Frankfort Heritage Lecture Series

Frankfort Heritage Lecture Series logo


The Frankfort Heritage Lecture Series explores themes in Frankfort and Franklin County cultural history - the big, small, and tangential - including the people, places, events, industries, and organizations that shaped our community and environment. The series also includes topics in historic preservation such as architecture, archaeology, public policy, and more.

Registration opens one month prior to each event. For more information, contact Diane Dehoney at (502) 352-2665 x108 or

Sponsored by the Frankfort Heritage Week Coalition and PSPL.

Tressa Brown

Photo of Tressa Brown

American Indian communities have been in Kentucky for more than 11,000 years. When Euro-Americans settled here, Shawnee, Cherokee, and Chickasaw, among others, already lived here. Myths and misconceptions about American Indian people permeate many sources of information. We all dispel some of the myths about native people that persist, discuss Kentucky's native heritage, and briefly review its long history.

Tressa Brown received her B.A. in Biology and Anthropology at Transylvania University and her M.A. in Anthropology and Museum Studies from Arizona State University. She is currently the coordinator for the Kentucky Native American Heritage Commission, the Kentucky African American Heritage Commission, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission. She has worked for the past 25 years providing Native American educational programming for schools and the public.

Her primary focus has been to identify the stereotypes and myths about Native Americans in general and Kentucky's Native people in particular. Her position at KHC is to provide accurate information to educators and the public about Kentucky's American Indian history, the diversity of Native cultures, as well as the issues affecting Native people in contemporary society.

Robbie D. Jones, Sydney Schoof & Carolyn Brackett

Richard Grubbs & Associates logo


In 2023, the City of Frankfort received a Certified Local Government grant from the Kentucky Heritage Council to complete a National Register nomination for the Green Hill Cemetery. The consultant chosen to carry out the project was Richard Grubb & Associates (Nashville, TN), using the same team that completed the earlier African American Historic Context Report for the City of Frankfort, Kentucky in 2022. The cemetery was designated as eligible for the National Register as part of that earlier project.

The Green Hill Cemetery has long been important to Frankfort's community. It was established as an interracial pauper's cemetery in 1865 and evolved to become a principal component of Frankfort’s Black community by the turn-of-the-twentieth century. As the predominantly Black community of Green Hill grew up around the cemetery, it became a cultural focal point in Green Hill, along with a nearby school and church. In 1924, the Colored Soldiers Monument was erected at the cemetery. This is the only monument in Kentucky dedicated to the U.S. Colored Troops who fought for the Union Army in the Civil War. It is also the burial place of many of those soldiers and continued to be the gathering place of Black citizens for events such as Decoration and Memorial Day celebrations. The cemetery was used for pauper burials even after the city divested itself of the cemetery and its maintenance in 1957. At that time, the Black community formed a nonprofit organization to take over ownership and maintenance of the cemetery. This combination of uses is an unusual representation of the intersection of class and race in Frankfort. The cemetery and its associated monuments and support structures retain a high degree of integrity from the period of significance (1865-1974)."

Join Robbie D. Jones, Sydney Schoof, and Carolyn Brackett as they share the results of their research and field work at the Green Hill Cemetery and summarize the history and significance of this important place in Frankfort's heritage.

Richard Grubb & Associates (RGA) is a woman-owned small business founded in 1988 as a full-service cultural resource management firm. RGA is headquartered in Cranbury, New Jersey, and maintains regional offices in Philadelphia, Raleigh, and Nashville. RGA and its architectural historians have completed over 7,500 projects throughout the U.S., including 80 National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmark nominations.

Robbie D. Jones served as the Principal Senior Architectural Historian and Project Manager. With over 32 years of experience, Mr. Jones holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and an M.A. in Public History and Historic Preservation from Middle Tennessee State University. He manages the RGA Tennessee Branch Office in Nashville, which currently has six full-time staff members. Mr. Jones has worked on projects in 21 states for local, state, and federal agencies, as well as private clients. He documented over 110 resources for the Nashville Civil Rights Movement Documentation Project and coauthored the National Register Multiple Property Documentation Form. Additionally, he has prepared numerous publications and is a former president of the Southeast Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians.

Sydney Schoof served as a Senior Architectural Historian. Based in RGA’s Nashville office, Ms. Schoof holds a B.S. in the History of Art and Architecture and an M.S in Historic Preservation, both from Roger Williams University in Rhode Island. With 12 years of experience, she has worked on projects in 13 states, including Kentucky. She is coauthor of the National Register nomination for the Clark United Methodist Church Complex, an important African American landmark in Nashville associated with the Civil Rights Movement. Ms. Schoof documented over 4,000 resources in Indiana and Rhode Island as part of local and state surveys.

Carolyn Brackett served as a Senior Historian. Ms. Brackett is principal of Cultural Heritage Works and joined the RGA team for this project. She holds a B.S. in Historic Preservation from Middle Tennessee State University. Ms. Brackett has over 30 years of experience in documenting resource histories, preservation plans, heritage development, interpretation, and marketing. She was a Senior Field Officer for 17 years with the National Trust for Historic Preservation as part of the Heritage Tourism and National Treasures programs. With experience in 29 states, she has worked on numerous project that focus on African American heritage and preservation. Ms. Brackett coauthored the National Register Multiple Property Documentation Form for Nashville’s Civil Rights Movement.

This event was funded in part with Federal funds from the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, and administered by the Kentucky Heritage Council. The contents and opinions do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of the Interior, nor does the mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Department of the Interior. The U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability or age. Any person who believes that he or she has been discriminated against should contact the Office of Equal Opportunity, National Park Service, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240.

Past Presenters

Dr. Drew Andrews

The rocks under our landscape play a critical role in defining the shape and the characteristics of the land we live on. Landforms, streams, resources, and natural hazards are all related to the geology of an area.

Christopher T. Hall

Audiences are in for a treat as they sit back and listen to a candid discussion about the discipline of archaeology and what it tells us about our own history.

Mack Cox

The first of two short lectures will explore early Frankfort furniture dating from about 1795 to 1820. The second documents decorative inlay in early Kentucky furniture from the same period.

Dr. Richard Taylor

Bourbon enthusiasts worldwide are familiar with Col. E. H. Taylor, Jr. for his reputation as the founding father of the modern bourbon industry. However, the Taylor family's influence on Frankfort can trace its roots back to the earliest pioneer days of Kentucky.

Roda Ferraro

Keeneland Library's traveling exhibit, The Heart of the Turf: Racing's Black Pioneers, highlights the lives and careers of 80 African American horsemen and women from the mid-1800s to today.

Howard W. Cox

A fresh examination of the life and crimes of the highest-ranking federal official ever tried for treason and espionage, American Traitor examines the career of the notorious Gen.

Jessica Stavros

In the late 19th century, famed American artist and poet Robert Burns Wilson made Frankfort his adoptive home. During his time here, Wilson had a deep friendship with fellow artist Paul Sawyier and Mary Mason Scott, the last member of the Brown family to live in Liberty Hall.