Ever since March of last year I’ve been staring at all sorts of maps to try and determine where my path of travel should be. When I received the maps produced by the University of Kentucky, which were based on Neal O. Hammon’s research, I thought I had it made with a red line showing me the way. That has not been the case.
John Fox has been researching Boone Trace for a few years and adding to the knowledge of the course. With each new find more lines are added on the maps. Not because Neal had bad information but because through the early years of this road it morphed.
Boone and his men cut a road, and pioneers followed later, deviating when they needed to avoid a swollen river, found a more desirable path or a myriad of other reasons. Boone Trace, like most early roads, changed with the season. At times when Neal found a void in the information he would simply think like a pioneer and connect point A with point B along the most likely route. Many times that was found to be spot on but there were still questions.
So let’s play history sleuth and see if we can solve a routing problem with some new information we received. Below is a map of the area east of Richmond, Kentucky. Land claims and Hammon’s research show Boone Trace running close to present day Hwy 25. The new information we have from John Fox is that he located a well worn path that parallels Otter Creek. It is a known route that Boone and the pioneers followed to get to Boonesborough. However, the found path is only north of Hwy 52 and no remnants are found south of the hwy. If this is indeed a remnant of the original Trace, where could we assume the southern portion was? Where would we need to walk to follow Boone and Grandpa Joshua? Keep in mind the roads were not there but the hills and valleys were. Study the map and feel free to consult other maps on the internet.
Leave a comment with your best hypothesis to see if it matches with mine and John’s. I will post the results on Saturday evening.