kentuckians at The Battle of the Thames. He also included light hearted moments that young men out for adventure would have experienced.


Click here for photos and video!

Fireside Chats for February 2012


Scott New’s portrayal of  Daniel Boone on February 4th, 2012 kicked off the 2012 Season.


See a newsreel of the performance.

See more photos from the first “chat”.


Additional Info from 2012 Chats

February 11 - E.L. Kurtz - performs 18th century music.
February 18 - Simon Kenton portrayed by Mel Hankla.
February 25 - Jenny Wiley - Captured by Indians! as portrayed by Octavia Sexton

Foundation has 4 Successful
February Fireside Chats for 2011


Daniel Boone
Feb 5th, 2011


The Doctor
Feb19th, 2011


The 2010 Fireside Chats

Mad Anne Bailey
Feb12th, 2011


Andrew Montour
Feb 27th, 2011


“The chats were great this year, and the weather was kind to us.” Those were the overall comments of Foundation member Elizabeth Chalfant.  Each Saturday night in February a Guest Speaker and a meal of “Frontier Fare” are served before an open fire in the Fort Boonesborough Blockhouse. All of the 2010 speakers have appeared at the chats in past years but that had no effect on the number of visitors that attended. Two of the chats sold out weeks before the event.

Daniel Boone Kicks off the Fireside Chats

The 2010 series of Fireside Chats at the fort got off to a great start  Saturday evening February 7,  when Daniel Boone, portrayed by Scott New, greeted a “group of  newly arrived settlers” to Kentucky.  This Boone presentation is a new program that Scott has developed, which relates many of  Boones experiences in what has since become Kentucky, up to about the time that he was living at Boone Station. The program included much information about  the capture of the salt makers, Boones captivity and relationship with Blackfish, and the 1778 “Great Siege of Boonesborough”.  As always the first person character interpretation was followed by a question and answer session to allow questions raised in the minds of those in attendance to be answered by the presenter.

Maggie Delaney Packs the House


Video  Clip

On February 13, 2010 the presentation of Maggie Delaney - The Life of an 18th Century Indentured Servant - Portrayed by Carol Jarboe broke all attendance records for The Fireside Chats. Even though the event was sold out two weeks prior to the date, 114 people managed to hear an outstanding performance by Jarboe.

 The audience was a mix of regular “Chat goers” and people that specifically wanted to hear “Maggie Delaney.” And they were rewarded with an incredible performance. Carol and Frank Jarboe who portray Maggie and Parson John are regulars to Fort Boonesborough. And Carol first premiered this first person performance at the 2009 chats.To see a newsreel clip and read more about it Click Here.

Colonel William Whitley visits
Fort Boonesborough


Video  Clip

 Colonel William Whitley was an important figure in early Kentucky. Although a little less known than some of the other early settlers Whitley played a vital role in settling the state. A reknowned Indian fighter In a powerful performance Matt Bryant portrayed William Whiley at the third February Fireside Chat. Whitley buil the first brick house in Kentucky “Sportsman Hill” and it was soon dubbed “The Guardian of the Wilderness Road”

For approximately 20 years after he came to Kentucky, Whitley was engaged in warfare with the Indians. In 1813, in his 65th year, he volunteered with the Kentucky Militia under Governor Shelby and fell in the decisive and victorious Battle of the Thames.

Governor Isaac Shelby Served Kentucky Well

Few men in early Kentucky served their state as well as Isaac Shelby. A soldier, a statesman, a governor (twice) and a farmer. And according to perennial favorite historic interpreter, Mel Hankla, being a farmer was what Shelby desired most. Although Hankla portrays two other historic figures,  Simon Kenton and George Rogers Clark for The Kentucky Humanities Council Chautauqua, he admits that bringing Shelby to life had a lot to do with Shelby being a personal hero.

And at the performance of Shelby at the final 2010 Fort Boonesborough fireside chat Hankla’s portrayal resounded with that personal feeling for Isaac Shelby. “I have really honed this performance of Shelby” said Hankla. “For as the bicentennial of The War of 1812 approaches, people who have little knowledge of Isaac Shelby will be hearing more about the statesman who heard the call of his state and came back to public life both as governor and to lead Kentucky’s troops into battle in that war.” And bringing Shelby to the forefront educates all of us.


Click Here to See Photos from the 2010 Fireside Chats



Fireside Chat February 7, 2009   Dr. Thomas Walker, Early Kentucky Explorer portrayed by Danny Hinton*

Fireside Chat February 14, 2009   Daniel Boone portrayed by Scott New*

Fireside Chat February 21, 2009    Maggie Delaney - Indentured Servant portrayed by Carol Jarboe

Fireside Chat February 28, 2009     Reverend Lewis Craig portrayed by Frank Jarboe

Atta Kul Kulla. 091a

Fireside Chat February 2, 2008  A Musical Evening with E. L. Kurtz

Fireside Chat February 9, 2008 Esther Whitley portrayed by Melanie Kuntz

Fireside Chat February 16, 2008 Abraham Lincoln portrayed by Jim Sayre*

Fireside Chat February 23, 2008 Atta Kul Kulla - The Little Carpenter - Portrayed by Rob Rambo*



Fireside Chat January 27, 2007      Daniel Boone portrayed by Steven Caudill

Fireside Chat February 3, 2007    William Whitley portrayed by Matt Bryant

Fireside Chat February 10, 2007   General George Rogers Clark   portrayed by Mel Hankla*

Fireside Chat February 17, 2007 Ann McGinty portrayed by Menanie Kuntz

Fireside Chat February 24, 2007 Govenor Isaac Shelby portrayed by Mel Hankla

* These Characters appear as part of The Kentucky Humanities Council Chautauqua  Series

Click here to see Newsreel Clips from the 2009 Fireside Chats

Click Here to see Newsreel Clips from the 2008 Fireside Chats

Click Here to see Newsreel Clips from the 2007 Fireside Chats


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The original Fort Boonesborough was built by Daniel Boone and his men in 1775


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