Scott County Historical Society
Scott County, Virginia

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A Stop On Trek West

Gate City is a small farming community of some 2,200 people nestled on Daniel Boone's famous "Kentucky Path" in the foothills of the Appalachians.

The town played an important role in the settlement of Kentucky and the near West.

In the middle 1700's, Daniel Boone made his first visit into Kentucky and passed through Moccasin Gap about two miles east of Gate City. Boone's trail proceeded west, directly through what is now the town of Gate City.

The first settler to live within the present limits of the town was Elisha Ferris. The exact date of his settlement in the area is not known, but is believed to have been around 1775.

In 1791, a half-breed Indian named Benge and his war party attacked the Ferris home and killed all but Nancy Ferris, a daughter of Elisha.

By the turn of the century, the little community-now named Ferris Station-was the resting place for weary settlers before their journey into the vast wilderness of what is now Eastern Kentucky.

Ferris Station became a busy place as practically all the settlers stopped for supplies and repairs for what they were taking into Kentucky.

In 1790, the total population of Kentucky was only 13.000, but just after the turn of the century it had jun1ped to over 220,000, and most of these settlers passed through the Gate City and Scott County area.

In 1814 the Virginia General Assembly passed an act forming Scott County from parts of Washington, Lee, and Russell counties, and the first County Court was established near the present limits of Gate City.

In 1817, a wooden building was erected in Gate City to be used as the county court house, and Gate City-then called Estilville-was named the county seat. A brick court house was erected in 1829 and a portion of it still stands in Gate City. .

The coming of the railroad to Gate City in the middle 1800's made the town the center of activity in the county with the small station doing a lot of express and passenger business. The first passenger train arrived in the town in 1887.

After many years of booming business, the station began to decrease its activity around 1940 and now does only a token express business with no passenger service available.


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