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NKY History Hour: Behringer-Crawford presents Matt Becher and the colorful history of the Boone County Courthouse

The staid, brick, Renaissance Revival building on Washington Square in Burlington doesn’t give any hints of the sensational murder trial it once housed.

Yet the historic Boone County Courthouse, built in 1889, was the site of one if the most notorious court cases in Boone County History. Sixteen-year-old Joan Kiger and her mother Jennie were acquitted of murdering Joan’s father Carl and his son Jerry Kiger after a jury of 12 men accepted Joan’s explanation that she was experiencing nightmares.

It is local lore like this, along with historic finishes like tin ceilings, ornate plaster molding and a bell tower, that led the county to invest more than $1.6 million to preserve and restore the iconic courthouse as a community center.

Historian Matt Becher will discuss the courthouse’s history and the preservation program at the next NKY History Hour, presented by Behringer-Crawford Museum. Hosted by Shane Noem and Tara Johnson-Noem, vice president of the BCM Board of Trustees, the virtual presentation will take place via Zoom at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 26. To register and participate in the free virtual presentation, presented by Behringer-Crawford Museum, click here.

Information on how to connect to the Zoom session will be sent after registration. The event will also be streamed live on BCM’s Facebook page.

Matt Becher has been in the historic preservation field since 1990, receiving degrees in anthropology and community planning from the University of Cincinnati. From 1990 to 2000 he worked in the cultural resources management field as an archaeologist, architectural historian, and preservation planner.

Mike Becher

He has been with the Boone County Planning Commission and served as Boone County’s historic preservation officer since 2000. This position has focused on historic preservation in Boone County including historical research, architectural history, writing, advocacy, heritage tourism, cemetery preservation and archaeology. As a certified planner he also reviews development projects and assists with long -range and community and comprehensive planning.

NKY History Hour presentations are currently free to the public but may become a BCM members-only benefit in the future. To support NKY History Hour and access many other entertaining and thought-provoking programs for free, join BCM today here.

Behringer-Crawford Museum is supported in part by our members, the City of Covington. Kenton County Fiscal Court, ArtsWave, Kentucky Arts Council, Kentucky Humanities, the Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame and The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr. Foundation.

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