welcome center

Renovations of Quarters 29 into a county welcome center housing memorabilia from the Battle of Richmond was completed last year and will officially open this spring. Civil War re-enactor Phillip Seyfrit, whose office is inside the welcome center, was recently named historic properties director.

Phillip Seyfrit, Madison County Historical Properties Director, will be honored by the Kentucky Historical Society on Friday as it re-opens the Kentucky Military History Museum.

Seyfrit will receive the society’s Frank R. Levstik Award for Professional Service.

In addition to his work in managing the county’s Battlefield Park and developing its visitors center, the judges who selected the award were impressed by the events Seyfrit has coordinated at the park, including the annual Battle of Richmond Re-enactment in late August and the living history event for students each May.

Seyfrit also is being recognized for the development of the visitors center and museum north of the park at the junction of US 25/421, according to Stuart Sanders, the state historical society’s professional services administrator.

“It’s amazing what Madison County has accomplished with the park and the events it has staged in such a short time,” Sanders said.

Seyfrit, who will complete his fourth year as historic properties director in December, also has been successful in writing grant applications and bringing national attention to the Richmond battlefield.

His efforts have helped secure funding to develop the park and restore its historic buildings as well as attract tour groups to Madison County historic sites, Sanders said.

Himself a living-history portrayer, Seyfrit makes frequent appearances locally and elsewhere that help promote the Richmond Battlefield and understanding of the history behind it, the state historical society official said.

In addition, Seyfrit serves on the state’s Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission. Gov. Steve Beshear came to Battlefield Park to announce creation of the commission and the naming of its members.

Friday, which also is Veterans Day as well as the 11th day of the 11th month of the century’s 11th year, will be a big day for the Kentucky Historical Society.

At 2 p.m., the society will open the restored state arsenal, the fortress-like structure built in 1850 that once was home to what was once called the state militia.

The awards ceremony will follow at 5:30 p.m. in the Old State Capitol in downtown Frankfort. In addition to Seyfrit, 14 other individuals, organizations and publications will be recognized. For more details, visit the website: history.ky.gov.

Bill Robinson can be reached at brobinson@ richmondregister.com.

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