The Harrison County Historical Society

 The Harrison County Courthouse, Cynthiana, Ky. (Photo by Philip Naff)

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Happenings@the Society

     (Where its Never To Late to Join Today!)


Renew Your Membership or

Become a Member This Year!

While still a youngster among historical societies, its members are proud of their county's history and of their active efforts to preserve it in whatever way they can, in part simply by having joined.


Memberhip Applications in 2 Formats!




The Gift That Keeps on Giving!

The chance to become a member only comes a few times a year . . . . well, 365 to be exact, but who is counting!?!


 So don't put it off any longer.  Drop whatever you are doing and join the society . . .  or sign up a friend, co-worker, or other special someone for a gift membership in the Harrison County Historical Society.  That way the the good ol' times will keep-a-comin' all year long!!!


Some members have just recently become residents of the county, while others have family ties that go back to the county's establishment.  Many others join from afar (Three of every seven members reside outside of the county), having discovered that Harrison County was once home to their ancestors, aunts, uncles, or cousins, and would like to learn more about the homeplaces and current historical or genealogical research.  Libraries and other historical societies are members, too, helping to preserve and to pass on the word of the "goings on" of the Harrison County Historical Society.


Whatever your reason, whether coming to the society from near or far, joining the Harrison County Historical Society is relatively easy and inexpensive.


Membership includes an informative newsletter with nearly 100 pages original articles published annually, articles focusing on the people, places  and historic events of Harrison County's past, along with reports of the monthly meetings of the historical society, as well as news of exhibits and events at the Cynthiana-Harrison County Museum.


If you haven't seen the Harrison Heritage News before or just want to read the fine articles by local historians George Slade, Bill Penn, Harold Slade, Doug Harper, Philip Naff and other authors and experts, or if you would like to learn all about past activities of the society, selected issues of the Harrison County Historical Society's newsletter from early 2001 to the near present have been archived at this website.  Just click on the link above  to begin your trek back in time.


The newsletter can put you in touch with the experts and authors who know Harrison County best, and who may be able to answer any questions you may have about genealogy and local history research.  Queries are always welcome.


And, of course, membership includes an open invitation to attend all of the society's meetings and events in Cynthiana.  Speakers come from near and far to address the society's members for their monthly meetings.  Events such as the annual Raggedy Ann Festival (April) and Grist Mill Day (May) at the museum are popular attractions.


You may not ever be able to make it to Cynthiana, but we certainly welcome your membership and whatever personal contribution you feel you can make, whether it be this year or a few years down the road.


By joining you can help the  active efforts of society members to preserve historic homes and other sites of Harrison County, including the centuries-old Handy Farm as well as Camp Frazer, a Civil War Union encampment just north of Cynthiana.  Public support demonstrated by membership can help to prove to local government and officials that their time, efforts, and investment in historic preservation issues has a firm foundation of interest in preserving the county's past.


Dues are very reasonable, only $12 per calendar year (January thru to December) with newsletters delivered via USPS.  Checks and money orders accepted.  You can help us and promote history by signing up for the annual $10 rate, with issues delivered via the internet in a PDF format (PDF reading software and an e-mail account required on your part).  The savings to the society on print and postage costs means more of your membership monies can go towards local preservation and education efforts.


To join or to learn more about the society write to The Harrison County Historical Society, P.O. Box 411, Cynthiana, KY 41031, or e-mail any of the following officers or staff of the Harrison County Historical Society:


Acting President (2013-14)

Don Wagoner

Acting Vice-President (2013-14)

Brian Harney


Marilynn Bell


Dorothy Slade

Newsletter Editor

William A. Penn

Staff Writer/Webmaster

Philip Naff


Calendar of Historical Society Meetings

The June 2009 meeting's guest speaker was Kevin Stonerock, a Civil War reenactor.

(Photo by Sharon Fowler)

Unless stated otherwise, all meetings of the Harrison County Historical Society are held on the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. and take place in the Charles W. Feix Community Room in the annex (See photo below, courtesy Brian Harney) of the Cynthiana-Harrison County Public Library.  The library's annex is located at 101 East Pleasant Street (MapQuest this location), which is just behind Biancke’s Restaurant at the corner of Main and Pleasant Streets in Cynthiana and the Shell Station at 103 East Pleasant.


In the very near future late fall and winter meetings of the society may be regularly scheduled for 9 a.m. on the third Saturday of each month.


For many years the annual December meeting has been a potluck dinner held by and for members and guests in lieu of a formal meeting with an agenda or guest speaker.  The potlucks have traditionally been held the first Saturday of December each year at various facilities in Cynthiana.




Details of upcoming meetings are posted above, but it might also be worthwhile to check the latest edition of the Harrison Heritage News or the Cynthiana Democrat for the most up-to-date information about speakers and topics.


If you are interested in family or school reunions in the county The Cynthiana Democrat ( has published a weekly "Reunions" column for such announcements and it may be seen online.  While at the Democrat's website, you might also want to look at "Museum Musings," a column established by the late George Slade, and  "Way Back When," another "Features" item, which is a look back at what was in the news locally 10, 25, and 50 years ago.




The Harrison Heritage News

If you haven't seen them before or just want to continue reading the fine articles by local historians George Slade, Bill Penn, Harold Slade, and other authors and experts, or if you would like to learn all about the other historical happenings of Harrison County, then you must read the Harrison Heritage News!


On February 9, 2007 Harrison Heritage News editor William A. Penn was notified that the society's newsletter had earned the Award of Merit in the category of "Publication--Newsletter or Journal" as part of the annual Kentucky History Awards Program sponsored by the Kentucky Historical Society and the Historical Confederation of Kentucky.  On March 3 Bill was presented the award at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History.  These annual awards recognize the best history achievements and projects relating to state and local history, honoring "individuals and programs that provide all of us with connections to the past, perspective on the present, and inspiration for the future," according to Kent Whitworth, executive director of the Kentucky Historical Society.


Archived issues of the Harrison County Historical Society's monthly newsletter from early 2001 through 2005 are now available online.  Just click on this link, Harrison Heritage News, to begin your trek back in time.


To receive your own hard-copy edition in your mailbox every month, all you have to do is become a member of the Harrison County Historical Society.  Past issues are also available for review at the Cynthiana-Harrison County Public Library in Cynthiana, and in the libraries of neighboring counties.



Story Ideas?

Do you have an interesting story to tell or share with the readers of the Harrison Heritage News?  Have you done any research relative to Harrison County's past or to family history that you would like to publish?  Do you have any interesting items or heirlooms that you might be able to photograph or scan and about which there is a story to be told?  If you do, then you should get in touch with William A. Penn ( to discover how and when you can have your work published within the pages of the Harrison Heritage News.



The Editor Needs Your Help . . . and Can Help You

William A. Penn (, editor of the historical society's monthly newsletter, is also an author.  Rattling Spurs and Broad-Brimmed Hats - the Civil War in Cynthiana and Harrison County, Ky. was first published in 1995, and Bill has reported that he is revising his book for a third printing and is renewing his quest for more information about the Battles of Cynthiana (1862 & 1864), including journals, diaries, photos of soldiers, and soldier memoirs of being at Cynthiana during the Civil War battles, whether Union or Confederate.


He is also offering to answer any and all queries there might be regarding the Battles of Cynthiana.  If you can help or have a query, he would like to hear from you; just click on his e-mail link above.


Home | Publications | Newsletter | Museum | Preservation Efforts | Queries

The Harrison County Historical Society   |   P.O. Box 411   |   Cynthiana, KY  41031