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  • Camp Nelson RV Park - Lancaster, KY - RV Parks

Camp Nelson RV Park - Lancaster, KY - RV Parks

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Camp Nelson RV Park is a privately owned and operated campground with amenities such as a swimming pool open daily to the public. Camp Nelson has a camp store, a full service bath-house, and boat ramp, full and partial hook up camp sites as well as many primative sites.


Camp Nelson is a community on both sides of the Kentucky River at US27 about six miles south of Nicholasville, Kentucky in both Jessamine and Garrard Counties. The area was important because a break in the palisades there gave access to a ford across the Kentucky River below the mouth of Hickman Creek. The ford was said to be a favorite of Daniel Boone. Early in the nineteenth century it was known as Fitchport named for Philonzo L. Fitch who operated the landing. A Fitchport Post Office operated on the south side of the river from 1839-1842. In 1843 a Boon's Knob [sic] Post Office opened on the north side of the river, named for a hill said to be used by Daniel Boone as a landmark. The Post Office closed in 1849.

A covered wooden bridge was constructed at the crossing in 1838. Known as the Hickman or Wernwag Bridge for its designer, Lewis Wernwag, a noted bridge builder. It remained in use until being replaced by a steel bridge in the 1930's. A wider, higher bridge was laster built nearby and the 1930's bridge is now closed to vehicular traffic. A Post Office known as Jessamine opened in 1853 on the north side of the river. It moved briefly to the Garrard County side of the river then reopened on the north side as Camp Nelson in 1863.

The U.S. Army chose the hill on the north side of the river as the location for a camp because it was naturally protected by the river, cliffs, and creek. Named Camp Nelson for General William Nelson, it became an important recruiting and training station for African-American soldiers and later served as a refugee center for freed slaves. The camp was closed in 1866 and the site became the Camp Nelson National Cemetery. Efforts are underway to preserve and restore what remains of the old camp.

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