Northern Kentucky History Day 2024

Northern Kentucky History Day will be held on Saturday, May 4, 2024 at the Erlanger branch of the Kenton County Public Library. The event will be held from 8 AM - 2 PM.

The keynote speaker Bob Webster will present, “From Old Latonia to Turfway Park -- A 140-Year History.”

This year registration is free! To register visit our website.

If you have questions or need to register, call (859) 962-4070 or email

The Local History and Genealogy Department at the Covington branch will be closed Saturday, May 4, 2024. Our staff look forward to seeing you at NKY History Day at Erlanger.

Program Schedule and Descriptions

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Check-in begins and the vendor area will be open. There will be a STREAM Center Open House.

Program Descriptions

9:00 AM – 9:45 AM:

Keynote Presentation – From Old Latonia to Turfway Park -- A 140-Year History

Bob Webster

Ann Bronte Room

Robert D. “Bob” Webster will speak about his latest book, A Tradition Reborn: From Old Latonia Race Track to Turfway Park Racing and Gaming – A 140-Year History, and about the decision and process of taking on such a project. He is a Northern Kentucky native and author of numerous books and articles on the history of the region. He is a three-time winner of the Kentucky Historical Society’s “Outstanding Publication” Award and is a frequent speaker for civic and community groups throughout the region. He has been a featured presenter in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and Tennessee.

Breakout Session 1

10:15 AM - 11:15 AM:

The Old Barber of Covington

Paul Duryea

Ann Bronte Room

Johnathan Singer was a trailblazer and instrumental in advancing the business, educational and social lives of the African American community in 19th century Covington.  While he is often referenced as simply being the father-in-law of Jacob Price or a long-time businessman, that would be selling the Old Barber of Covington a bit short.  Join us for a look back at the life and legacy of John Singer and the tumultuous time in which he lived.       

What’s With Cincinnati?

Micha O’Connor

Charlotte Bronte Room

Join Micha O’Connor, author of What’s With Cincinnati?, to discover the scandalous history of Northern Kentucky including the formidable fate of Pearl Bryan, find out how King of the Bootleggers, George Remus, got away with murder, and whether accident or arson led to tragedy at the Beverly Hills Supper Club.

Cincinnati Panorama of 1848: A Window to the Past

Christopher E. Smith

Emily Bronte Room

The Cincinnati Panorama, referred to as the Mona Lisa of Daguerreotypes was taken by Charles Fontayne and William S. Porter from a rooftop in Newport, Ky.

This early photograph captures a period during America’s formative years when steamboats ruled the rivers and railroads were on the cusp of dominance as a form of transportation. The earliest cityscape and first known panoramic shot taken in all of North America is of Cincinnati, Ohio, the fast growing Queen City of the West. Taken in 1848 by Fontayne, a native of England and Porter of Covington, Kentucky who were business partners at the time in the new and dynamic field of photography. Many stories can be pulled from this unique piece of history that help to convey the story that is America. 

Breakout Session 2

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM:

Genealogy Resources at the Kentucky Historical Society

Daniel Ware

Anne Bronte Room

Looking for a Kentucky ancestor? Learn about the many resources you can use at the Kentucky Historical Society for your research! KHS has several types of records that can help you such as: birth records, marriage records, death records, probate records, family histories and many more. Get a better understanding of what resources may be right for you and how to use them. This presentation will help you understand the resources that are at KHS and will allow you to use that knowledge to further your family research. 

Hard Living: Everyday Life at the Newport Barracks

Patrick Coggins and Brian Hackett

Charlotte Bronte Room

This presentation will explore the everyday living conditions for US military personnel residing at the Newport Barracks. Specific topics will include the "staples" of the soldiering life (food, living conditions, standard of living); yet the presentation will also include how the Newport Barracks personnel and installation affected the community outside the confines of the military base. The presentation seeks to present the human side of the Newport Barracks story.

Forgotten History in Your Own Backyard

Peter Bronson

Emily Bronte Room

A tour through some amazing history of Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, including the Mob in Newport, the deadly Supper Club fire, Cincinnati’s battle against Larry Flynt and the Siege of Cincinnati during the Civil War.

Breakout Session 3

12:45 PM – 1:45 PM:

The ORVILLE Project and You: Ohio River Valley Innovation Library and Learning Engagement

Paul Tenkotte and Dave Schroeder

Ann Bronte Room

Are you tired of hearing our region called the "Rust Belt" or "Flyover Country"? We're out to correct those perceptions. From Orville Wright to Neil Armstrong, the Ohio River watershed has been an engine of innovation, helping to win the Civil War, WWI, WWII, and the Cold War. Learn how you can be a part of this new and exciting volunteer project of the Kenton County Public Library.

Researching at the National SAR Library & Archives

Cheri Daniels

Charlotte Bronte Room

The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution has been collecting research material since its beginning in 1889. Not many people know that their national headquarters and award-winning genealogical research library are in downtown Louisville Kentucky. This session will guide researchers through the resources available through on-site access as well as the many free resources available from home. The SAR Genealogical Research library is not just for members and holds collections that reach all 50 states and span the breadth of U.S. history.

The Judge’s Collection: The History of Judge Robert O. Lukowsky

Holly Hall

Emily Bronte Room

A Covington native born in 1927, Lukowsky became one of the most respected judges in Kentucky and a cherished teacher at the Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University. Learn more about Judge Lukowsky in a presentation on the details of his life accomplishments.

STREAM Center Open House

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

9:45 AM – 10:15 PM

Stop by the STREAM Center located across from the Bronte meeting rooms to receive a tour of the equipment and ask questions. The STREAM Center can help you create projects for family reunions, genealogy gifts, family history posters and more.

Speaker Biographies

Peter Bronson - Peter Bronson is a newsman, editor, magazine writer, author and owner of Chilidog Press publishing. He has written eight books, including The Man Who Saved Cincinnati (2023), Not in Our Town (2022), Forbidden Fruit (2020). He was editorial page editor and columnist for The Cincinnati Enquirer for nearly 20 years. Under his leadership the Enquirer was judged Best Editorial Page in Ohio four years in a row.

Patrick Coggins - Patrick Coggins is a lifelong tri-state resident and educator of history. He currently holds a Master's in Public History from Northern Kentucky University (2024), a Master's in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati (2010), and a Bachelor's of History from Mount St. Joseph University (2009). He is currently an Adjunct Professor at Northern Kentucky University and Mount St. Joseph University. In addition, Mr. Coggins has six years of accumulative teaching experience at the secondary education level, and ten years of football coaching experience at the high school and collegiate levels. His content interests are in military history.

Cheri Daniels - Cheri Daniels, MSLS, serves as Director of Library & Archives for the National SAR (Sons of the American Revolution) Genealogical Research Library located at the national SAR headquarters in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. Spanning a career of over 25 years, Daniels has worked in various types of libraries and archives, with the most recent decade spent leading the library and archives department for the Kentucky Historical Society, editing their online genealogy publication, Kentucky Ancestors, and producing their statewide genealogy television program. When she is not writing, researching, and speaking on the national stage, she is producing and hosting her own podcast, BloodRoot, to share stories from her own genealogy journey. Daniels is also a contributing author to the book, Genealogy and the Librarian, published in 2018. You can learn more about her personal projects and upcoming speaking engagements at

Paul Duryea - Paul Duryea is the Covington Branch Manager for the Kenton County Public Library system.  He has worked in public libraries for over 30 years, where he has presented at state and national library conferences.   Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Xavier University and a Master of Library Science from Kent State.  In recent years, he has turned more towards topics of historical significance, be it giving a presentation on Irish Genealogy or contributing to the 2019 opening of the Covington-Cincinnati Bridge Company safe. 

Holly Hall - Holly Hall is the Director of the Borderlands Archive and History Center at the Boone County Public Library. She has been with the library since 2018. After earning her MSLS from the University of Kentucky in 2021, Holly was hired into the library’s history department. She enjoys helping people research genealogy and connecting with history.

Brian Hackett – Dr. Brian Hackett is an Associate Professor of History AT NKU. He is also Director of the Public History Master’s Degree Program, which teaches students how to work in Museums, Archives, Historic sites and in Historic Preservation.  Dr. Hackett has a PhD. In Public History from Middle Tennessee State University, an MA in Historical Administration from Eastern Illinois University, and Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point.  Dr. Hackett has a great family and a remarkable basset hound named Ginny.

Micha O’Connor - When Micha O’Connor grew up in rural Kentucky, 40 minutes outside of Cincinnati, every visit to the city was a special treat. Driving up 75 through the “cut in the hill” lights unfolding ahead inspires her still. A grant writer by day, Micha has had a diverse career as an artist and educator. She holds a BFA in theatre from the University of Kentucky, where she also attended graduate school for Library and Information Science. What’s With Cincinnati?: The Quirks, Personality, and Charm of the Queen City is her first book.

Paul A. Tenkotte, PhD - Paul A. Tenkotte is Professor of History at Northern Kentucky University. He has published 16 books, contributed chapters and essays to 13 additional books, and written more than 500 articles and book reviews for a wide range of publications. In addition, he has participated in 22 television documentaries, including his 2018 national PBS debut, Ten That Changed America: Engineering Marvels. Dr. Tenkotte’s textbook, The United States since 1865: Information Literacy and Critical Thinking, was published in 2022 by Kendall Hunt. He is also editor of the weekly “Our Rich History” column in the NKyTribune, an online publication of the non-profit Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism; see:  Currently, Tenkotte is directing a non-profit regional initiative of the Kenton County Public library (KY) entitled ORVILLE (Ohio River Valley Innovation Library and Learning Enrichment).

Dave Schroeder – Dave Schroeder is a native of Kenton County. He was named Executive Director of the nationally ranked Kenton County Public Library in April 2007. Dave began his career at Kenton County Public Library in 1986 as a shelver. In 1987 he began working in the Local History Department indexing historic newspapers. He held the position of Archivist for Thomas More University and the Diocese of Covington from 1996 to 2000. Schroeder returned to KCPL in 2000 as the Kentucky History Librarian. During his term as director of KCPL, Schroeder completely renovated and expanded the Covington Branch Library, expanded the Erlanger Branch Library, oversaw the construction of a new Administration Center, promoted a nationally recognized workforce development program at the library, and is currently establishing a new branch in the Latonia Neighborhood of Covington.

Christopher E. Smith - Christopher Smith is a Reference Librarian in the Genealogy and Local History Department at the Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library. He’s become a collection specialist over time with regard to the Heritage Collection held at Cincinnati Public. While specializing in local / regional history, Chris also serves as program coordinator for the department. Chris has been with the Public Library for over twenty-five years serving in various positions throughout that time. During his free time, Chris helped design and write tours for Segway of Ohio and is now one of the guides providing both walking and Segway tours of Cincinnati’s Center City neighborhoods. When the opportunity presents itself, Chris also conducts talks at conventions, historical societies or any other community group or family with an interest in history. 

Daniel Ware - Daniel has had a passion for genealogy, history, and learning for as long as he can remember. He watches historical documentaries and reads non-fiction history books for the fun of it. Daniel has provided customer service to the public for many years and has combined all his skills and passions together as the genealogy librarian at the Kentucky Historical Society. He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art History from Georgetown College in 2010 with a minor in history. He then earned his Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Kentucky in 2017. He has been a KHS staff member since 2022.

Bob Webster – Bob is a multiple winner of the Kentucky History Award and author of A Tradition Reborn: From Old Latonia Race Track to Turfway Park Racing and Gaming – A 140-Year History. His other titles include The Beverly Hills Supper Club: The Untold Story Behind Kentucky’s Worst Tragedy, The Balcony Is Closed: A History of Northern Kentucky’s Long-Forgotten Neighborhood Movie Theaters, Northern Kentucky Fires: A Summary of the Most Memorable Fires of the Region and A Brief History of Northern Kentucky.


To reserve a vendor table email John Boh at; if no email address, call John Boh at (859) 491-0490. Vendor set up begins after 7:30 AM. 

Vendors at NKY History Day! (List updated April 24, 2024)

Boone County Historical Society

Boone County Public Library 

Author Peter Bronson

Campbell County Historical and Genealogical Society

Dinsmore Homestead

Drewry Family Historical Production Company

Genealogy by Jan - Jan Lester

Kenton County Historical Society

Kenton County Public Library

Kentucky Historical Society

Ludlow Historic Society

Ludlow Heritage Museum

National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution - Mary Ingles Chapter, Boone County Chapter, and Rebecca Bryan Boone Chapter

Author Micha O'Connor

Author Robert Schrage

Sons of the Union Veterans

Author Don Heinrich Tolzmann

Author Bob Webster