NKU hosts 21st annual Northern Kentucky Regional History Day

Silvana Hill, Staff Writer

The first floor ballroom of the Student Union bustled with activity early Saturday morning as the 21st Annual Northern Kentucky Regional History Day went underway.

Sponsored by NKU’s Department of History and Geography, as well as non-NKU-affiliated historical and geographical groups, publishers and museums, this celebration of the rich history of the Cincinnati area, and surrounding region began with informational displays in the SU ballroom. Outside sponsors included the Historical Societies and Heritage Groups of Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Carroll, Fleming, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, Lewis, Mason, Owen, Pendleton and Robertson Counties. Attendees hailed from all over the northern Kentucky and Cincinnati area.

Jessica Borchers, an NKU senior English major and history minor and member of Theta Phi Alpha, attended the events of the day as both a history aficionado and a student volunteer.

“It’s amazing,” said Borchers of her impression of the event. “There’s just so much history here, and it’s all regional, it’s all in Kentucky. Not many people realize that.

The Civil War Museum of Ft. Wright Kentucky represented with a table dedicated to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, and author Robert Schrage sold and signed copies of his 2013 book Eyewitness to History: A Personal Journal.

Other organizations included the Boone Co. Public Library and Northern Kentucky Heritage Magazine, which offered copies of its latest issue and information on subscriptions. Civil War reenactment performers wandered the floor in period costume.

“As a group, we’re the historical society of NKU,” said Borchers of her group’s efforts on Regional History Day, “and there’s nothing more historical than history.”

“It’s a room full of nerdiness,” joked Borchers, “so I feel at home.”

Jeannine Kreinbrink, President of K & V Cultural Resources and NKU lecturer, gave the opening presentation in the Otto M. Budig Theatre, entitled “Fort Ancient and Native Americans in Northern Kentucky. Attendees followed student volunteers across the plaza to begin an afternoon of lectures and workshops.

Following the opening presentation, professors and researchers gave lectures on topics ranging from the life of Daniel Boone to the history of the Underground Railroad in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati.

Kathy Reed, Jeff Herbert and Jenny Davis of the Hamilton County Genealogical Society lectured on recent findings of genealogical research in the Hamilton Co. area in SU 106. Davis, a professional genealogist and family historian, attended Northern Kentucky Regional History Day events as a first-time participant.

“We educate genealogists on the research of the day, and also preserve the Hamilton County records,” said Davis of her organization’s duties. “We were invited by Elaine Kuhn to give a talk on how we do research in Hamilton County. We’re right across the river, which a lot of the time our ancestors crossed right over.”

The scheduled events ran from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. ending with a lecture on the Civil War within the borders of Kentucky given by Don Rightmyer, editor of Kentucky Ancestors, the genealogical quarterly publication of the Kentucky Historical Society. The next Northern Kentucky Regional History Day event is scheduled for March 28, 2015.