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

The Quest for Land

The Quest for Land Wayside Exhibit image. Click for full size.
By Karl Stelly, June 1, 2014
1. The Quest for Land Wayside Exhibit
Land Fever

Why did so many people brave the dangers of frontier life to come to Clark County and the Bluegrass? The answer is land -- cheap land, fertile land. The quest for land drove the settlement of Kentucky.

John Findley was a hunter and fur trader who, in 1752, spent several months at the Shawnee town Eskippakithiki in Clark County. Findley returned to the eastern colonies with tales of rich land. It was Findley who told Daniel Boone, then 21, of the beautiful, fertile land teeming with game.

Seventeen years later, Boone finally reached the Bluegrass. It was the "second Eden" Findley had described and Boone decided to settle his family there as soon as possible. He was not the only one. The reports of Kentucky's riches brought back by Boone and others fueled the rush to this "promised land."

Hope of a Better Life

The dangers of reaching Kentucky, the threat of Indian attack, and the realities of harsh life on the frontier did not slow the wave of settlement. Land in Kentucky was fertile, and it was cheap compared to land in the east. It could be bought on easy terms and was even given away if certain conditions were met.

Every settler came in the hopes of making a better life. Many came to escape the hardships created by the Revolutionary War.

Boone's First View of Kentucky. image. Click for full size.
By Karl Stelly, June 1, 2014
2. Boone's First View of Kentucky.
"Here from the top of an eminence, Boone and his companions first beheld a distant view of the beautiful lands of Kentucky. The plains and forests abounded with wild beasts of every kind; deer and elk were common; the buffalo were seen in herds, and the plains covered with the richest verdure." (From the book "The Great West," published in 1858, Courtesy Kentucky Historical Society)
Most were farmers who were not prospering back east. Some were recent immigrants. A few were younger sons of aristocratic families with limited expectations back home. And some were slaves who had no voice in the decision to come west but who shared in the peril.

In just fifteen short years, between 1775 and 1790, the population of Kentucky rose from just 150 to over 73,000. More than 11,000 of the new residents were black, of whom only 114 were free. Almost all of these settlers lived in the Bluegrass or on its edges. The face of Kentucky was changed forever in those years.

Pioneer Landmarks

Because of its close proximity to Fort Boonesborough, present-day Clark County was well known to early hunters and explorers, and many who settled in Clark County first passed through Boonesborough. At least nineteen early settlements have been documented within the present boundaries of Clark County, although the location of some remains elusive.

1. Eskipakithiki
2. Fort Boonesborough
3. John Strode's Station
4. Stephen Boyle's Station
5. William Bramblett's Station
6. William Bush Settlement (Lower Howard's Creek Settlement)
7. John Constant's Station
8. Elijah Crossthwait's Station
9. John Donaldson's Station and related settlement
10. Dunaway's Station
11. Frazier's Station
12. John

John Strode's Station image. Click for full size.
By Karl Stelly, June 1, 2014
3. John Strode's Station
Fortified settlements, such as John Strode's station, established in 1779, offered protection to both those living within its walls and nearby. Its layout is typical of stockaded stations in central Kentucky. (Courtesy Kentucky Historical Society)
Holder's Station and Boatyard
13. David McGee's Station
14. Tracy's Station/Stoner Settlement
15. William Scholl's Station
Erected by The Winchester/Clark County Tourism Commission.
Location. 37° 53.401′ N, 84° 15.607′ W. Marker is near Winchester, Kentucky, in Clark County. Marker can be reached from Ford Road/4 Mile Road (Kentucky Route 1924) 1.2 miles south of Boonesboro Road (Kentucky Route 627), on the left when traveling south. Click for map. The exhibit can be reached from the parking area on KY Route 1924. The trailhead is at the edge of the parking area here. This wayside exhibit can be found partway up the trail that leads to the fort at the top of the hill. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1250 Ford Road, Winchester KY 40391, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Eye of the Rich Land (a few steps from this marker); A Long, Steep Road (a few steps from this marker); Roads in the Wilderness (a few steps from this marker); Rock and Man (a few steps from this marker); Defending the Kentucky River (within shouting distance of this marker); Three Confederate Raids
Pioneer Landmarks Map image. Click for full size.
By Karl Stelly, June 1, 2014
4. Pioneer Landmarks Map
(within shouting distance of this marker); Common Cliffside Plants (within shouting distance of this marker); Thomas B. Brooks, Army Engineer (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Click for a list of all markers in Winchester.
More about this marker. This marker is part of the historic site known as the "Civil War Fort at Boonesboro." CAUTION: The climb up the hill is VERY steep.
Also see . . .  Civil War Fort at Boonesboro. (Submitted on June 25, 2014, by Karl Stelly of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. Colonial EraSettlements & SettlersWar, US Revolutionary
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Karl Stelly of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 271 times since then and 58 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Karl Stelly of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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