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Crab Orchard in Lincoln County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
 

Grand Gateway to Kentucky

Crab Orchard Kentucky

 
 
Grand Gateway to Kentucky Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, April 12, 2017
1. Grand Gateway to Kentucky Marker
Inscription. Long Hunters, led by Elisha Walden, first recorded the beautiful orchard of crab apple trees in 1763. Soon, the long hunter's trail from Cumberland Gap to Crab Orchard, as it became known, carried a swelling tide of settlers. Crab Orchard, long known as the "grand gateway to Kentucky", became an important station. Some of those traveling the Wilderness Road settled here, including Colonel William Whitley and his wife, Esther. Col. whitley completed Sportsman's Hill, the first brick house in Kentucky near Crab orchard in 1794. It is now a State Historic Site. At his estate he constructed the first circular race track in America on which races were run in a counter-clockwise direction.

Crab orchard's eight mineral springs were renowned for the medicinal properties. As early as 1827, Jack David built "A House of Entertainment" to exploit the springs. The elegant Crab Orchard Springs Hotel, with accommodations for 700 guests, was built about 1850. At the height of its popularity in the late 1850s, the hotel received almost 500 guests daily, among them John Hunt Morgan and his Lexington Rifles. Crab Orchard was known nationwide as the "Saratoga of the South".

During the Civil War the Wilderness Road was an important military route. Thousands of soldiers, Union anad Confederate, passed through Crab Orchard. John Hunt Morgan
Grand Gateway to Kentucky Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, April 12, 2017
2. Grand Gateway to Kentucky Marker
raided the town in 1862, destroying 120 Union supply wagons on the Somerset Road. The Union army turned the Baptist Church building into a hospital and in 1863 built a supply depot that helped supply the important Knoxville Campaign.

(captions)
Top: The Civil War monument in the Crab Orchard Cemetery.

Middle: The monument at the William Whitley House memorializes the race track that encircled the knoll in the background.

Bottom: An advertisement for the Crab orchard Springs Hotel, ca..1880.

Left: The William Whitley House, once known as the "Guardian of the Wilderness Road".
 
Location. 37° 27.745′ N, 84° 30.369′ W. Marker is in Crab Orchard, Kentucky, in Lincoln County. Marker is on Main Street (Kentucky Route 39) south of Cherry Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is located in front of the Post Office. Marker is at or near this postal address: 209 Main Street, Crab Orchard KY 40419, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. On Confederate Routes (approx. ľ mile away); Crab Orchard Springs (approx. half a mile away); A View from Sportsmanís Hill (approx. 2.2 miles away); Sportsman's Hill
William Whitley House image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, April 12, 2017
3. William Whitley House
"Guardian of the Wilderness Road"
(approx. 2.2 miles away); Where Racing Turned Around (approx. 2.2 miles away); The Legacy of Sportsmanís Hill at Crab Orchard (approx. 2.2 miles away); A Little Bit to Eat at the Race (approx. 2.3 miles away); Celebration (approx. 2.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Crab Orchard.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceRoads & VehiclesSettlements & SettlersWar, US Civil
 
Crab Orchard Springs Hotel image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse
4. Crab Orchard Springs Hotel
Civil War Monument in Crab Orchard Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, April 12, 2017
5. Civil War Monument in Crab Orchard Cemetery
Here, off duty till the last reveille, rest the southern soldiers, few in number who were slain in this and in the adjoining counties, during the War of Secession. They fell among strangers, unknown, unfriended, yet not unhonered; For strangers hands have gathered their ashes here and placed his shaft above them, that constancy, valor, sacrifice of self, though displayed in fruitless enterprise may not be unremembered.
General John Hunt Morgan image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse
6. General John Hunt Morgan
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 10, 2017. This page originally submitted on July 9, 2017, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 42 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 9, 2017, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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