Thursday, November 22, 2012

Wilderness Road/Logan’s Station

Wilderness Road, Marker 2177 (Side 1) Stanford, KY (Click any photo to enlarge)Lincoln County, KY
Marker Number 2177

Marker Text: Benjamin Logan left Boone’s Road, April 15, 1775, following trace that became the final segment of “Wilderness Road.” Logan’s path ran along an obscure trail from this area to Harrodsburg, then to Falls of the Ohio. The intersection of the trails became known as Hazel Patch, a junction 8 miles north of present-day London, Ky.

Logan's Station, Marker 2177 (Side 2) Stanford, KY (Click any photo to enlarge)(Reverse side) Logan’s Station established May 1, 1775. Also known as St. Asaph, the fort quickly became an important frontier settlement. In May 1775, residents sent representatives to Boonesborough to assist in the formation of the proprietary government of Transylvania. Logan’s Fort later became the town of Stanford.

Location: On Main Street, U.S. Route 150, at intersection with Lancaster Street at northwest corner of the Lincoln County Courthouse in Stanford, KY. Presented by the Lincoln Co. Historical Soc. and erected by the Kentucky Historical Society, Kentucky Department of Highways in 2005.

Wilderness Road marker in front of the Lincoln Co. Courthouse, Stanford, KY

Marker is at the corner of the location of the Lincoln Co. Courthouse in the background.  Logan Station text on opposite side.  Click any photo to enlarge.

  As you read historical road markers, you come to realize that most communities exist today due to factors related to transportation or defense. The site selection of a community was decided based on an early road, canal, railroad, river or need for defense. Today's marker addresses two of those factors, the Wilderness Road which helped in the settlement of Kentucky and one of the forts for protection along that road.

  With the Appalachian Mountains reaching roughly north and south formed a natural barrier making travel east–west difficult. Settlers from Pennsylvania tended to migrate south along the Great Wagon Road through the Great Appalachian Valley and Shenandoah Valley. Daniel Boone was from Pennsylvania and migrated south with his family along this road.

Logan's Station marker at corner of Main and Lancaster Streets, Stanford, KY

View of Logan’s Station side of marker.  Main Street on the left and Lancaster Street cross street on the right.

  Due to Daniel Boone's long journeys into areas west of the Appalachians and through Cumberland Gap. Boone recommended three essentials for a pioneer: “A good gun, a good horse, and a good wife.” A traveler also needed a strong body, a sharp ax and good luck. Another essential was salt. Before 1776, salt was shipped to the Thirteen Colonies from the West Indies at great expense. Salt was the only meat preservative available for men on the move and Kentucky offered early settlers an extra bonus due to the large salt brine lakes near what is today the community of Boonesborough, Kentucky. The many "salt licks" of Kentucky are reflected today by the numerous place names in the state that use the words "lick" or "licking".

  The Wilderness Road was the principal route used by settlers for more than fifty years to reach Kentucky from the East. In 1775, Daniel Boone blazed a trail for the Transylvania Company from Fort Chiswell in Virginia through the Cumberland Gap into central Kentucky. It was later lengthened, following Native American trails, to reach the Falls of the Ohio at Louisville. The Wilderness Road was steep and rough, and it could only be traversed on foot or horseback. Despite the adverse conditions, thousands of people used it. At Hazel Patch, the Wilderness Road split into two roads one running to Boonesborough and the other running to Danville, Harrodsburg, Bardstown, and the Falls of the Ohio located at Clarksville, Indiana near present-day Interstate 65 across from Louisville, Kentucky.

Wilderness Road marker with Lancaster Street on the left, Stanford, KY

View of marker looking up Lancaster Street side of the courthouse.

  Col. Benjamin Logan was born in Augusta County, Virginia around 1742, the eldest son of David (1706–1757) and Jane (McKinley) Logan. At fifteen, Logan's father died, and Benjamin inherited his father's 860 acre farm. He would marry Ann Montgomery in 1772, and they raised eight children.

  Logan was an American pioneer, soldier, and politician and as a colonel of the Kentucky County militia (United States) of Virginia during the American Revolutionary War, he was second-in-command of militia in Kentucky. Logan was a leader in Kentucky's efforts to become a state. His brother, John Logan, was the first state treasurer of Kentucky.

  In 1764, Logan saw service in Henry Bouquet's campaign against the Shawnee Indians. In 1774, he was a lieutenant in Lord Dunmore's War. In 1775, he moved to Kentucky, then still part of Virginia, starting the settlement of St. Asaph's, near Stanford, building Logan's Fort here.

  Logan was one of those who called for the Danville Convention, and was a delegate when they wrote the first Kentucky constitution in 1791 and 1792. After statehood, he served in the Kentucky state House of Representatives from 1792 to 1795. Logan later ran unsuccessfully for governor, in 1796 and 1800. In 1802, he died of a stroke at home, about 6 miles southwest of Shelbyville, Kentucky, and was buried in a family plot there.  In the early 1790’s Mrs. Mary Briggs, Benjamin Logan’s sister donated the land to build the Presbyterian Church in Stanford.

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