Jessamine County Kentucky River Task Force
Kentucky River Guidebook

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

 

6.  Shaker Ferry (J-M) (RM 117.5)

In 1826 the Shakers purchased much of John Curd’s land from his heirs which was much nearer to their Pleasant Hill community than the Fulkerson Ferry site.  They immediately began

Shaker Ferry
Activity at Shaker Ferry in the late 1800’s.  High
Bridge is in the background.

the construction of a road over the palisades to flat land at the water’s edge where they operated a ferry, a landing, and warehouses for their produce.. They called this the “near ferry” or Upper Shaker Ferry (compared to the Fulkerson ferry which was further away and downstream).

7.       Shaker Landing (M) (RM 117.6)

The landing was used by the enterprising Shaker

community at Pleasant Hill to load their produce bound for downstream markets.  A road down the palisades was built in 1845 and improved in 1861.  The landing was extensively used by the both armies in the Civil War.  Foundations for the warehouses can still be seen.

Shaker Foundation
Remaining Shaker Landing building foundations.

Shaker Landing was a major stop for packet boats during their heyday on the Kentucky River (1898-1920).  Today it is the home port of the excursion packet Dixie Belle.

Dixiebelle
Excursion boat Dixie Belle on a cruise.

Sawyier Shanty Boat

Site of the famous painting by Paul Sawyier of a shanty boat on the Kentucky River, with High Bridge in the background.  This was the shanty boat in which Sawyier lived and painted between 1909 and 1913 and the period in which he painted many scenes of the Kentucky River.

8.       High Bridge (J-M) (RM 118.0)

The first proposed bridge at this site for the Lexington and Danville RR was a suspension bridge designed by John Roebling, builder of the NY Brooklyn Bridge. The activities of this railroad were curtailed by the Civil War and this company went bankrupt.  Only the towers for the suspension cables of this structure were built. 

The first bridge built  at this site was a single- track railroad bridge in 1876 for Cincinnati’s Southern Railroad.  It was the highest bridge in the country at that time and is still the highest bridge over a navigable waterway in the U.S. 

HighBridge
The first High Bridge under construction in 1876.

The 1876 bridge was too light to carry 20th century trains.  The bridge you see now was built around the original structure in 1911 while traffic continued on this vital rail link during construction. It was later double-tracked and the towers were torn down.

This bridge today carries about 40 trains per day.

9.       Mouth of Dix (M-G) (RM 118.3)

The Dix River (originally called “Dick’s River” after a Cherokee chief) is the location of Lake Herrington built in 1923-35 by the predecessor of Kentucky Utilities, Inc.  Because the Dix River flows through a narrow canyon, it was the site of several mills using this water power prior to the Dix Dam. 

John Curd, a Revolutionary War major, acquired a large tract of land near this point, as well as 16 acres in Jessamine County, established a warehouse, and operated a ferry  between the Mouth of Dix and Jessamine County beginning in 1786 under a license from Virginia.  

This Act of the Virginia Legislature also established the Town of New Market on twenty acres at this point.  In October 1788 the ware-house became a reality with James Hord, Edmund Mundy, and Bernard acting as official Inspectors of Tobacco.  The County Court of Mercer County was kept busy surveying potential new roads into the site from various locations.  By any standards, this was a tough job.

This warehouse was one of the inspection stations approved by James Wilkinson for tobacco shipped by flatboat to New Orleans on his second voyage.

10.    Sawmill tramway (J) (RM 118.6)

When “Dug” Hughes was forced to move his sawmill from the site of Lock 7, he relocated it to a point near the present-day High Bridge Park.  To get logs captured by a log boom on the Kentucky River, he built a steam-powered  rail tramway to his sawmill to pull logs up from the river.

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