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September 16, Eric Brooks, Curator, Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate

Posted on Sep 14, 2021

The Rotary Club of Lexington will hold its weekly meeting Thursday, September 16,  at the Red Mile and via Zoom. The program  features  Eric Brooks, Curator, Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate. To attend via Zoom  please email, To register for lunch click here  Weekly Meetings  

This week club member Eric Brooks, who is also curator/site manager for Ashland, the Henry Clay Estate, will address the issue of slavery at Ashland and the way the interpretation of it has changed dramatically, especially in recent years. Specifically, Eric will highlight Ashland’s Traces: Slavery at Ashland tour and ongoing research that informs it.

Eric was born in Columbus, Ohio, and grew up in Lexington,

Kentucky. He attended Lafayette Senior High School, graduating in 1988. After Lafayette, Eric received a bachelor’s degree in anthropology at Miami University. Upon graduation from Miami, Eric went to Washington, DC, where he worked for six months for the National Park Service (NPS) as an interpretive ranger on the National Mall. Eric continued his career in Park Service grey and green for a year at Sagamore Hill National Historic Site in Oyster Bay, New York. There he began his museum career as a museum technician. After a year and a half with NPS, Eric received acceptance in the United States Peace Corps, where he served two years on the island of St. Lucia in the Caribbean. In St. Lucia, Eric taught physical education at a secondary school.

After his Peace Corps career, Eric returned to the US and school to pursue a master’s of science in museum science at Texas Tech University in beautiful Lubbock, Texas. Eric received his master’s in 1998 and returned home to Kentucky to take the position of curator and assistant director of Liberty Hall Historic Site (home of Kentucky’s first US Senator, John Brown) in Frankfort, Kentucky. After four years in Frankfort, Eric finally made it full circle to Lexington where he became curator at Ashland in 2002.

As curator at Ashland, Eric is responsible for managing the collection, creating the interpretation of the site, producing research on the site and its inhabitants, and anything else that happens to need doing and for which no one else is available. Eric is currently past president of the board of the Kentucky Museum and Heritage Alliance, Kentucky’s organization for the museum and heritage professions.

Eric Brooks is married to Twila Mynhier Brooks, an attorney privately practicing in the areas of estate planning, probate, and taxation.

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