Think about your last visit to a national battlefield. What appealed to you visually? The sweeping terrain, the artillery pieces, the amazingly artful monuments, the historic homesteads? For many the draw to our national battlefields becomes enhanced because of what we can see, from a great view to interpretive signage. While Cynthiana will never have a massive state memorial or regimental monuments dotting the landscape, what could happen is a way to give visitors more to see and ponder.
For a traveler coming to Cynthiana to tour the Civil War history, or for a local who may know very little about what took place in Harrison County, the current tour structure and lack of historical signs would make learning about Cynthiana's Civil War story very difficult. Without the driving tour CD one cannot tour Cynthiana. Without more interpretive signage one wouldn't know what to look for. One of the projects the Foundation has is to increase the amount of signs in the area to denote significant locations and to make following a revised driving tour an easier task. Below are some potential signs that should help with both marking historic sites and to make the future driving tour easier to follow.
First, the hospital signs:
Several locations in Cynthiana were used as hospitals during and after both battles. We have identified five locations that are still in existence that could have a hospital sign installed to denote the importance of the site as to the care and treatment of the wounded and dying. Having these five signs installed around the area (from Keller's Bridge to Kimbrough Hill and in between) would greatly enhance the Civil War experience in town.
Some of the streets and roads in and near Cynthiana have changed names over the years. A special sign could be added just below the current street sign to denote what the street or road was called during the war. For example, St. Edwards Road north of town along U.S. 27 was the Falmouth Pike, the main artery leading into town. Marking these old street and road names could make reading the history a bit less confusing.
For the future enhanced driving tour, let's add some directional turn signs so that the tour becomes easier to follow. Not only would these signs take a visitor from tour stop to tour stop, they could also be used to drive along some of the approach routes taken by Morgan and Burbridge.
Around the area we could enhance the current tour stops with some additional signs that would give the visitor a bit more understanding about the importance of the site:
While this last sign wouldn't provide a lot of additional detail, it would help a bit with the site's significance, and would serve as a short term enhancement until the Foundation installs more interpretive panels around town.
Working with the city and county, if we provide the signs and posts (some signs would be added to existing tour stop locations), they can do the installing.
Imagine a dozen or more signs around town, signs that would attract one's eye, that would make visiting the sites more rewarding, and would make finding the sites much easier, with or without a tour CD.
You can be a part of this expanding idea by donating. The cost of a sign ranges from $10.00-25.00, depending on how many of each we purchase. If you go to our shop you can donate at three different levels. The Hobson level would cover the cost of one of these signs (posts are around $40 each). Help make this increased awareness and visual appeal become a reality!