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

Two-Way Traffic

 
 
Two-Way Traffic Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 5, 2010
1. Two-Way Traffic Marker
Inscription. Two hundred years ago, pioneers poured through Cumberland Gap on their way west to a better life. But not all the traffic on the Wilderness Road was westbound. By the 1820s, drovers pushed huge herds of hogs and smaller herds of cattle and sheep eastward through the Gap to markets in Baltimore, Richmond, and Charleston, hundreds of miles from the growing Kentucky settlements.

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
Hogs and Whiskey image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 5, 2010
2. Hogs and Whiskey
Chart indicating One Kentucky county's typical trade - 1838. Income from cattle was $10,000; from hogs $90,000 - $40,000 in live animals, $50,000 in lard and bacon; from horses $3,000; and from whiskey $70,000.
droves of 700 or 800 each; and yesterday we met two others as numerous...

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. Touch 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 (was 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). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Middlesboro.
 
Also see . . .  Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. (Submitted on September 19, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Hiking in the Gap image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 5, 2010
3. Hiking in the Gap
The marker next to Two-Way Traffic provides a map of the park's trails.

 
Categories. ExplorationIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers
 
Two-Way Traffic Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 5, 2010
4. Two-Way Traffic Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 19, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 704 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 19, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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