Memorial Acre at Fort Harrod


Isn’t it amazing when you find something in your own back yard that you never knew existed?  I had been to the Pioneer Cemetery at Fort Harrod in my hometown of Harrodsburg several times, but didn’t realize there was an addition at the back!

It’s known as Memorial Acre, dedicated on June 16, 1930, by The Kentucky Society Daughter’s of the American Revolution.  The plaque reads ‘A sacred spot of ground adjoining the first cemetery of Kentucky, for pioneers whose graves are being destroyed by the effects of time.  Immortals of the wilderness whose moccasin feet have impressed themselves on the destiny of America.  The Love of Liberty, With Life Is Given.’

Let me share with you the stones that were erected here:


Garrett Terhune, New Jersey, Sergeant, Seely’s Regiment, New Jersey Militia, Revolutionary War.  July 25, 1756 – February 8, 1821.


George Buchanan, born 1744 in Augusta County, Virginia, died May 5, 1813, Mercer County, Kentucky.

George Buchanan was a son of James Buchanan and his second wife, Mary Reside.  He married Margaret McAfee, daughter of James and Jane McMichael McAfee, about 1765 in Washington County, Virginia.  George moved his family to Mercer County, Kentucky, in 1780.  He was an elder at New Providence Church and was a veteran of the Revolutionary War.


James Ray, Captain, Virginia Militia, Revolutionary War, 1758-1810


Three members of the McGohon family – the stones have not weathered well.


Mark McGohon, Jr.  Revolutionary War soldier, Kentucky pioneer, Christian patriot.  Born in Ireland in 1750, died in Kentucky, 1848.  first to be buried in Memorial Acre in 1930.  When a lad he emigrated to America and fought in the Battles of Paoli, Boundbrook, Brandywine and Germantown.  Served under General George Rogers Clark and General Josiah Harmer; also in other campaigns against the Indians.  A defender of Fort Harrod in the westward seep of advancing civilization.


Elizabeth Dunn McGohon.  Sacred to the memory of the wife of Mark McGohon, Jr.  born in Pennsylvania, emigrated to Kentucky with her husband following the Revolutionary War.  Pioneer woman who heroically met the toil and danger of the frontier, and nobly did her part in maintaining domestic life within For Harrod, when surrounded by peril and attacks from Indians.  Her efforts aided in establishing the Presbyterian Church at Harrodsburg.


Nancy McGohon, daughter of Mark McGohon, Jr., and Elizabeth Dunn McGohon.  Born in Fort Harrod.  Buried in Memorial Acre in 1930.


These three stones for the Rose family are much easier to read.


Captain Lewis Rose, born October 11, 1749, in Bingen, Germany, died February 20, 1829, Harrodsburg, Kentucky.  Buried on Old Rose Farm, three miles east of Harrodsburg,  Came to America in 1764.  Christian patriot, devout elder of the Presbyterian Church, donated five hundred dollars to Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.  War Record – Soldier in Revolutionary War, 4th Virginia, 1777.  In Indian Wars, famous Battle of Blue Lick, taken prisoner, August 9, 1782.  Run gauntlets, exchanged and returned July, 1783.  Fought Shawnees, 1786.  Wea Indians on Wabash. Erected July 16, 1937, by Leslie M. Rose, Yakima, Washington, sponsored by Jane McAfee Chapter, D.A.R.


Mary McMurtry Rose, wife of lewis Rose, born February 4, 1779, in Mercer County, Kentucky; died November 24, 1865, in Mercer County, Kentucky.  A true pioneer mother.  Lived where Shakertown, Kentucky, now is, defending self and children against Indians while her husband held war captive.  Erected by Leslie M. Rose.


Charlie S. Rose, son of Lewis Rose, born October 6, 1778, died February 28, 1845.  Was prominent in civic work, an elder in the Presbyterian Church.


To Honor and Commemorate the Men Who Fought in the American Revolution and Sleep in Mercer County, Kentucky.

  • General James Ray
  • General John P. Van Nuyce
  • Colonel John Bowman
  • Colonel Thomas P. Moore
  • Lt. Colonel James Robinson
  • Major Thomas Allin
  • Major William Ver Bryck
  • Captain William Alexander
  • Captain John Armstrong
  • Captain Abram Chapline
  • Captain Michael Humble
  • Captain John Lillard
  • Captain Lewis Rose
  • Captain John Smock
  • Captain James Stagg
  • Lt. James McAfee
  • J. P. Board
  • John Bohon
  • William Bowles
  • Daniel Brewer
  • Nathaniel Burrus
  • James Cardwell
  • Robert Coleman
  • General Coovert
  • Henry Comingore, Sr.
  • John Comingore
  • Joseph Debaun
  • Lawrence Demott
  • Peter Demott
  • William Deshazer
  • Thomas Graham
  • Peyton Graham
  • Thomas Green
  • Edward Houchins
  • Peter Huff
  • Dominic Thomas Kyle
  • Peter Leyster
  • George McAfee
  • Samuel McAfee
  • James McCowan, Sr.
  • James McCowan, Jr.
  • John McGee
  • Mark McGohon
  • John Meaux
  • William Nourse
  • Augustine Passmore
  • James Sandifer
  • Abraham Sharp
  • John Sharp
  • Abraham Tharp
  • Cornelius Vannice
  • Cornelius A. Van Arsdale
  • Cornelius O. Van Arsdale
  • Peter Van Arsdall
  • Tobias Wilhoite

How fortunate to live in a county that appreciates and applauds the actions of our forebears.  And to live in one that has such a long history!


To the wilderness dead, those without graves, unknell’d, uncoffin’d, and unknown.  This cenotaph here placed by a not forgetful commonwealth.

10 thoughts on “Memorial Acre at Fort Harrod”

  1. My great, great, great, great Grandfather, John Gritton, served in the Revolutionary War, is buried in Cove Spring Cemetery in Mercer County, near the Boyle County line.

      1. The cemetery is right on highway 127 past the golf course. You actually turn into the parking lot of a business (don’t remember the name) and park there as the cemetery is right behind their business. it’s all grown over now. We were able find several relative’s graves, unfortunately there were several that were unable to be read as well as some under bushes, etc. We have records that say John Gritton is buried there, but were unable to find a grave with his name, though we did find his brother’s grave. If you go, you MUST wear bug spray….the chiggers are horrible.

  2. Phyllis…Thank you for posting this! Mark & Elizabeth Dunn McGohon, Jr. were my 4th Great Grandparents and they were first buried at their daughter Margaret McGohon Turner’s farm in Washington Co., KY and removed to the Memorial Acre by Dr. Henry Wishard’s family (descendants of another of the McGohon’s…their daughter Rachel. Rachel’s first marriage was to John Stagg, son of Capt. James Stagg….also a veteran listed on the Revolutionary War Plaque. There is also a replica of the McGohon cabin within Fort Harrod Park.

    It llooks like many of these people were Presbyterians and were connected to the same church. Can you please tell me where you got the information about Elizabeth Dunn McGohon helping start the Presbyterian Church and is there a more specific name of the church? I would like to look it up….I had not heard that information before. Thank you! I enjoy your blog and small world…I’m from Lebanon!

    1. I am a 6th great grandson of Mark McGohon, I am trying to find records (birth, death, marriage, etc) for completing the Sons of American Revolution. Any idea where I could obtain these? My line goes Mark McGohon- Andrew McGohon-James Stagg McGohon- Merit McGohon- Hannah McGohon (Drury).
      Also I see James was a captain, what is his military history?

  3. Col. John “Blackhead’ Logan” is buried in Mercer Co. at or near the Pioneer cemetery but has no marker, stone or anything else that says he is there. Time erased the stone which marked his grave and he is a forgotten man. He is my 5rh or 6th great grandfather and I have been in search of him for sometime now. I put a piece in the Harrodsburg paper to see if anybody reembered the spot or maybe had a picture, anything of any importance but no one came forward. He died in 1807, being Gen. Benjamin Logans brother, the first Ky. State treasurer, indian fighter, sheriff, senator and about everything else. The burial place has been proven by Lyman Draper in papers that are at the Fort which I took myself. I went to the DAR, Historical Society, the Fort and tried to get help in pin pointing the grave as the paper says.The Governor has tried to help me and I see I cannot do it alone. There may be a stone resting in the family Logan cememtery which may have his name on it but is it Co;. John Logan?

  4. Very interesting. My ancestors are the Robinsons of Mercer (and Washington and Anderson counties). I wonder if this Lt. Col James Robinson is one of my ancestors!

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