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

First Settlement of Perryville



—The Battle for Kentucky October 8, 1862 —

First Settlement of Perryville Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, August 18, 2011
1. First Settlement of Perryville Marker
Inscription. The area around this cave was the site of Perryville’s original settlement, Harbison’s Station. Named for its founder, James Harbison, the station was settled in the 1770s. Harbison and the group of Virginians traveling with him chose this location because the cave housed a natural spring and was situated on the banks of the Chaplin River (to your left rear behind the buildings). A fort was built around the cave for protection, and Harbison’s Station soon became a center of pioneer life in what became western Boyle County.

Trouble frequently arose with local Native Americans, and the settlers would flee into the fort and cave to seek shelter. If necessary, both men and women would help defend the fort against attackers. During one raid James Harbison failed to reach the cave in time and was captured and executed. His head was discovered about a mile from the fort. A Perryville resident later recalled that Harbison’s wife “took the head and managed to keep it in a complete state of preservation for many years.”

As more people moved west, Harbison’s Station grew into a small town, which was renamed and incorporated as Perryville in 1817. The cave remained a popular site for social events. Stone walls were installed around the mouth in the middle of the 19th Century to prevent erosion, and were reconstructed
The Perryville Cave image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, August 18, 2011
2. The Perryville Cave
in 2007 by the Perryville Enhancement Project.

Please use caution walking around the cave mouth.

“The cave…was where most of the Perryvillians obtained their drinking water. The stream was much larger then than it is now.”
—Perryville resident Lora Parks, from a memoir
Erected by The Perryville Enhancement Project.
Location. 37° 38.889′ N, 84° 57.13′ W. Marker is in Perryville, Kentucky, in Boyle County. Marker is at the intersection of West Fourth Street and South Buell Street (U.S. 68), on the left when traveling west on West Fourth Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Perryville KY 40468, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Karrick-Parks House / Harberson's Station (a few steps from this marker); Perryville in the Crucible of War (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); “If You Meet the Enemy, Overpower Him” (about 400 feet away); The City of Perryville (about 400 feet away); Bragg's Invasion of Kentucky (about 500 feet away); The Battle of Perryville
The Cave image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, March 31, 2012
3. The Cave
(about 500 feet away); Merchants' Row / Street Fighting (about 700 feet away); a different marker also named Battle of Perryville (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Perryville.
More about this marker. In the center is a map of “Central Kentucky in 1784. Harbison’s Station is located west of Danville.”

On the upper right is a photograph of “The cave as it appeared in 1929.”
Also see . . .  Historic Perryville KY. (Submitted on August 23, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
Categories. Forts, CastlesSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 722 times since then and 104 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.   3. submitted on , by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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