Those who watch the Travel Channel may catch a glimpse of the Hardin County History Museum in downtown Elizabethtown and local author Robert Prather, who wrote the book “The Strange Case of Jonathan Swift and the Real Long John Silver.”
In December, crews were in town to film “Code of the Wild,” a show about two brothers, the Keefers, who go around the world investigating wilderness mysteries. The episode “Swift Silver,” which features roughly five minutes of Hardin County, premiered on the Travel Channel in September.
The episode delves into the history and legend of Jonathan Swift, a Virginia merchant, who, according to an 1800s lore, might have lost his treasure in Kentucky, possibly in a cave. Two of the possible locations for the treasure are in Hardin County.
The episode description on the Travel Channel website reads, “Casey and Chris Keefer go on the hunt for a legendary silver mine said to be worth tens of millions of dollars. A cryptic journal leads the brothers into the wilds of Kentucky before sending them out West in search of the long-lost treasure.”
Hardin County History Museum President Bill Bennett said this show marks the fifth time the Hardin County History Museum has had national prominence on television. It’s also been on three state-wide shows.
“Not many small museums like that get that much prominence,” Bennett said. He credits the rich history of Hardin County as a reason.
Prather agreed, calling Hardin County a “gem in the state of Kentucky.” He said the “Code of the Wild” will add more curiosity into the museum.
“Every time that the Hardin County History Museum has been featured either statewide or nationally, our visitor numbers have gone up,” Bennett said.
Prather said the Keefers even mentioned the wide variety of items the museum has to offer.
As for the show itself, Prather said he likes the fact that these two brothers are young and adventurous.
“They combine the history and the adventure of the history. They will research some and they will go out in the field ... to put their research to the test,” he said. “I like the way they’ve done it. I like to put shows out there that inspire younger people.”
Bennett said there is a need to get more young people interested in history.
“If you look at the makeup of our board, 95 percent of us are 50 or older. We need more young people getting interested in history and hopefully shows like ‘Call of the Wild’ will get younger people more involved,” he said.