Old Stations. -Pittman's Station, one of the earliest in the
Green River country, was situated upon the top of the cliff,
outside of the curve of the creek, and about three-fourths of
a mile from the fortifications. The station at Greensburg was
located upon the very spot, it is said, which is now occupied
by the courthouse. A third station was on the Little Barren River,
southwest of Greensburg, about ten miles. A fourth, called Shank
Painter or Skagg's, was situated six miles northwest of Greenburg,
where the village of Somersville stands. About eight miles east
of Greensburg, on the road to Columbia, Gray's Station was erected
about the year 1790. Two miles further east, near the present
Mount Gilead Meeting House, is a spot as famous as the camp,
in 1770, of the "Long Hunters," under the leadership
of Col. James Knox.
The 14th Steamboat on the western waters was built at Henderson
in 1817, by J. Prentiss, and it was named Pike. She plied at
first between Louisville and St. Louis, and afterwards in the
Red River trade. She was lost on a sawyer in March 1818.
The Lettonian Springs, a weak sulphur spring, is situated four
miles from Covington, on the Bank Lick Road. The springs are
well-kept, and being a pleasant ride from Covington, they have
become a place of considerable resort in the watering season.
Dry Creek, in Kenton County, is remarkable
for the fact that, after a heavy rain, it is so flush and high
that it cannot be forded. But in a few hours it runs dry, or
so nearly so, that hogs will be seen where it was deepest, turning
up the rocks in search of crawfish.
Iron Ore. -Probably in no section east of the Mississippi River
and south of the Lake Superior region, are there such deep and
inexhaustible beds of iron ore as in Lyon County. Ore from the
Iron Mountain bank, three miles west of the Suwanee Furnace,
contains 59.973% of iron. In the ores from the Mammoth Furnace,
the proportion of phosphoric acid is large, and of alumina small;
requiring the use of pure clay or other argillaceous material
with the flux, and an increased amount of lime, to make the iron
purer and more tough. Some cold blast white pig iron, made at
this furnace in 1859, was too hard to be filed, and dissolved
in acids by means of iodine, with great difficulty. Limestone
for flux is abundant.
Some pig iron was refined in the hearth of
the furnace at Suwanee, in 1859, which, on analysis, proved to
be "very hard, brittle, white iron; presented a confused
bladed crystalline appearance on the fractured surface; was about
the color of impure nickel; was refined by Kelly's method, in
which Bessemer's process for the purification of iron seemed
to be measurably anticipated, viz., by dipping the tuyere into
the melted metal in the hearth of the furnace, and forcing the
cold blast through it."
Zinc Ore was found, in 1856, at the time of the geological survey
of the state, running in slender veins through limestone belonging
to the Devonian Period, in the bed of Sulphur Lick Creek in Monroe
County. The official analysis proved it essentially a sulphuret
of zinc, containing 51.77% of zinc. The sulphuret is combined
in this ore with 17.48% of silica, besides 5.19% of carbonates
of lime and magnesia, and a little disseminated sulphuret of
lead. "If found in sufficient abundance, it might be profitably
employed in the manufacture of zinc white paint (Kentucky Geological
Survey, page 68 and 247)." "Imperfect veins of sulphurets
of zinc and lead traverse the limestone under the black slate,
in the bed of Sulphur Lick Creek, in a direction South 20 degrees
West (Kentucky Geological Survey, page 154).
Caves are very numerous in Warren County. Some of them would
be regarded as considerable curiosities, if there were no Mammoth
Cave. About six miles northeast of Bowling Green, there is a
cave with a perpendicular descent from the north of about 30
or 40 feet. At the bottom are vast quantities of human bones.
How and when they were put there can, of course, only be conjectured.
About three miles south of Bowling Green, and on the turnpike
to Nashville, is the Cave Mill, in level barrens. A creek breaks
up from the ground, runs about 200 yards, then disappears in
the cave. After a course underground of a mile and a half, it
again appears, and runs into the Barren River.
Of Cannel Coal, Morgan County embraces probably the largest bodies
in Kentucky. Much of it is very readily mined, but all inaccessible
to the market. There appear to be two horizons of cannel coal
in Morgan County, varying from 200 to 300 feet apart. The lower
bed, in one of the most remarkable deposits in the world, is
well-exposed on the waters of Caney Creek, especially on the
Stone Coal Fork of Caney. It is of a fine cuboidal fracture,
generally from 32 to 36 inches thick. The upper cannel vein,
where observed, is 14 inches thick, underlaid by eight to ten
inches of clay and shale parting, and 15 to 18 inches of bituminous
and shop coal at the bottom; in all, 39 to 40 inches. The minute
chemical analyses, by Prof. Peter, of cannel coal from ten different
beds in Morgan County showed the average percentage if sulphur
"The main cannel coal of Caney and Elk
Fork is full of remains of Stigmaria, impressed completely in
the substance of the coal itself, in an excellent state of preservation;
another evidence that this kind of vegetation contributed largely
to the formation of cannel coal. Above the forks of the Stone
Coal Branch of main Caney, the stream runs for a long distance
over bare ledges of cannel coal, which measures there from 30
to 36 inches." The original undergrowth on this creek was
cane, hence the name of the creek.
The state geological survey developed satisfactory
indications that saltwater might be obtained by boring in the
vicinity of West Liberty, in the valley of the Licking River.
The Iron Ore (limonite) from Morgan County,
subjected to analysis, developed only 22.10% of iron; "too
poor to be profitably smelted of itself, but might pay to mix
with rubber ores to furnish silicious material for the flux,
and the formation of cinder, in the high furnace."