August 1, 2013

Traces of Laurel: Levi Jackson



Levi and Rebecca had a large family and have many descendants still living in Laurel and surrounding counties. Probably no name in Laurel County’s history is more recognized today than that of Levi Jackson.  A good photo of Levi still exists, too, making his face familiar. He has truly become Laurel County’s own and it is easy to get a feeling of having known him.

A few years back when I was writing the fictional life of a real Laurel County woman, Lucy J. Williams, I became acquainted with Lucy’s great-great-grandaughter who, it turned out, was also related to Levi Jackson, through Levi’s sister, Sarah, who married James Durham.  This young woman, who had never visited our area, came to see me and I took her to the park and to Levi’s grave and helped her find more information about the family at the historical society.  I will never forget how excited she was to stand beside Levi’s grave and make that connection with her family history. 

You may be able to find your past at the Laurel County Historical Society’s library.  We’re there to help.


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Some relics of Levi Jackson’s life were displayed at the recently closed Mountain Life Museum in Levi Jackson State Park.

We can only hope that they will be preserved.  When “funding” is the issue, historical sites/artifacts always seem to be the first to go.  


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The Laurel County Historical Society is located at 310 W. 3rd St., London, (formerly the Laurel County Health Department).  The library is open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 12 noon.  For further information, contact 606-864-0607 during library hours, or 606-224-3767 at other times.  Visit the historical society’s website:  Email the society at or Jan Sparkman at

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
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