America’s Frontier History Expedition


History comes alive during America’s Frontier History Expedition!

From May 7-30th, 2016 a reenactment of settlers braving the wilderness to seek new opportunity west of the Allegheny Mountains will take place as men and women recreate a 280 mile 18th century horseback ride from Sycamore Shoals, Tennessee to Fort Boonesborough, Kentucky. Representing a cross section of people and cultures, frontier men and women, and a Shawnee Indian make up the group. There are fourteen encampment stops along the three week journey at which the participants will deliver public educational presentations. The purpose of this journey is to preserve America’s frontier history and the participants serve as educators, each teaching of the history of the westward movement, its impact on the EuroAmerican and native peoples, and the skills necessary to survive on the frontier.     

The future of our nation is our youth and their knowledge of the founding and development of the greatest nation on earth needs to be encouraged and expanded. Parents are encouraged to bring them to this exciting event. School groups and Scouts are welcome to attend. There will be campfire presentations, live fire demonstrations of Long rifles and the music of frontier fiddling. Each stop on the trail will be a bit different and the public can plan to see this expedition several times for a different venue. This is an opportunity to witness history emerge live from the past. Join us for the fun and excitement on the trail.

Where it will travelmap

The Expedition starts at Sycamore Shoals, State Park in Elizabethton, TN and continues to Netherland Inn at Kingsport, TN. and Gate City, VA. From there it follows the pathway of Daniel Boone into Virginia to include The Wilderness Road Block House at Natural Tunnel State Park and on to Martins Station Fort at Wilderness Road State Park.

It will then cross Cumberland Gap National Historical Park arriving in Middlesboro, KY. It continues to pine Mountain Resort State Park, Barboursville, Levi Jackson State Park, Livingston Frontier museum, Berea, Richmond and Fort Boonesborough Historic State Park. It will conclude at Lexington, KY.

The Expedition Schedule

May 7th, 2016 – Sycamore Shoals, Elizabethton, TN
May 8th, 2016 – Netherland Inn and Exchange Place, Kingsport, TN
May 9th, 2016 – Gate City, VA
May 10-12th, 2016 – The Wilderness Road Blockhouse/Natural Tunnel SP, VA
May 13-14th, 2016 – Martin’s Station at Wilderness Road SP, VA.
May 15th, 2016 noon- Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
May 15th, 2016 afternoon – Bell County Tourism visitors Ctr, Middlesboro, KY
May 16-17th, 2016 – Pine Mountain Resort SP. Pineville, KY
May 18-19th, 2016 –  Knox County Tourism Visitors Ctr, Barbourville, KY
May 21-22, 2016 – Levi Jackson SP, London, KY
May 24-25th, 2016 –  Trail Head Museum, Livingston, KY
May 26-27th, 2016 – Berea, KY
May 28-29, 2016 – Fort Boonesborough SP, KY
May 30th, 2016 – Lexington, KY

The Frontiersmen


Mark Sage, writer for frontier and muzzle loading magazines will be the leader of the group. It was Mark’s suggestion that we make the journey and he has raised funds and managed the formation of the group. His skills in outdoor activities help to select the men, horses and equipment to make such a challenging journey.

He lives in Minnesota, where the elements can punish you and he loves being in the outdoors. He goes on canoe trips upon the many lakes and rivers, riding in his home made birch bark canoe. His knowledge of the woods and history make him the perfect leader for this group. Mark has an educational presentation that he does in schools and we look forward to him applying it on this journey.
David Wright 2

David Wright is assisting Mark with the formation of the event and will ride over the Cumberland Gap on May 15th with his grandson, Jeremiah. David is also an avid outdoorsman, going on long hunts with bare essentials. He also makes trips to the Rocky Mountains for hunting on horseback.

Wright’s internationally recognized works hang in numerous collections, as well as in the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, GA, and the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville. David’s commissioned painting for Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, titled Gateway to the West – Daniel Boone Leading The Settlers Through The Cumberland Gap, 1775 has been made into a breathtaking wall-size mural that is on display at the Cumberland Gap Visitor’s Center.

Rusty Cottrell portrays “Chief Black Hoof” chief of the Shawnee nation. His interpretation of Black Hoof is exciting and educational. The vast knowledge of the American Indians helps us understand their role in the 1700s. To tell the whole story of that era, we have to look at all of the people involved. Especially children really love his presentation.

Cindy Jackson has owned, trained and been riding horses practically her entire life. In her younger days she competed in speed events like barrel racing and pole bending. She has been a reenactor and history interpreter for over 15 years. Mid to late 18th century is what she likes the most. She has portrayed white and Native, male and female. Most of the time she takes on a male persona, but she really enjoys portraying Hazel a poor widowed farm women of the late 18th century

Larry Spisak the US Army formed a re-enactor group to portray Captain Lewis’ Company during the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. He became an expedition member, George Gibson, one of the original group’s fiddlers. Representing the US Army, I participated in many bicentennial festivals and events across the country between 2003 and 2006, including an appearance of the group at the Pentagon.

Gene Shadley His relatives came to America in 1754. Three of them fought in the Revolutionary War under George Washington. His interest in American history began in the early 1960s. He began building and shooting muzzle loaders in the late 1960s and his interest continued to grow. He started going to re-enactment events. and now belongs to several groups doing mid to late 1700s events and education. He is a Master Cutler and his work sells all over the world and is a past President of the Knife Makers Guild which has worldwide membership. Gene also co-authored book and taught others about his craft.


John Hayes is Freelance writer and an attorney practicing part time. John has been shooting and hunting with flintlock muzzleloaders for the last Thirty-two years. He often interprets an 18th century Virginia farmer/hunter and draws from his everyday experiences in using the clothing, gear and firearms of the 1760’s and 1770’s. He and his wife Connie live on 40 acres in the woods of Sugar Hills near Cohasset Minnesota. They are parents of three children: Sarah who lives in Minneapolis MN, Johannah who is in her first year of college and John who is a senior at Grand Rapids High School in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

Brittney Ryan is a therapist at Deer Run Stables in Richmond, KY. She is skilled at working with horses and the horse therapy treatment. She will attend to the daily management and care of the horses. Brittney will also be riding in period clothing and speaking of horse therapy on the journey.


The Boone Society is supporting horse therapy for veterans. we have two therapeutic ranches that offer programs for healing. They are listed below:


Richmond, Kentucky

Deer Run Stables


Horses and Heroes

Please use the DONATE button below to show your support for horse therapy for Veterans.
Therapy is provided by: Deer Run Stables & Horses and Hereos.


Follow the Expedition Daily at:


Copyright © 2018 The Boone Society, Inc. | All Rights Reserved