“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Pineville in Bell County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)

Mountain Gateway

Mountain Gateway Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 5, 2010
1. Mountain Gateway Marker
Inscription. Bell County, named for Joshua Fry Bell (1811-1870), was formed just after the Civil War in February of 1867 from portions of Harlan and Knox Counties. Pineville, the county seat, being so near the site where pioneers on the Wilderness Road crossed the Cumberland River, had originally been called Cumberland Ford. Though the town was settled in 1781, it was only officially designated as Pineville upon the county's formation.

In the early days, hunting parties penetrated into eastern Kentucky first through the Cumberland Gap and then on through the "Narrows." As both prominent gaps lie within the county, Bell cradled the critical mountain passage and served as the very gateway to the western movement.

Until the advent of the Wilderness Road, the parallel ridges of Pine and Cumberland Mountains lay upon the land like great stone walls that barred explorers and pioneers from traveling west. The eventual discovery of Kentucky's twin gaps (Cumberland Gap and the Narrows) gave rise to a torrent of immigrants on their way to build a nation.

Pine Mountain became Kentucky's first state park in 1924, Regarded as one of the country's finest natural resorts, the park is noted for it's rugged mountain terrain and scenic beauty.
Location. 36° 45.676′ N, 83° 
Markers at the Courthouse image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain
2. Markers at the Courthouse
41.736′ W. Marker is in Pineville, Kentucky, in Bell County. Marker is at the intersection of Kentucky Avenue and Pine Street (Kentucky Highway 66), on the right when traveling east on Kentucky Avenue. Click for map. Located in front of the Bell County courthouse. Marker is in this post office area: Pineville KY 40977, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Joshua Fry Bell (here, next to this marker); Cumberland Ford (approx. 0.2 miles away); Wallsend Mine (approx. 0.6 miles away); Middlesboro Meteorite Crater Impact Site (approx. 10.4 miles away); Dirt-and-Log Forts (approx. 10.6 miles away); Two-Way Traffic (approx. 10.6 miles away); Defense of the Gap (approx. 10.6 miles away); Middlesborough (approx. 10.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Pineville.
Categories. Natural FeaturesSettlements & Settlers
Downtown Pineville image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 5, 2010
3. Downtown Pineville
The downtown district retains many of the early 20th century buildings, along with its character.
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 583 times since then and 90 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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