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In their Footsteps ... Trekking along Marble Creek

Early in January Kristi Heasley sent out the following 

Marble Creek is located near our home in Jessamine County, Kentucky and we are planning a small period camp and hike on Marble Creek for late March. We are approximately 21 miles from Boone’s Fort and 12 miles from Boone’s Station. The property owners of this section of the creek are friends of mine and have given us free run of their property to camp and hike.

We will explore and follow the creek to where it meets the Kentucky River - an area where Daniel Boone and his family lived after leaving Boone’s Station in 1783.


When the last weekend in March arrived only a handful of the very hearty made the trip. Although the weather forecast was for rain all day on Saturday, the group was able to stay dry during the day, as the storms did not come through until Saturday evening.

Marble Creek is a small creek draining into the Kentucky River between Boone Creek and Hickman Creek
From My Father Daniel Boone edited by Neal O. Hammon

On Marble Creek the Boones lived in a large double cabin with the five children that remained at home...

From John Mack Faragher’s Daniel Boone

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Along Marble Creek

By Kristi Heasley

We set up our camps on Friday and despite evening rain built a fire and cooked a big meal of beef, pork, squash and sweet potatoes. We spent the evening under the fly with some adult beverages, good conversation, and the companionship of two dogs -Michael's beagle, Shelby, and our Jack Russell, Bitsy.

We cooked a big breakfast on Saturday morning and prepared for our trek to the Kanta-ke River. We were joined by Tommy Barnett and Tony Richardson and set out about 10:30 a.m.

Because the creek was up from rain during the week, we had a hard time finding a good place to cross and start our journey. So not 5 minutes into the adventure, we were peeling off stockings, leggins', shoes, moccasins, etc. We had to zig zag back and forth from one side of the creek to the next to maneuver the terrain, and in some cases part of the party took one route and part took another, just to see which way was the most efficient.

After at least 3 or 4 crossings in bare feet and taking the time to redon stockings and shoes, we started walking right through the water with no regard for our footwear or feet.


After some photos, we started back the way we came. Back on top the ridge, we stopped to energize with apples and oranges and some water and then started back down. We retraced our path all the way back to our camp and then had a rest and dried our feet.


Still keeping their sense of humor despite the tough climb are Scott Heasley, Tommy Barnett, Tony Richardson and Michael Fields.


We took a rest after climbing to the cave, we talked about what a great shelter it would have been and if in fact this was the cave that Boone wintered in on Marble Creek. We know of only one other cave on the creek, so whether it is the cave mentioned or not, I'm sure that Boone would have used this cave on his hunts and that he was surely aware of its existence.

After climbing down we continued on for at least an hour with one especially difficult area that sent part of us going along a nearly vertical hillside through deadfalls and over ledges while the others crossed the water twice and climbed over downed trees and rocks. We reached our final impasse not more than 5 minutes walk from the river. The creek was simply too deep and too wide to cross. (I had crossed it just one week before with no problem - it's amazing what one or two inches of rain will do.)

Not to be discouraged from reaching our destination, our Indian scout (Michael Fields) suggested we climb up - straight up and over to try and reach the river. He and the dogs started up a very steep hill. Hill is really an understatement. Wall is better description. He beckoned to us from about half way up, and so the women followed. Not to be outdone, the remaining men followed as well. It was quite a climb but began to level out some near the top, so we stopped for a short rest and then continued on.

We came upon an old rock road which I recognized as the old camp road to Camp Daniel Boone. The camp was an old YMCA camp that no longer exists but used to be just near the river. We followed this rocky trail down the hill until it leveled out in the river valley. We crossed a wide field and there we were - on the banks of the river. We were approximately a 3/4 of a mile from the Valley View Ferry at this point and about a 1/2 mile beyond what used to be Lock 9 on the Kentucky River.


Paula Reasnor and Scott Heasley pause for a photo.

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Marble Creek19 100_1024

We will try to make this an annual event and possibly do another hike when the weather changes and the water level is down a bit. I myself want to try it next time barefooted. For I could not shake the image of Mary Ingles going home when I was climbing up and down and thinking about how uncomfortable I was. And I had the benefit of a good meal in my belly and modern hiking boots. I am in awe of her journey and cannot fathom the endurance it took to do what she did.


Editor’s note:

Thanks to Kristi and Scott Heasley for sending their photos of the trek on Marble Creek. Much of the early history of Kentucky revolves around the area along the Kentucky River. And sometimes if you are not familiar with the area you do not realize just how much of an impact the palisades had on that early history. Today, modern bridges cross the Kentucky River. But for the early settlers the high walls of the palisades actually dictated such  things as  where the original  Fort


Boonesborough was built, how the Boone’s traveled to Boone’s Station and how you fled from Indians. The Palisades encompass about 100 miles of the riverbank - stretching from Clays Ferry in Madison County to Frankfort in Franklin County.

A Visit to The Red River Meeting House

By Kathy Cummings

Saturday April 4th, dawned a beautiful sunny day so we decided to venture down to The Red River Meeting House near Adairville, KY.

The Red River Meeting House Association has always held both a summer event and a fall event but in 2009 decided to add an early trade blanket event.

The meeting house is a replica of the original that was built near Mauldings Fort in 1780. The meeting house was to play a prominent role in the area and became known as the seat of the great revival of 1800.


In addition to the meeting house the cemetery holds a vast amount of early history. It includes graves of Revolutionary War soldiers and also from The French and Indian War, The War of 1812, The Civivl War, The Spanish American War and even a soldier who was at The Battle of Waterloo.

The Building

  • Original Log Church ”tumbled down” in 1865 from age.
  • The Second Church on the spot was the Red River Cumberland Presbyterian Church 1847 - 1935
  • First replica church was built in 1959 using hand hewn logs. Was destroyed by fire in 1992
  • Second replica church (present structure) completed in 1994

Part of the original structure still stands. During our visit a group of girls had gathered on the structure, feeling the old stones and studying its cracks and crevices. 

The Red River Meeting House was the site of the Second Great Awakening in 1800. On the early frontier, formal religion was slow to take hold. As late as 1820 only one out of twelve Kentuckians were church members. But according to “A History of the South” by Francis Butler Simpkins “Between 1797 and 1805, the frontier was swept by a religious revival whose effects were so widespread the the movement has been called The Second Awakening. It began in Logan County, Kentucky.

This Second Great Awakening, a reprise of the Great Awakening of the early 18th century, was marked by an emphasis on personal piety over schooling and theology. It arose in several places and in several active forms. In northern New England, social activism took precedence; in western New York, the movement encouraged the growth of new denominations. In the Appalachian region of Tennessee and Kentucky, the revival energized Presbyterians, Methodists and Baptists, and gave rise to the popular camp meeting, a chance for isolated frontier folk to gather and enjoy the excitement of evangelistic fervor. The first camp meeting occurred in south-central Kentucky in June 1800. James McGready, a Presbyterian, and two colleagues preached for three solid days. The following day, two circuit-riding Methodist ministers arrived and emotionally exhorted the crowd. The revivals of the west were much more emotional than those in the east.

Information for this story was obtained from literature on site and with help from The Red River Meeting House and Cemetery Association.

Click Here for additional photos from the Red River Meeting House


Newsreel of the filming

Documenting the Filming of
Kentucky: An American Story

By Kathy Cummings
Photos by Jim Cummings

Link to the Website for
 Kentucky: An American Story

On April 21, 2009 a film crew arrived at Fort Boonesborough to film a segment of Kentucky: An American Story. We took the opportunity to document some of the filming. When asked about the filming, Park Manager Phil Gray encouraged the producer Daniel Blake Smith to use some of the regular fort interpreters in the film. “That way,” continued Gray “we are sure of the accuracy of clothing and content when giving the OK for a project being done at Fort Boonesborough.” Producers used Daniel Boone interpreter Scott New and Blackfish interpreter Michael Fields both of whom will appear in The Siege of Boonesborough event in September.

“We need not have worried though,” added Gray. “Once we began to get involved in the project and learn more about it, we realized this was a top of the line production with award winning people behind it.”


Read more about director Paul Wagner


Segemnts filmed at the fort included some sequences down in the woods and on the trails throughout the park. Most of the work was done in the Indian camp behind the fort gates, with Indians arriving at the camp with a captured Daniel Boone. The crew supplied an actor that portrayed Pompey the black man that was known to be with Blackfish as an interpreter during the Siege of Boonesborough. Little is known about Pompey - whether he was a runaway slave or a free man of color. What is known, is that he interpreted between Boone and Blackfish after Boone’s capture and that he later died during the 1778 Siege of Boonesborough.


Boone being brought as a prisoner into the native camp


Home Country - A book for today and yesterday

April 18, 1945 marked the death of one of the World’s most well known newspaper columnists - Ernie Pyle.

Pyle was born in 1900 in Dana, Indiana. He went on to attend Indiana University and later to become a well known columnist for Scripps Howard newspapers. He is most remembered for his columns from the front lines in Europe during World War II. 

But click here to read a book review of Home Country a compilation of Pyle’s columns from the Great Depression. It is a great book for reading today. The tough economic times of 2009 are no comparison for that era.

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