Lady nominated for the State Historical Society | Mclean County



Executive Judge Curtis Dame has received an appointment to serve on the board of trustees of the Kentucky Historical Society (KHS).

“I was very touched that my name was submitted for inclusion on (the nominations),” Dame said.

The board is currently chaired by Governor Andy Beshear as chancellor and former LaRue County executive judge Tommy Turner as chairman.

According to the website, Frankfurt-based KHS was formed in 1836 by a group of prominent Kentuckians determined to preserve Commonwealth history, which is part of the Kentucky Tourist and Arts and Heritage Cabinet. The company is fully accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is a subsidiary of the Smithsonian.

“I am proud to be aware of the impact of preserving history not only locally (but) nationally and nationally, because I think if we do it the right way way, we can learn from what has happened before, ”Dame said. “Sometimes you don’t need to have a conversation to understand the significance of a place or event over time. You can simply visit a site. For me… the most humiliating part is knowing that this organization is the basis for this type of discussion.

The company’s mission is to both educate and engage the public across Kentucky to meet the challenges of the future and to become the recognized leader in helping people understand, cherish and share the stories of the State through service, discovery, excellence, authenticity and stewardship.

“The Historical Society actually helps, in some ways, to do government reviews of federally and state funded grant projects to make sure that if you are doing a project and it’s in a historic facility that we don’t compromise the structure of the facility where it would lose that historic feel, ”Dame said.

Dame believes he was selected for the nominating pool for the work he has done during his tenure as executive judge since 2019.

“The discussion about my ability to represent McLean County has come from the efforts I have tried to use and be creative in repairing and restoring the county’s facilities which are historic in nature,” Dame said.

Dame mentioned that the key facility he is keen to preserve is the McLean County Courthouse in Calhoun.

“As far as McLean County is concerned, it is more financially responsible to take care of the house we have rather than having to build a new one in the future,” Dame said. “And second, just the legacy and the history that comes with it – I think that’s a great testament to how we should try to give back to preserve history. I’m just lucky enough that someone (has) submitted my name where I can help with this process.

Dame said the opportunity to serve on the council would help put McLean County “on the map”, noting the county’s rich history and noting the “superb” work of the McLean County History Museum and Regional Center family research to preserve historical documents and records.

“I really started to step up my efforts to get involved with them,” Dame said. “We have people… who come to McLean County for the history and the connections they have. They come from all over the country. “

Dame said efforts to preserve history can lead to other positive aspects for the county.

“In some ways, if we do proper historical preservation, it lends itself to tourism,” Dame said. “It lends itself to people who want to come and research their families… and their events… and in some ways it ends up achieving economic development.

“We have to start somewhere and that’s the right way to start. We must preserve what we have if we are to build for the future.

Dame has always been fascinated and passionate about history, which he attributes to his parents and grandparents who allowed him to learn how to trace family trees.

“A lot of it comes down to wanting to know where you’re from – the genealogy side,” Dame said. “I was always brought up to know who my ancestors were: my relatives, my family members; I think it started with that.

History classes at school also nurtured Dane’s interests.

“The icing on the cake for me is that I have had phenomenal history teachers throughout my educational career,” Dame said. “From elementary to high school, I had teachers who I could tell were passionate about this subject. I realized that their passion has probably made it, even more, a hobby for me to continue to invest myself.

Dame’s first experience with KHS was when he visited the company’s premises in Frankfurt with his high school history club for a state history club reunion, where he attended submitted a research paper on the Battle of Sacramento. Since then, Dame has been there on several occasions for trainings and meetings such as the Kentucky Farm Bureau’s Leadership Enhancement for Agricultural Development (LEAD) program, as well as state and federal grant program review processes.

“I guess you can tell I’m a periodic visitor,” Dame said. “I like going back there because it’s centered on Kentucky history, which lends itself to the role we play at the national level.”

Dame said the ballots were sent out two weeks ago, with paid KHS members statewide participating in the voting process.

Since this is her first appointment, Dame is just happy to be part of the conversation.

“I’m more excited about the opportunity right now,” Dame said. “I am very honored to have the opportunity to represent McLean County on a statewide board of directors and to give us a voice for the next four years, if elected…. I think we are a hidden gem here in Western Kentucky…. ”

The results of the new board will be announced at the organization’s annual meeting on November 5.

Freddie Bourne, [email protected]


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