Activity One:  Pioneer Life, A Pre-Field Trip Activity

Life was difficult and dangerous for the many pioneers that lived along the Kentucky frontier. Many pioneers moved to fort sites in the early spring time, then had to clear land and plant crops. Items that were not brought with them to Kentucky were made once there. Daily chores revolved around the basic need to survive:  spinning cloth, churning butter, raising a garden & crops for cattle, hunting for food, etc.

Read the following story to students about early pioneer life in Shelby County. Ask students to make a list of the ten most important things they would take with them if they had to move with their family and could only carry items on a small raft (flatboat or flotilla) down the Ohio River or haul them by horse or foot through the Cumberland Gap.

Squire Boone, younger brother of pioneer Daniel Boone, ventured into what is now Shelby County, KY in 1775. Intrigued with what he saw, he returned in the spring of 1776 while the rest of the world was engrossed in the Revolutionary War (War for Independence).

On this second trip, Squire viewed the Salt River, Brashear’s Creek and Clear Creek. He had stumbled across “a bend, the prettiest site” upon which he instantly knew he would establish a settlement in 1780.

Squire Boone wrote the following account concerning what he had seen:

 “In the spring of the year 1776, I came again to the same place and took a stone out of the creek, and with a mill pick, picked my name in full and the date of the year thereon, and I painted the letter and figures all red, from which this tract of land took the name of Painted Stone Station.” 

From nearby Clear Creek, Boone chose an 18-inch square, one inch thick stone, upon which to leave his mark. Four years would pass before he would return to claim his land. When he did return in mid-April 1780, he brought with him Evan Hinton, 13 families and several single men.

By 1781, the residents of the fort had settled in and resumed a normal lifestyle. But they were constantly plagued by Indian attacks, so much so, that the pioneers decided to abandon their fort on Sept. 13, 1781. They decided to relocate to Lynn’s Station, a more populated fort in present-day Jefferson Co. Halfway there, along the banks of Long Run Creek, the pioneers were ambushed by a band of Eastern Woodland Indians (a mixture of different tribes) and had to race for their lives into the wilderness for Lynn’s Station.

Many made it to Lynn’s Station, but there were a few who didn’t. Today this attack is remembered as The Long Run Massacre. Many brave men and women, and even children, fought and gave their lives to settle Shelby County.

Activity:  What 10 items would you bring with you to survive in a new location?



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