Kentucky Historical Markers

Boone County

Total of 12 markers are noted on the Historical Society's web page, making Big Bone Lick #13. There are only 4 pictured here, more to come as weather permits.



Location: Walton, US 25

In 1790s Abner Gaines built this Federal style mansion and became owner of first stage line between Lexington and Cincinnati, 1818. House used as inn and stagecoach stop. It has 3 stairways and 10 carved mantels. Abner's son, John P. Gaines, was appointed governor of Oregon Territory in 1850. House listed on National Register of Historic Places, 1980

From the collection of Carol Osborne


#(no number visible on the post - Historical Society says this is #32 but that is the number on the Big Bone Lick sign)
Location: Big Bone Lick State Park, at the entrance to the boat ramp on Boat Ramp Road.

Discovered in 1739 by French Capt. Charles Lemoyne de Longueil. Early explorers found countless bones and teeth of extinct Pleistocene elephants, the mammoth and the mastodon. This saline-sulphur spring was popular for salt making until 1812; also a health resort from 1815-30. Its waters were noted for mildly curative qualities.

Big Bone Lick: Robert Smith, an Indian trader, recognized the significance of the large bones. From 1751-80, Big Bone Lick had many visitors, including Christopher Gist, John Finley, Mary Ingles, John Floyd and the McAfee brothers. Thomas Jefferson sent expedition headed by William Clark to collect bones; the next largest collector was N. S. Shaler. Some tusks measured 8-10 feet long.

From the collection of Carol Osborne


Location: Big Bone Lick State Park, 3380 Beaver Rd., KY 338

Discovered in 1739 by the French Capt. Charles LeMoyne de Longueil this famous saline-sulphur spring was frequented for thousands of years by Indians and vast herds of buffalo, deer and other animals. The first English explorers found here scattered over the lick countless bones and teeth of the extinct pleistocene elephants. the mammoth and the mastodon.

Society of Colonial Wars in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, 1938.

From the collection of Carol Osborne



Location: Southbound rest stop, I-75

Formed by legislative act from a part of Campbell County. Named for Daniel Boone, renowned Kentucky pioneer-explorer. Big Bone Lick, graveyard of the mammoth, was discovered in 1729 by Captain M. de Longueuil. In 1756, Mary Inglis was brought here by Shawnees, the first white woman in Kentucky. In 1765-66, extensive bone collection sent to England.

Small Plaque reads:


Started: 1958
A. B. Chandler, Governor

Completed: 1969
Louie B. Nunn, Governor

J. B. Kemp - R. E. Johnson - Div. Engrs.
U. S. Bureau of Public Roads

Eugene Goss, Commissioner of Highways

From the collection of Carol Osborne


Location: Exit 184 off of I-75, then .2 mi. W. on KY 236 (Donaldson Highway)

The exact center of the population of the United States in 1880 was located within a few hundred yards of this plaque. North latitude: 39o, 4', 8". West longitude: 84o, 39', 40". Population base in 1880 was 49,371,340.

From the collection of Carol Osborne


Location: Big Bone Lick State Park, 3380 Beaver Rd., KY 338

In Oct. 1803, while traveling down Ohio River to meet Wm. Clark for expedition to Pacific, Meriwether Lewis visited Big Bone Lick. He was to gather fossilized bones for Pres. Thomas Jefferson. In Sept. 1807, clark supervised a 3-week dig for bones at Jefferson's request.

Scientists consider William Clark's dig at Big Bone Lick in 1807 as establishing American vertebrate paleontology. Bones found here by Clark included mastodon and mammoth. Prehistoric native American artifacts found were given to Dr. Wm. Goforth in Cincinnati.

Sponsored by Friends of Big Bone. Ohio River Chapter - Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation. National Park Service, Kentucky Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission.

From the collection of Carol Osborne


Location: Richwood Road, KY 338, 2.5 mi. W. of I-75

Home site of John Pollard Gaines, 1795-1857. Fought in War of 1812. In state legislature, 1825-36. Major in the lst Ky. Cavalry and an aide-de-camp to Gen. Winfield Scott in Mexican War. Elected to Congress, 1847-49, while prisoner of war. Governor of the Territory of Oregon, 1850-53, appointed by President Zachary Taylor, who was a comrade in arms in Mexico.

From the collection of Carol Osborne


Location: Big Bone Lick State Park, 3380 Beaver Rd., KY 338

Reputed first white woman in Ky. Shawnees captured her and two sons in July 1755 at site Roanoke, Va. Led to village at mouth of Scioto, separated from sons, taken to Big Bone Lick. Compelled to make salt here; adopted by chief; given few liberties. Escaped late fall with another woman. After 40 days she reached home. Died 1813, age 83. a courageour, resourceful pioneer.

From the collection of Carol Osborne



Location: East Bend Bapt. Church, .3 mi off KY 338 on Lower River Rd.

Near here on the north bank of the Ohio River at mile 510.5 was a riverboat landing, ferry and road to the courthouse at Burlington. The landing and large brick home that once stood near, later called Winnfield Cottage, were built ca. 1814 by Robert Piatt. He was the grandfather of Brevet Major General Edward R. S. Canby, who was born nearby. See over.

(Reverse) General E.R.S. Canby - In a cabin at East Bend, Brevet Maj. Gen. Edward Richard Sprigg Canby was born, November 9, 1817. A West Point graduate, in 1839, he accepted the final surrender of the Confederacy from Generals Richard Taylor and Kirby Smith in Alabama and Louisiana in May 1865. He was killed in California at a peace conference with Modoc Indians, April 11, 1873. Over.

From the collection of Carol Osborne


Location: Richwood Road, KY 338, 2 mi. W. of I-75

Services have been held by this old church continuously since it was founded in 1834 by Joseph Cabell Harrison, first pastor. He and cousin John Breckinridge in 1824 founded early religious paper in Ky. Cousin of Pres. William Henry Harrison. Pastor's wife, Sophia Rice Harrison, granddaughter of David Rice, father of Presbyterian Church in Ky. Harrisons buried here.

From the collection of Carol Osborne


Location: Florence, US 25, 127

Union troops had built forts around Covington to repel expected attack from CSA troops under General Heth. Detachment of 101 CSA troops camped at Snow's Pond, attacked here by scouting party of 53 USA cavalrymen Sept. 17, 1862. In the skirmish 1 Union, 5 Confederates killed and 1 Union, 7 Confederates were wounded. Larkin Vaughn, a civilian, killed by a stray shot.

From the collection of Carol Osborne


Location: Old Lexington Turnpike, halfway between Walton & Richwood

During 1862 Confederate invasion, rebel forces under General Basil W. Duke searched for approaches to Cincinnati. On September 25, 1862, over 500 attacked a federal camp here commanded by Brig. Gen. Quincy A. Gillmore. Many USA prisoners were marched to Falmouth and transported to Lexington, then the regional headquarters of CSA.

Presented by Jack Rouse.

.From the collection of Carol Osborne


Location: Petersburg, Elem. Schoolyard, KY 20

First settlement in Boone County. The Rev. John Tanner built blockhouse, and town began on 2,000 acres he and John Taylor owned. Shawnees captured Tanner's 9-year-old son here, held him until grown. An ardent Baptist, Tanner preached in Carolinas, Virginia; came to Kentucky in 1781; moved to Missouri, 1798; died there, 1812, age about 80. Town was named Petersburg, 1818.

From the collection of Carol Osborne




Site Meter