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

The Big Sink

National Register Rural Historic District

The Big Sink Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, March 21, 2022
1. The Big Sink Marker
Inscription. unusual name... for a remarkable place

The Big Sink Rural Historic District, the largest along Old Frankfort Pike and in the Lexington-Frankfort Scenic Corridor, echoes almost all of the themes and eras depicted in the area's other Districts, then adds more exceptional and unique resources, stories, and landscapes to the mix. The name - Big Sink - comes from the articulated Karst geology beneath this iconic Bluegrass landscape.

In 1774, England claimed this wilderness as part of Virginia Colony.

Three surveyors, Hancock Taylor, John Floyd and James Duncan spent that summer marking off 1,000 to 5,000 acre military land grants in this precise locale. Their surveys were among the very first land claims west of the Appalachians. Did they grasp the unusual fertility of the Big Sink area? Was it chance that they chose some of the most productive soil in the region - even by Bluegrass standards? For since settlement, this distinct area has produced fine livestock and superlative horses that thrive on the mineral rich grasses and spring waters. Big Sink land ranks among the
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finest agricultural land in America.

The illustration above outlines where the Big Sink geology took shape over 250 million years ago. In 1944, geologist Willard Rouse Jillson searched and mapped the geology and physiography of the area, knowing the subterranean piracy (underground streams and caves) stretched over 10 miles from near Versailles northwest to the Roaring Spring on Elkhorn Creek, He documented the rare accumulation of surface faults, caves, and springs; and traced the network by sending massive amounts of grain, dye, and even ducks into caves and passages in search of the route on the map. Little evidence of this remarkable system is visible from the roadways, other than the rolling swells of the land. But those who maintain land here understand that the articulated geology is the invisible reason for the unusual fertility of the Big Sink.

Views in the Big Sink Rural Historic District: Pasture and Aiken Road. Spring Station at Woodlake Road. Woodburn Farm. (CA)

Total Acreage: 4,644
Historic Farms and sites 26
Years of Historic Significance: 1775-1943
Important Historic Themes: Agriculture, Architecture, Commerce, Community Development, Conservation, Education, Religion, African-American Heritage, Exploration and Settlement, Landscape Architecture, Social History, Transportation, Manufacturing,
The Big Sink Marker (second from left) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, March 21, 2022
2. The Big Sink Marker (second from left)
Geological Phenomena

Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1774.
Location. 38° 4.122′ N, 84° 33.474′ W. Marker is in Lexington, Kentucky, in Fayette County. Marker is at the intersection of Old Frankfort Pike and Alexandria Drive, on the right when traveling east on Old Frankfort Pike. Located at the Old Frankfort Pike Scenic Overlook. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2450 Old Frankfort Pike, Lexington KY 40502, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Pisgah (here, next to this marker); Redd Road (here, next to this marker); Lexington-Frankfort Scenic Corridor Area (here, next to this marker); Nugent's Crossroad - Midway - Wallace Station (here, next to this marker); The West Fayette County (a few steps from this marker); Idle Hour Farm (a few steps from this marker); Gentlemen Farmers and Burley Tobacco (within shouting distance of this marker); Breed Only The Best (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lexington.
The Big Sink Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, March 21, 2022
3. The Big Sink Marker
Credits. This page was last revised on April 26, 2022. It was originally submitted on March 28, 2022, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 160 times since then and 86 times this year. Last updated on April 25, 2022, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on March 28, 2022, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 2, 2023