“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Bell County Kentucky Historical Markers

Plan of Fort Lyon image, Touch for more information
By Craig Swain, September 5, 2010
Plan of Fort Lyon
Kentucky (Bell County), Middlesboro — "This American Gibraltar"
"Cumberland Gap is the strongest position I have ever seen except Gibraltar." These were Union General George W. Morgan's words after viewing the fortification around the Gap. On June 19, 1862, he wrote to Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, "The . . . — Map (db m35770) HM
Kentucky (Bell County), Middlesboro — 521 — A Masterful RetreatConfederate Raids and Invasions, and a Federal Retreat, in Kentucky
During the Civil War, Cumberland Gap was held alternately by Union and CSA armies. USA forces under Gen. George W. Morgan occupied it June 18 to Sept. 17, 1862. Cut off from supplies and surrounded, Morgan with 9,000 men retreated successfully to . . . — Map (db m50230) HM
Kentucky (Bell County), Middlesboro — 129 — Colonel Arthur Campbell
Grave of Colonel Arthur Campbell (1743-1811). Statesman, revolutionary soldier, justice, legislator, county lieutenant. Sons, James and John killed in War of 1812. — Map (db m57938) HM
Kentucky (Bell County), Middlesboro — Defense of the Gap
During the Civil War this earthwork - called Fort Rains by the Confederates and Fort McCook by the Federals - was one of many fortifications ringing Cumberland Gap. These defenses were considered too formidable to be taken by direct assault, which . . . — Map (db m35733) HM
Kentucky (Bell County), Middlesboro — Dirt-and-Log FortsCumberland Gap National Historical Park
Where you see a picnic ground today, imagine a seven-sided structure made of earth and wooden walls, approximately 40 feet by 70 feet. The outer walls of this Civil War fort were approximately five feet high with an earth-covered powder magazine . . . — Map (db m88656) HM
Kentucky (Bell County), Middlesboro — Gateway to Kaintuck
For travelers who had to walk, the Appalachian mountains seemed like an impenetrable wall, 600 miles long and 150 miles wide. Here at Cumberland Gap you could find both a good way in and a good way out of that rugged labyrinth of ridges, coves, . . . — Map (db m35880) HM
Kentucky (Bell County), Middlesboro — Invasion through the Gap
For the North, Cumberland Gap was a natural invasion route into the South - providing access to vulnerable railroads and valuable minerals and salt works in East Tennessee and southwest Virginia. For the South, the Gap was a gateway for an . . . — Map (db m35703) HM
Kentucky (Bell County), Middlesboro — 2217 — Lewis and Clark in Kentucky Cumberland GapCumberland Gap
Side A: Meriwether Lewis, coleader of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, with a party of Expedition veterans and a Mandan Indian delegation, went through Cumberland Gap in Nov. 1806 en route to Washington to report on the expedition. (Over) . . . — Map (db m33299) HM
Kentucky (Bell County), Middlesboro — 2225 — Middlesboro Meteorite Crater Impact Site
Side A: Designated by the Kentucky Society of Professional Geologists as a Distinguished Geological Site. Middlesboro is one of only a few cities on the North American Continent located in the basin of a meteorite impact structure. . . . — Map (db m33296) HM
Kentucky (Bell County), Middlesboro — 832 — Middlesborough
English colony founded in 1886 by Alexander Arthur. Project financed by English company, the American Association, because of timber and rich mineral deposits here. Almost 100,000 mountainous acres in Va., Tenn., and Ky. purchased for the . . . — Map (db m33297) HM
Kentucky (Bell County), Middlesboro — 1227 — Mountain Vision
Alexander Arthur, 1846-1912, an outstanding figure in history of Middlesboro. He came here in 1885 to prospect, discovering coal and iron ore deposits. President of American Association, formed to carry out his plans for a mining and manufacturing . . . — Map (db m33298) HM
Kentucky (Bell County), Middlesboro — Pinnacle Overlook
We started just as the sun began to gild the tops of the high mountains. We ascended Cumberland Mountain, from the top of which the bright luminary of the day appeared to our view in all his rising glory; the mists dispersed and the floating . . . — Map (db m35906) HM
Kentucky (Bell County), Middlesboro — The Emigrant's Dream
Cumberland Gap, the break in the ridgeline you see ahead, is far more than just a pass through a long, rugged mountain barrier. For a generation of American pioneers this was the gateway from their old lives and limitations out to a frontier . . . — Map (db m35899) HM
Kentucky (Bell County), Middlesboro — Two-Way Traffic
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 . . . — Map (db m35898) HM
Kentucky (Bell County), Middlesboro — Waiting for the Battle that Never Came
A natural thoroughfare through the Appalachian Mountain barrier, Cumberland Gap assumed great strategic importance in the Civil War. Both sides sought to control the Gap. It changed hands three times, but no battles were fought. Troops garrisoned . . . — Map (db m35745) HM
Kentucky (Bell County), Pineville — 1426 — Cumberland Ford
One of the most important points on the Wilderness Road marked by Daniel Boone in 1775. Ford first used by Indians, then by early explorers and the Long Hunters. After Boone opened the way west, more than 100,000 settlers used the crossing as a . . . — Map (db m35831) HM
Kentucky (Bell County), Pineville — 198 — Joshua Fry Bell
Bell County formed from Harlan and Knox Counties, 1867. Named for Joshua Fry Bell, 1811-70, Congressman, Ky. Sec. of State, Comr. to peace conference in 1861 and State Legislator. He was g. grandson of Dr. Thomas Walker, explorer of Ky. wilderness, . . . — Map (db m35871) HM
Kentucky (Bell County), Pineville — Mountain Gateway
Bell County, named for Joshua Fry Bell (1811-1870), was formed just after the Civil War in February of 1867 from portions of Harlan and Knox Counties. Pineville, the county seat, being so near the site where pioneers on the Wilderness Road crossed . . . — Map (db m35875) HM
Kentucky (Bell County), Pineville — 1272 — Wallsend Mine
The first to begin operations in Bell County, starting in 1889, with 1500 acres of coal land. Extension of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad to this area in 1888 marked the beginning of a new industrial era. This mine was not a financial success . . . — Map (db m35854) HM

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May. 27, 2020