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Ancestral Trails plans book fair, jamboree

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By Amber Coulter, Landmark News Service

Visitors can do more than read about history Saturday at the 12th annual Ancestral Trails Historical Society Book Fair.

On tap this year is the society’s first-ever history jamboree including historical re-enactors in period dress and character.

The theme of the jamboree is “Bringing History to Life.”

Mark Twain, William Clark, the 9th Michigan Union Civil War Infantry and others are expected to share their stories.

Gary Kempf, editor of the local Ancestral Trails chapter’s quarterly publication, plans to dress as Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, the son of Sacajawea who accompanied her during the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Kempf was interested in what happened to the members of the expedition once it ended, and his research led him to explore the full life of the man Charbonneau became.

Among his notable experiences, Charbonneau was adopted by Clark, spoke many languages, led dangerous military expeditions, was appointed a judge in California and was a notable guide and trapper.

Kempf said he learned during his research that some people play a role in the success of others, while their own names and exploits are all but forgotten.

He hopes the jamboree will share some of those stories.

In keeping with tradition, historical scholars from around Kentucky are expected to attend and offer books on state history for sale.

The book fair is from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Pritchard Community Center on South Mulberry Street in Elizabethtown. Nine authors and six historical and genealogical societies are set to sell books there.

The Ancestral Trails president plans to set up a booth where he can explain how residents can get involved in genealogy.

Three new books are being offered during the event: one listing postmasters from central Kentucky from 1830-1971, one documenting Hardin County newspaper extracts from 1914 and one with newspaper extracts from 1909-1911.