Saturday, July 30, 2011

Elizabethtown, IL to Grand Rivers, KY - 66 miles

Today we travelled from Elizabethtown, IL, across the Ohio River on a free ferry and rode into Grand Rivers, KY. It was a beautiful ride. We are now in out eleventh state [Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky].

 A view from the ferry leaving Illinois crossing the Ohio River.
 Looking back toward Illinois from the deck of the ferry.
 The view west along the Ohio River with Illinois on the left and Kentucky on the right.
 The Ohio River from Carrsville, Kentucky Community Center. A summer resident of the town of Carrsville (Pop. 64) opened up the community center and allowed the riders use the facilities and relax before continuing on their journey.
The road we are riding, Kentucky Route 135 is on the original Trail of Tears.
The Trail of Tears was the relocation and movement of Native American nations from the southeastern part of the present-day U.S. It has been described as an act of genocide by some modern historians. The removal included many members of the Choctaw (1831), Seminole (1832), Creek  (1834), Chickasaw (1837) and Cherokee (1838) nations among others, from their homelands to Indian Territory (eastern sections of the present-day state of Oklahoma). The phrase originated from a description of the removal of the Choctaw Nation in 1831. Many Native Americans suffered from exposure, disease, and starvation while on route to their destinations, and many died, including 4,000 of the 15,000 relocated Cherokee. Below are two maps that illustrate the trail.

I think I am going to have to plan a bike trip tracing the Trail of Tears.

The scenery continues to amaze me.
 As we left the town of Birdsville, KY, I found this historical marker out in the middle of the median at the junction of KY Rtes 137 and 60. 
Lucy Jefferson Lewis (October 10, 1752–1811), was the sister of U.S. President Thomas Jefferson and the wife of Charles Lilburn Lewis.
Born in Albemarle County, VA, she was the eighth of Peter Jefferson and Jane Randolph Jefferson's 10 children. Jefferson married her first cousin, Charles Lilburn Lewis, on September 12, 1769. The couple eventually had eight children: Randolph, Isham, Jane Jefferson, Lilburn, Mary Randolph, Lucy B., Martha, and Ann (Nancy). The family, moved to Livingston County, KY sometme around 1807.They built an estate called "Rocky Hill" near the present-day town of Smithland, KY. Thomas Jefferson took an interest in the education of her sons. However, her sons Lilburn and Isham Lewis brutally murdered a slave, which brought the entire family into disrepute when the murder came to light because of the collapse of a chimney during the second New Madrid earthquakes. These earthquakes remain the most powerful earthquakes ever to hit the eastern United States in recorded history. The four quakes are estimated to have been around a 7.0 each.
Lucy Jefferson Lewis died in 1811. She was buried on the grounds of the estate, but the estate is now in ruins and her grave is lost. This granite marker next to the Historical Marker gives directions to her gravesite.
 Also in the median of the junction of KY Rtes 137 and 60 was this grave stone marking the grave of LT COL John Montgomery in 1794.

Colonel John Montgomery (c. 1748–1794) was an early American soldier, settler, and explorer. He is credited with founding the city of Clarksville, Tennessee, and the county of Montgomery County, Tennessee is named for him.

He was born into a Scottish family which immigrated to Virginia in the 17th century. In 1771, Montgomery first entered the area of the Cumberland River. During the American Revolutionary War, Montgomery served under George Rogers Clark during his Illinois campaign. Under Clark's orders, Montgomery led an expedition against several Indian tribes to prevent the British from gathering them to attack Kentucky. In 1784, Montgomery purchased the land at the confluence of the Cumberland and Red Rivers for 100 British pounds and founded Clarksville, Tennessee.

Montgomery was killed near Eddy Creek, Kentucky (20 miles south) on November 27, 1794, by an Indian ambush while hunting.
 View of the Cumberland River entering into Grand Rivers, KY.

We are staying at America's Best Value Inn, Grand Rivers, KY.

Tomorrow we are off to Dover, TN.

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