I drove my elderly parents and aunt and uncle to KY in May of 2011. I took them to Frankfort to see the capitol building and other sites. The first stop was the Frankfort Cemetery to see Daniel Boone's grave and the grave of someone related to our family history. We were there in the afternoon on Saturday, May 14th. We started to leave around 3:30pm but couldn't. The gates were locked!!! No one drove through and told us they were closing early. The sign says it's open until sunset every day. The sign on the office says the office is open until 4:00pm, but no one was there. We stopped at the white house near the gate and rang the doorbell and knocked. There were 3 cars there and we saw lights on in the house, but no one answered. We tried for 15 or 20 minutes to get their attention, but still no answer. It was nearly 4:00pm by then and we hadn't had lunch and some of the family were needing to use the restroom. I called 911. The guy laughed and said we'd have a good story to tell when we got home. He said he had the phone number of the groundskeeper so he'd call him to come let us out. He called back a few minutes later and said the cemetery had never updated their contact info and the number he had was for the previous groundskeeper who was now retired. He said there was one thing we could try before sending out a locksmith or the police with bolt cutters. He said there is a hidden gate in back that the maintenance crew uses. It's supposed to be locked but he said they sometimes don't lock it. He pulled up a map of the cemetery on his computer and talked me to the back gate. Fortunately the maintenance crew were lazy that day and failed to lock the back gate, so we were able to escape.
I'm guessing this open back gate is how vandals get in. There has been a noticeable amount of vandalism in the cemetery since I visited there a few years earlier. The grounds maintenance is also lacking. The head of the statue of Gov. Goebel is covered with limbs and leaves of a nearby tree.
My relatives had no desire to see anything else in Frankfort (except the nearest restroom). They just wanted to get out of town. Even though we were starving, we waited to eat a late lunch in Lexington. The city of Frankfort lost out on some tourism dollars because of the incompetent people who now run the cemetery. I imagine this old cemetery is a big draw for tourism in that city, so they need to get their act together. It's a nice old cemetery, but the temporary stewards seem to be incompetent.
Or, you know, don't let your child run around in a cemetery and play, which is disrespectful and lazy parenting. If you don't realize you're on a hill after having to drive up a steep incline to get to the cemetery, you need to get your head checked.
Okay I will start out with all the good things. My family and another family went there to eat lunch by the Boone graves. It was very relaxing and had a magnificent view of the city. But if you have children about 7 and under, maybe older, or if you have playful children who want to PLAY WHILE YOU EAT, this spot may be a little unsafe. You see, there is this wall there that leads to a steep-dropping hill. Our children were playing as we arrived and did not know about the hill. As running to the wall they did not see the drop and lost their footing, taking a bad fall that badly bruised their arm and the landing broke the baby finger of the other family's 2 year old. All I am saying is, generally, the city of Frankfort could perhaps put a sign up that says watch your footing there is a huge hill. You know?
About the only thing to do year round in Frankfort is enjoy history, and it really doesn't get any better than touring the old houses and historic buildings, and touring the historic graves in Frankfort Cemetery.
Old Daniel Boone still overlooks the city from his grave, and has one of the best views of any grave anywhere. High on a bluff overlooking the Kentucky River, the state capitol, and the town itself, the Boone gravesite is a spectacular setting. But it is just the centerpiece in a graveyard with many other historic graves and wonderfully weathered old tombstones. Don't miss the Paul Sawyier grave either, he was a famous Ky impressionist painter, or the grave of Governor Gobel, still overlooking this capitol city from the grave.
Can't beat the value either -- free!
Try to find the piliated woodpecker in the trees near the cliff too, for extra credit!
I loved the quiet scerene atmosphere. The Daniel and Rebecca Boone plot gives a breathtaking view of the city and an excellent opportunity for wonderful photography. If you are going just to visit the daniel boone plot please take your time to view the rest of the cemetary. There are plenty of pre civil war tombstones there along with a war memorial telling of all the Kentucky soldiers that have unselfishly gave their lives to protect our freedoms. This is a very moving experience that is full of history along with serene landscape and beauty.
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