Kentucky Path Chapter
Middlesboro, Kentucky

Karen Ann Potter-Hughes, Regent
Marsha Bratton, Vice Regent
Myra Richardson, Chaplain
Wanda Stellute, Recording Secretary

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊


On February 16, 1938, in the quaint city of Middlesboro, the Kentucky State Regent, Mrs. Keene Arnold, organized a group of patriotic minded women into a new DAR chapter.Those early meetings were busy ones. Programs taught about the objectives of the DAR, bylaws were written and drafts were read to the chapter for approval, and a committee worked to find an appropriate chapter name.

What is significant about naming our chapter Kentucky Path? Our name has many synonyms that reflect its time in history. First, it was the Buffalo Trace, an ancient buffalo trail made by the migrating herd as it sought out new grazing land and salt licks. Then as the Native Americans sought out new hunting grounds, they followed the Buffalo Trace over the mountains, that Thomas Walker would later name Cumberland, into Kenta-key. So, the trail was renamed Path of the Armed Ones and Warriors Path.

When Thomas Walker came through the Cumberland Gap, the path became known as the Wilderness Trail. After Daniel Boone led his party along Wilderness Trail, it was called Boone's Trace. More hunting parties from North Carolina and Virginia followed Boone's Trace along the Cumberland River, through the Narrows, until the banks were less steep and the water was more shallow, coming to the grasslands of Kenta-key.

Boone's Trace was very narrow, forcing the earliest pioneers to travel on foot or horseback as they sought homes in this new frontier. Billy Heck, an historic interpreter with the Virginia State Park, has recounted a passage from a pioneer woman's diary about traveling through the Gap to Kentucky on horseback during the winter. She and her husband had to stop, spread blankets and buffalo robes on the snow-covered ground so she could give birth. Wrapping the newborn in a buffalo robe, the new mother remounted her horse, her precious bundle snug in her arms, and, the young family continued along their way. Eventually, the trace was widened to allow for wagons filled with belongings to pass through. The pioneers continued until they crossed the river at Cumberland Ford--which is now Pineville, our county seat.

Kentucky Path Chapter 75 Years Later

The chapter members' family names are different now, yet, we have so much in common with our charter members. They were mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, and nieces, just as we are. We still are dedicated to fulfilling the objectives of the Society and doing the work asked of us by our state and national organizations. We are proud of our pioneer heritage and honored to be called Daughters of the American Revolution.