Want to learn about Kentucky history? Head to a Kentucky state park.
More than a dozen state parks feature museums interpreting the history
and culture of the regions in which they are located.
The crown jewel of these museums is located in Henderson at John James Audubon State Park
Audubon, the first artist or ornithologist to depict life-size birds
and animals in their natural surroundings, lived in Henderson in the
early 19th century. The museum houses the world’s largest gathering of
Audubon memorabilia and an extensive collection of his original
watercolors, oils and engravings.
The Audubon Museum’s Learning Center offers year-round art and
environmental programs under the direction of a naturalist and art
educator. The museum store features gifts that explore the wonders of
nature. The museum and store are closed Monday through Wednesday from
January to March 15.
Among this winter’s activities at the museum is a Kentucky Guild of
Artists and Craftsmen exhibition, a mixed media showcase highlighting 2D
and 3D work created by guild members throughout the state. Exhibit
dates are January 20-March 11. Many art education programs for adults
and children are also on tap. For more information, contact Kim
McGrew-Liggett at 270-827-1893 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Explore 18,000 years of history at the museum at Big Bone Lick State Park
at Union in northern Kentucky. Indoor and outdoor sections display
fossilized bones and models of mammoths, mastodons, scavengers and other
creatures that roamed the region. The outdoor museum features a
boardwalk around a marsh bog diorama, and a small bison herd is on site.
Inside, a wide-ranging collection of art and artifacts from various
epochs reveal this area’s evolution.
Big Bone Lick is a National Natural Landmark and on the National
Register of Historic Places. Obtain more information at 859-384-3522 or email@example.com
Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park
at Carlisle features the newly renovated Pioneer Museum, which retells
the story of the Blue Licks area from prehistoric times to the park’s
dedication in 1928. View a short video presentation and examine mastodon
bones, Native American and Kentucky pioneer artifacts. The area was
also the site of a Revolutionary War battle, and memorabilia from this
period is on view. Learn about the “healing waters” of the local spring
through the story of Blue Licks’ early years as a travel destination.
Obtain more information at 800-443-7008 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Other state parks and historic sites with museums or historic homes include Fort Boonesborough
, Richmond; General Butler
, Carrollton; Lincoln Homestead
, Springfield; My Old Kentucky Home
, Bardstown; Old Fort Harrod
, Harrodsburg; Perryville Battlefield
, Perryville; Waveland
, Lexington; White Hall
, Richmond; William Whitley House
, Stanford; Levi Jackson Wilderness Road
, London; Columbus-Belmont
, Columbus; Jefferson Davis
, Fairview; and Wickliffe Mounds
To learn more about all the museums in the Kentucky state park system, log on to parks.ky.gov
, click on “Things to Do” and select “Museum.”