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.

29 replies »

  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.

      • 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!

    • 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!

  5. Planning a first time visit this upcoming summer or fall. I would like to visit the resting place of Capt. James Stagg and Daniel Brewer. Any information regarding these families that could be helpful to me would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks so much. William (Bill) Stagg – Hackensack, New Jersey Stagg Family.

    • Bill…if you like, I can help you with some information on James Stagg and Daniel Brewer (do you mean Leah’s father?). I’m connected to the Stagg family through the McGohon family….their family farm bordered the Stagg farm. Also, there is such great history with the Low Dutch Reformed Church from Hackensack…how fun to be from there and make the trip to Mercer County! I have found several connections so I’ve been really fascinated with their history for several months now…just let me know.

      • Hi Sharon …. Thanks so much for the reply. It is always fun to see where our family research brings us. I am looking forward to the Kentucky connections. James Stagg’ father Cornelius b.1700 was the older brother to my 6x Great-Grandfather Jacob Stagg b.1715. I bet there is much information we can exchange. A trip to Mercer County is in the works, but not sure yet when that will be. Sometime in the fall may work the best for me. Thanks again …….. Bill

  6. The more I look the more I find. Great information. Can’t wait for our upcoming visit. Found a number of additional family, Garrett Terhune, Capt. John Smock, Mark McGohan,

    Thanks for everything you do.
    William (Bill) Stagg – Hackensack NJ Stagg Family

    • Bill….Please LMK if you still need the resting places of Stagg & Brewer. Just PM me: lynchsharon@comcast.net and I can send you some info if you like.

      Are you familiar with the Dutch Reformed Church and the migration to KY? Both James Stagg & Daniel Brewer families were part of this group. If timing works for you, The Dutch Cousins of Kentucky are having their reunion Sept. 12-15th in Frankfort & Harrodsburg, KY. If you are interested, you can join the group…just google. Also, they have a great FB page and have some fantastic info!

      • Hi, I just got a match with you on Family finder, it says we are cousins, my maiden name is Allen, my Dads family is from Botland, Ky, and I believe the relation is thru his mother, who was a Greer, also from Botland

      • Hi! Yes…it sounds like you are a direct line of Edith Greer & Doc Allen. My grandmother was Aline Elizabeth Greer who was a sister to Edith. My Dad, Norman McGohon, was born in the Botland Greer house. Would love to connect!

      • Hi Julia…Yes…you’re right & that is our connection. My Grandmother was Aline Elizabeth Greer, dau. of Isaac Skinner Greer. I would love to connect.. We have some very interesting history with the Greers, but also the Skinner & Milton families. Hope to hear from you!

  7. I just stumbled across this information — and I’m giddy to find it! Thank you so much for what you’ve posted!
    Edward Houchins is my direct line ancestor and I’ve been researching him since recently inheriting an engraved Houchins wedding ring. I’m eager to submit his name as one of my DAR patriots.

  8. Thank you again for posting this.. My5th GGrandfather is George Buchanan I had visited the fort looking for his stone, I didn’t find it.. I will be back to see if it is still standing.. I know where to find it now !! I am related to the Buchanans, Ewings, McAFee’s, & Mc Michaels and Carrs. Thank you so much !!

  9. My 4th grandfather was Wm. Springate, who moved to Ft. Harrod in the 1780’s. Four of his eight children were born there. His son John died there in 1851. John served under Robert McAfee in the War of 1812 and married Sarah Egbert in 1801. Williams wife, Catherine McGibbon, died there in 1810. Wm. died in 1802. Wondering if any of the early Springate’s are buried there.

    • She is buried in Anderson County KY. The cemetery is on the south side of Mill Creek Pike, KY 513. It is a location where the road is closest to the river. The river is north of 513. (This is according to the Mormon genealogical website.) I am a direct descent of her son with George Buchanan. His name was James Milton Buchanan (buried Eminence KY). JM Buchanan married America Greathouse (of Shelbyville). Their son, George McAfee Buchanan was my great grandfather. I was born in 1949.

  10. An ancestral family member, Thomas Stone, born in Prince William Co., VA about 1743, fought in the Revolutionary War in the Virginia Continental Line in the 10th and 14th Regiments. He and his wife Elizabeth “Betty” Jackman later moved to Kentucky and settled in Mercer Co. After the death of his first wife he married Mrs. Ann Bennett. He died around March of 1829 and is buried somewhere in Mercer Co. I am looking for his grave site. If anyone knows anything about his resting place, I would love to know and to place a DAR grave marker.

  11. Are the Lyman Draper Papers still at Fort Harrodsburg and are they published or copied anywhere?
    I am Patrick Coovert a direct relative of Daniel Coovert and Jane VanArsdalen.
    Daniel was born in Somerset New Jersey and fought in the American Revolutionary War. His brother was Isaac Coovert. Daniel fought under General George Washington at the Battle for Monmouth New Jersey. He was a Minute Man and Issac a fifer. Daniel Coovert and family located to Conewago Colony and then to Mercer County in 1790. He lived and died in Mercer County and I believe he is buried in the Pioneer Cem. At Harrodsburg with his wife Jane VanArsdalen. A plaque has been placed at Old Mud Meeting House. His family came from the Netherlands in 1651.

  12. My name is Don McGohan and I am part of the Arkansas branch of the McGohan family. My lineage, as best I can determine, is from:

    Mark McGohon, Sr.
    Daniel McGohon (half-brother of Mark McGohan, Jr.?)
    William Hutson McGohan
    Thomas Burton McGohan
    George Burton McGohan (my grandfather), and
    Glen Dale McGohan (my father)

    I am interested in establishing contact with other descendants of Mark McGohon or Daniel McGohan to share information about our family history and to verify the information that I have. I can be contacted at:



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