The Cumberland Gap welcomed 2.5 million people between 1775 and 1785. On Saturday, it welcomed three film crews. The Union College Fine, Performing and Communication Arts Department, in collaboration with the Knox Historical Museum, set out with three film crews and 14 reenactors from as far away as Berea to create scenarios one might have encountered along what is now known as Boone Trace.
The actors and film crew began Saturday morning at Ely Hollow Loop at the Bell County line and ended at the Daniel Boone monument in Flat Lick.
Included in Saturday’s event were actual descendants of Daniel Boone himself. Carla Lawson and her daughters Ashton, 13, and Madyson, 11, were among the reenactors. Daniel Boone is Carla’s 6th great uncle. Daniel Boone’s older sister, Sara, is Carla Lawson’s 6th great-grandmother.
“My girls and I are proud to be here to help keep the history of this area alive and going for generations to come,” said Lawson.
Mike Mills, president of the Knox Historical Museum, said the areas chosen for the day’s filming were special.
“The uniqueness of this 1 ½ mile loop is that it shows no signs of modern America,” he said, “other than an eight-foot pavement that follows the old Dixie Highway.”
All of the actors on film wore authentic pioneer garb and used authentic props. Extra clothing and props were provided by Donnie Hobbs, Daniel Boone Festival Primitive Camp Chairman, and Pam Eddy, Lead Historical Ranger for the Cumberland Gap National Park.
The video, Mike Mills hopes, will be just the first in a series of films documenting the history and route of the Boone Trace.
Actors in the film included Douglas Bargo, Diana Mills, Alan Mills, Pam Eddy, Carla Lawson, Ashton Paige Lawson, Madyson Dawn Lawson, Donnie Hobbs, Rob Kidd, Shelton Crowe, Bart Cain, Marcus Jones, Steve Valentine and Mike Mills. Union College’s film crew included Dr. Christine Marley-Frederick, Devin Frederick, Seth Bingham, Jared Baker and Jeff Frederick.
A complete map of the Boone Trace, as well as the finished docu-drama can be found at www.knoxhistoricalmuseum.org. The film is expected to be finished by Oct. 1.