Daviess County Parks and Recreation has announced the dedication of the Jesse Jones cabin, which was restored and relocated to Yellow Creek Park, is set for June 1.
The public is invited to join Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly and County commissioners for the all-day event at James Lambert Pioneer Village, with the cabin’s official dedication set for 2 p.m. using a 1680 British 4-pound cannon with cannoneer.
According to local historian Sue Berry, Revolutionary War soldier James Jones, at the time in his 60s, relocated his family to Daviess County from Salisbury, N.C. by wagon in 1823. Jones, the patriarch of the family, had 17 children, most of which made the move to Kentucky. Jones’ wife did not survive the trip, so when the family settled and built a cabin at what is now 5245 Jones Rd., Jones lived with his son, Jesse Jones, the namesake of the cabin.
When James died in 1851 at the age of 91, he left 150 descendents. Now 168 years later, James’ great-great-great-granddaughters, Berry and Ruth Harrison, are playing a significant role in the dedication of their ancestor’s home.
“We are extremely excited that they were able to make this come to life,” said Daviess County Parks and Recreation Director Ross Leigh. “This is five generations tied to this structure. To be able to have so much regarding that cabin is almost unparalleled.”
According to Leigh, the guest of honor for the day will be Harrison, who at 92 years old is the last known descendant of Jones to live in the cabin. Harrison’s personal accounts and the stories she remembers from family have helped Berry in documenting the history of the cabin. Harrison was even able to provide pictures of her grandmother in front of cabin from 1896. It is this first-account knowledge that will play a big part of the dedication this summer.
“Ruth is going to sit in a rocker on the front porch of her cabin where she was born and talk about her grandmother and the stories her dad shared with her about his past generations,” Leigh said. “It’s probably as close to any kind of Revolutionary War history tied to this area.”
Berry explained that the dedication events will actually begin on Friday, May 31 at South Hampton Baptist Church, when she will lead a walking tour of the historic part of cemetery, where a lot of Jones descendents are buried.
The following day, events include historical exhibits like basket and soap making demonstrations, beekeeper exhibits, herb society examples, antique bicycles and educational booths hosted by the Whitesville Historical Society and the General Evan Shelby Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
After the dedication, guests can enjoy Pioneer Village music, including the “homecoming” of a fiddle owned by Washington Jones a descendant of James. The fiddle now resides in California, but will be making the trip to Kentucky with another Jones descendent.
Harrison and her first cousin, Ed Jones of Virginia, donated items that will be on display at the Owensboro Museum of Science and History for that weekend. Harrison’s items are also currently on display at Fern Terrace where she lives and will remain viewable to the public until the time of the dedication.
Leigh said none of the other cabins in James Lambert Pioneer Village come with the history like the Jones home, and nothing has been added to the Yellow Creek Park exhibit for 12 years.
“We are so happy as descendants that it can be preserved,” Berry said. “Not only the cabin, but also the stories.”