Washington girl helps Jouett House
According to Google Maps, Olympia, Wash., is 2,437 miles from the Jack Jouett House. Despite the distance, the home of the "Paul Revere of the South" is getting a major assist from an 18-year-old high school student who hails from the capital of Washington State. Reagan Zolman (named for our 40th president) is the current president of the National Children of the American Colonists, and with an assist from a Lexington friend, she picked the Jack Jouett House as her project. "I was hoping to do the state of Kentucky, because it's my favorite state. So we have some friends in Kentucky, and . we were going back and forth, shooting ideas with each other, and Jack Jouett came up, and it was perfect, because it was patriotic, educational and it goes with everything our club stands for," Zolman said. She said she the loved the idea of raising money for a historic marker to guide people to the home of a man many feel doesn't receive proper recognition. "Paul Revere is much, much more known than Jack Jouett and so I wanted to bring him into the light more and educate people more about him," Zolman said. The evening of June 3, 1781, Jouett, 27, spotted a British cavalry unit headed to Charlottesville, Va. He feared, correctly, that they were on their way to capture the members of Virginia's state legislature and Gov. Thomas Jefferson. He rode 40 miles on rough backwoods trails with only the light of the full moon to guide him, but beat the Brits to Charlottesville. Years later, he built a house on what became Craigs Creek Road, and the rest - at least to some Woodford Countians and Jouett fans across America - is history. Zolman said her grandmother has worked on historical markers and she loved the idea of being able to fund a marker that would be visible to people who drive by when the Jouett House isn't open. "We wanted (them) to be able to, if they drove up to it, know what they were looking at," Zolman said. The marker cost about $3,000, which Zolman raised by selling pendants with the Jack Jouett House logo and raffle tickets for a quilt her grandmother made after a trip to the Jack Jouett House. She also raised about $600 to buy American and Kentucky flags for use there. "It's amazing how much support people have given me on this," she said. The group of which Zolman is president consists of people under the age of 21 who can, as she said, "prove that your ancestor came over before Independence Day and helped build this country in some way." She's also fond of the travel. "It's so amazing to go back and actually see where it happened. It gets you involved with American history so much more and that's probably my favorite thing ." Zolman said. Accompanied by her parents, Zolman will arrive in Lexington today, June 16, for her group's annual meeting, then come to the Jack Jouett House for Saturday's 2 p.m. dedication ceremony. She'll be in town until Wednesday, June 22, with a Father's Day trip scheduled for another Kentucky landmark that noted horseman Jack Jouett would appreciate: Churchill Downs.