Jessamine County Kentucky River Task Force
Kentucky River Guidebook

River GuideThis is a guide of historic sites on the Kentucky River published by the Jessamine County Kentucky River Task Force. As you travel the Kentucky River you will notice signs along the bank in the shape of Jessamine, Mercer, Garrard, or Madison County. Each sign has a number which corresponds with this map and the accompanying booklet text. The numbers are sequential traveling upstream.

Note: Letters in () denote counties. RM = River Mile

Download river map. 224kb

 

 

 

 

 

 



Markers 1 - 5
Markers 6 - 10
Markers 11 - 15
Markers 16 - 20
Markers 21 - 25
Markers 26 - 30
Markers 31 - 35
Markers 36 - End

 

Pool 6
Jessamine and Mercer Counties

1.       Singleton Landing (J) (RM 113.0)

This landing is referred to in an 1845 letter to the Louisville Journal written  from the packet boat Kentucky.  The letter states that the turnpike from Lexington can be seen from this landing and that Mundy’s Landing (Woodford County) is half dozen miles away. 

2.       Cogar Ferry (J-M) (RM 113.0)

Captain Thomas Cogar, a flatboat man, moved his operation from the mouth of Hickman to the Brooklyn area in 1847 which was by then becoming a thriving river community with houses, stores, a meat packing facility for downstream shipment of meat (in winter) , and in 1858 a post office.  Toll House #5 at this point on the Lexington-Harrodsburg & Perryville Turnpike was leased to him for $500 per year and the ferry franchise for $400 per year in 1855.

3.       Brooklyn Bridge (J-M) (RM 113.2)


 The 1871 Brooklyn Bridge

The first bridge at this site, built in 1871, was a 250 foot long iron truss bridge with wooden planking and was accessed through the first tunnel built for highway traffic in Kentucky.  This bridge was built for 18th century traffic, not late 20th century vehicles.  In 1955 a food service delivery truck was going south and one complete span of the bridge collapsed into the river under its weight.  The fall broke the drivers back in three places, but he managed to get out of the truck, thinking it might catch on fire.  He survived, sued the state for its unsafe bridge, and was awarded $50,000 by the judge.  The Governor, having such power at that time, reduced the award to $10,000 saying that no man was worth $50,000.  There was no appeal. 


The 1871 Brooklyn Bridge  after collapse.

The bridge used today was one of the first in the area to be built as a curve, but it will hold 21st century traffic.

4.       Wilmore Water intake (J) (RM 114.2)

The 2 million gallon per day water intake tower for the City of Wilmore.

Stage Crossing (J-G)

Toll roads were privately built for profit (if any) in conjunction with specific ferries. The Fulkerson Ferry was chartered at this site in 1789 and was in use when a toll road was built in the mid-1800’s  for travel between Lexington, Harrodsburg, and the Shaker community at Pleasant Hill in Mercer County.  Prior to its use as a stage crossing, it was a major buffalo crossing at the shallow sand bar here.

Stage coach houses were built on both sides of the river to accommodate travelers and horses. Known stage lines using this crossing were The Smith Stage Coach Line and the Lexington-Harrodsburg Line. 

Hutton Ripple (J)

Named after  John Hutton, the first known European to be killed by Indians in Jessamine County (1781)

Fulkerson’s Ferry and ShakerWarehouse (M)

In 1790 Abraham Fulkerson established a ferry and landing at Brooklyn near the  present-day Wilmore water intake tower site.  The Shakers purchased this site from Fulkerson in about 1815,  (as it was more convenient than the one they were using further upstream owned by John Curd)  built warehouses and operated their ferry and landing here. Ultimately they purchased land further upstream and the Fulkerson site was referred to as “Lower Shaker Ferry”.

Pool 7
Jessamine, Mercer and Garrard Counties

5.       Lock 7 (J-M) (RM 117.0)

Lock 7 is a timber-crib dam with a stone lock chamber built in 1896-97 by the Corps of Engineers for barge navigation.  The land on which it was built is was owned by “Dug” Hughes who operated a profitable sawmill here.  “Dug” was not inclined to sell his land to the Corps making it the only dam site on the river the Corps had to condemn.  He then moved his sawmill to a site above present High Bridge park and began sawing timber again, including some for the Corps of Engineers.

Lock and Dam 7 when newly completed in 1897.

Markers 1 - 5
Markers 6 - 10
Markers 11 - 15
Markers 16 - 20
Markers 21 - 25
Markers 26 - 30
Markers 31 - 35
Markers 36 - End