National Register Multiple Property Documentation Form for Kentucky State Parks and Individual Nomination for Lake Cumberland State Resort Park
CRA completed a thematic Multiple Property Documentation Form (MPDF) addressing the entire Kentucky State Park System (including state resort parks, state recreation parks, and state historic sites) and one individual National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) nomination for Lake Cumberland State Resort Park. The completion of one individual NRHP nomination under the MPDF enabled National Park Service review and acceptance of the MPDF, facilitating future individual nominations under this established context.
For the MPDF, CRA developed a statewide historic context for Kentucky State Parks from their establishment in 1924 through 1973. The context provides a broad overview of how the Kentucky state park system fits into evolving trends in tourism and recreation during this period. A central theme is the changing understanding of the definition and purpose of a state park, particularly as it relates to the issues of preservation, use, and development.
The context is divided into three periods beginning with the establishment of Kentucky State Parks in the 1920s. The second period was one of expansion during the New Deal, when many of Kentucky’s state parks were improved by CCC labor under the guidance of the National Park Service. The third period of development, beginning after World War II and accelerating in the 1960s, was one of increased focus on developing recreational amenities and overnight accommodations. It was during the third phase of development when Kentucky clearly defined three different types of units within the park system: state resort parks, state parks, and state historic sites. These comprise the three main property types defined in the MPDF.
Lake Cumberland State Resort Park was established in 1951 and was the first Kentucky state park established on a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers impoundment. The individual nomination for Lake Cumberland State Resort Park included detailed discussion of the park’s history and historic resources to situate it within the broader context established by the MPDF.
Both documents were accepted by the National Park Service.