Boonesborough is an unincorporated community in Madison County, Kentucky, USA. It lies in the central part of the state along the Kentucky River and is the site of Fort Boonesborough State Park, which includes the Kentucky River Museum. The park site has been rebuilt to look like a working fort of the days when Boone resided there.
Boonesborough is part of the Richmond-Berea micropolitan area.
Boonesborough was founded as Boone's Station by the frontiersman Daniel Boone while working for Richard Henderson and Nathanial Hart of the Transylvania Company. Boone led a group of settlers through the mountains from Fort Watauga (present-day Elizabethton in Tennessee), carving the Wilderness Road through the Cumberland Gap, and established Fort Boonesborough. Boone lived there from 1775 to 1779. The region was at that time part of the Commonwealth of Virginia, which officially chartered Boonesborough in October 1779. It was one of the first English-speaking communities west of the Appalachian Mountains. Boone successfully led his fellow settlers during the Siege of Boonesborough in 1778. He then moved to his son Israel's settlement at Boone's New Station near present-day Athens, Kentucky.
Although the town served as a way-station for pioneers venturing further into Kentucky during the 1780s and 1790s, it never attracted a significant long-term population, and thus slowly declined. By 1877, Boonesborough had "almost disappeared as a village".
- Ranck, George W. Boonesborough: Its Founding, Pioneer Struggles, Indian Experiences, Transylvania Days, and Revolutionary Annals. 1901.
- Collins, Robert F. (1975). Ellison, Betty B. (ed.). A history of the Daniel Boone National Forest, 1770-1970. U.S.D.A. Forest Service. p. 123.
- "Fort Boonesborough History" (PDF). Kentucky State Parks. Kentucky Department of Travel. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
- Engle Jr., Fred A.; Grise, Robert N. (2012). Engle, Kathryn (ed.). Madison’s Heritage Rediscovered: Stories from a Historic Kentucky County. Charleston, South Carolina: The History Press. ISBN 978-1-60949-627-2.
- Collins, Lewis (1877). History of Kentucky. p. 493.
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