The 13th annual Community Day for the Holt Home is on Saturday, September 25, 2021. The festivities will begin at 9:00 a.m., Central Time and concludes at 2:00 p.m. The Holt home is located off Hwy 144 in Hardinsburg near the community of Addison. It is surrounded by farmlands and is a few hundred yards away from the Ohio River. The three-story brick mansion was built in 1850 for Judge Joseph Holt. In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln appointed Judge Holt to be the first Judge Advocate General (JAG) of the United States Army. Holt held this position until 1875 and was the chief prosecutor in the trial of the accused conspirators involved in President Lincoln’s assassination.
The Save the Judge Joseph Holt House Facebook page states: “If you come you will learn of a story of a community that had strong will power and has turned a decaying piece of its heritage into a community treasure. The home will have numerous new uses and soon will hopefully be home of the United States Army JAGS Corps.”
The keynote speaker this year will be Mr. Jim Weise, Retired Lieutenant Colonel from the United States Army JAG Corps who later went on to serve in a civilian capacity as the Chief of Administrative Law, U.S. Army Recruiting Command, Fort Knox.
Other activities for the day will include a performance of a two-act play written by Ed Ford called The Final Curtain, with actors performing as Abraham Lincoln, Judge Joseph Holt, and General Ulysses S. Grant. Among the day’s activities will be live cannon firing from the 14th Kentucky Light Artillery, a vintage baseball game with local athletes participating (visitors please bring lawn chairs), a presidential wreath-laying ceremony at Holt’s monument, patriotic music, the Kentucky Home Guard Band, Jubal’s Academy ensemble, Civil War reenactors, the Guilderoy Byrne Band, and the Berea Festival Dancers. Monday’s Food Truck will be on site for those who work up an appetite observing all the events.
The highlight of the annual Community Day will be guided tours of the renovated home of Judge Joseph Holt. This home is only open to the public once a year—every September during Community Day. This year visitors can view restoration of the 1st and 2nd floors, including both the west and east wing foyers, staircases, new flooring added on the first floor from a grant from the Commonwealth, along with dazzling new reproduction chandeliers and several reproduction oriental rugs from the Kentucky Colonels Good Works Program.
Donations are much appreciated and needed as the Friends of the Holt Home Inc. and volunteers work hard to bring the yearly event free to the public. The historic Holt Home is located at 6205 KY Highway 144, Hardinsburg, KY 40143.