Near Middlesboro in Bell County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
Before Daniel Boone there was
Dr. Thomas Walker
Cumberland Gap still bears the name Dr. Thomas Walker gave it when he came over the mountain in 1750 with a party of Virginia real estate speculators. Walker was a wealthy neighbor of Peter Jefferson, father of future president Thomas Jefferson. The journals and maps of Dr. Walker's trans-Appalachian travels promoted emigration west into Kentucky.
Hogs and Whiskey
Kentucky's soil was rich, but cash was scarce on the frontier. Hogs brought from the East escaped into the fertile woods and canebrakes, their numbers exploded. Unlike other bulky farm products, hogs could carry themselves to distant markets.
Whiskey also made big money for western settlers. Distillation concentrated the value of acres of corn into a high-dollar liquor that was cheaper to transport and easier to sell than the bulky grain.
We encountered immense droves of hogs going into... Virginia...two
Wilderness Road traveler's letter, 1823
Erected by Cumberland Gap National Historical Park - National Park Service - Department of the Interior.
Location. 36° 36.541′ N, 83° 40.674′ W. Marker is near Middlesboro, Kentucky, in Bell County. Marker is on Pinnacle Road, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Located at the Thomas Walker parking area in Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. Marker is in this post office area: Middlesboro KY 40965, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Defense of the Gap (approx. 0.2 miles away); Invasion through the Gap (approx. 0.2 miles away); Dirt-and-Log Forts (approx. 0.4 miles away); Morgan's Retreat (approx. 0.4 miles away but has been reported missing); Daniel Boone's Trail (approx. 0.4 miles away in Tennessee); Boundaries Settled (approx. 0.6 miles away in Virginia); Generations Have Enjoyed this View (approx. 0.6 miles away in Virginia); A Maze of Mountains (approx. 0.6 miles away in Virginia). Click for a list of all markers in Middlesboro.
Also see . . . Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. (Submitted on September 19, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Categories. • Exploration • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 666 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.