The History of Northern Kentucky, as it Relates to BSA Troop 228

Please Note: Use of This Document

This historical account was compiled by Josh Selm, former Scoutmaster and current webmaster of Troop 228, after many hours of research. You are free to visit and link to this page as often as you wish, but please contact us to ask for permission before using it on your own reports or website.

 

Contents:

Unique Geology of the Area
Human Inhabitation
Establishment of Hebron Lutheran Church
The Start of Scouting
The Airport
Formation of Troop 228
Looking into the Future

 

Unique Geology of the Area 

One of the first things people notice when they pass through Northern Kentucky is the deep valleys that cut through the otherwise flat plateau just south of the Ohio River. To understand how these deep valleys came to be in this part of the state and not in the rest, we have to look way back into time. Prehistoric glaciers pushing south from Canada stopped near Kentucky's northern border, depositing the dirt and rock it had picked up along its journey. Evidence of this can be seen even today, as many of the rocks found in local creek beds or fields have origins in other northern States and Canada. Mixed in with the glacial till was limestone from the underlying bedrock. Because of the intense pressure at the foot of the glacier, the limestone has naturally cemented much of the mix into what is known as conglomerate rock.

As the glaciers melted and retreated, huge amounts of melt water flowed hard and strong, cutting the deep valleys that are characteristic of Northern Kentucky and South West Ohio. The valley created by the Gunpowder Creek in Boone County is home to Camp Michaels, the largest Scout Camp in Dan Beard Council. While the water was cutting through the soil, the conglomerate rock began to be uncovered by the eroding hillsides. Boone County Cliffs Nature Preserve protects the fragile environment around several of these conglomerate rock formations. Perhaps a better example of the water's action can be found at Split Rock Conservation Park. Known as a gathering and trading place since the time of the Indians and settlers, the Split Rock formation was created as the gushing Ohio River cut away so much of the soil that a large chunk of the rock split apart and fell, but still lies right below the cliff it created. Tours of this unique geologic formation are available by appointment (see our links page).

 

Human Inhabitation 

Evidence of Native American settlements can be seen along the Ohio River and many of the County’s creeks. The town of Petersburg, in north western Boone County, was once a thriving Indian settlement. As Europeans began to explore the Americas, a Frenchman sailing down the Ohio River in 1729 highlighted Boone County on his chart, with a note that translates "where they found the bones of an elephant." Another man, Captain Charles de Longueil is credited for the first investigation of the area that is now Big Bone Lick State Park, where mammoths and other prehistoric animals would come to lick the naturally occurring salt deposits.

The Commonwealth of Kentucky joined the union in 1792. Previously, part of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Kentucky’s separation made it the fifteenth state. Boone County, named after the famous frontiersman Daniel Boone, was formed in 1799 from part of Campbell County, which was itself formed 5 years earlier from parts of three other counties. The exact boundaries of Boone County changed a couple times as neighboring counties were being formed, but the last change left the county with 252 square miles of land.

In 1817, George Anderson founded a ferry business to shuttle people, livestock and goods across the river. Though there were at least 6 ferries crossing the Ohio from Boone County, only Anderson Ferry is still in year-round operation today. In fact, it is one of only three full-time ferries remaining on the entire 981 mile length of the Ohio River.

 

Establishment of Hebron Lutheran Church 

In Virginia, near the town of Madison, there was a German settlement named Germanna with a church named Hebron Lutheran Church. Built in 1740, this is the oldest Lutheran Church in continuous use in the United States. Early in October 1805, five men and six women left this church in Virginia and arrived in central Boone County in November. A second group came soon after. These people established Hopeful Lutheran Church when 10 men signed the first constitution in January 1806. Although they corresponded with the mother church in Germanna, Hopeful Lutheran was without a pastor of its own until October 1813 when Rev. Carpenter made the move to Boone County himself.

In 1854, as Hopeful Lutheran grew, and as more settlers were moving from Germanna, the members of Hopeful Lutheran made this resolution: “Resolved: that in the providence of God, the time has arrived for the establishment of a Lutheran Church at the Crossroads North of John J. Crigler’s Residence”. On 21 January 1854, sixteen people signed the charter forming this new church near those crossroads in an area of northern Boone County known as Briar Patch, Briar Thicket, or Tailholt. They named this church Hebron Evangelical Lutheran Church after the mother church back in Germanna. They finished construction and dedicated the building in December of that year. The community of Briar Patch was soon renamed Hebron after the new church.

 

The Start of Scouting 

Just a few years earlier, in 1850, a Cincinnati couple gave birth to a boy. When he was 11 years old, Daniel Carter Beard’s family moved to Covington, Kentucky. His childhood was filled with exploration of the banks of the Ohio and Licking Rivers, and he was nicknamed “Buffalo” by his uncle. In 1882, at the age of 32, Beard wrote a children’s guide book about the outdoors, and titled it “The American Boy’s Handy Book”. In 1905, Beard became the editor of “Recreation”, a monthly conservation magazine. Its business manager suggested that the magazine start an organization for juvenile sportsmen. Beard took this idea and founded the Sons of Daniel Boone.

Around the same time, Sir Robert Baden-Powell, a British military man, discovered that English children were reading a military training manual he wrote about stalking, military scouting, and survival in the wilderness. Baden-Powell met with several people involved in youth work, including Daniel Carter Beard and Ernest Thompson Seton, and used the collection of ideas to rewrite his military book to one more suited for youth readers. Baden-Powell’s first camping trip for boys was in 1907, and his new book, “Scouting for Boys” was published in 1908. When Scouting came back to America in 1910, Beard merged his group into Baden-Powell’s, and he became the first national commissioner of the new Boy Scouts of America.

 

The Airport 

Because Hebron sits on relatively flat ground, and is right at the crest of the hill formed by the Ohio River, the US Military created an airplane practice field here in 1943. With the end of World War II, the War Department gave up its exclusive use of the airfield, and the first commercial flight landed in 1947. The airport now has flights leaving to destinations all around the world, and is known as the Greater Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky International Airport. Its call letters are CVG, which stand for Covington, the closest large city (after all, it is in Hebron, Kentucky, not Ohio). The establishment of the airport, and the creation of interstate 71/75 in 1960 helped accelerate Boone County’s growth, and the county consistently ranks among the fastest growing and wealthiest counties in the state.

 

Formation of Troop 228 

Boy Scout Troop 228 of the Dan Beard Council was first organized in 1957, when it was chartered by the Hebron Lions Club. At the time, the Troop met in the gymnasium of the old Hebron High School (no longer in existence), but eventually started meeting at the Hebron Lutheran Church, which became our official chartered organization in 1965 or 1966. In 2013, the Troop's official charter again transferred back to the Hebron Lions Club (their Facebook Page). We still meet at Hebron Lutheran Church (their Facebook Page), but always have and always will welcome new members of any creed. Over the years, the Troop has produced several Eagle Scouts, many of whom continued in Scouting as Scoutmasters or Troop Committee members.

Just as our meeting place has changed over time, our local Scouting District’s name has also changed. At the formation of our Troop, our District was known as the Kenton-Boone District. It was later known as the Big Eagle District, then the Kenton-Eagle District, Big Bone District, then the Powderhorn District. Around 1998, the Powderhorn District was split into the Gunpowder Creek District and the Daniel Boone District. 2006 saw the Northern Kentucky districts merge back into one, the Trailblazer district.

 

Looking into the Future 

Eventually, every boy will have to grow up. Therefore, in order for a youth group to survive, there must be a continuous flow of new youth into the program. Each fall, the Cub Scouts have a recruitment drive to get new members for their younger ranks, and each spring, the older Cub Scouts graduate into the Boy Scout program. We are always ready to accept new members, even outside these normal recruitment times. In order to join a Boy Scout Troop, a youth must be 11 years old -or- completed the 5th grade -or- earned the Arrow of Light award. If you or your son meet these requirements, and are interested in joining our troop, please contact us, and we will get you started right away.