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Showing posts from April, 2011

James Harrod disappeared while visiting Swift's mine

Perhaps one of the oldest known references to the Swift legend occurred in 1793.  And it came from the widow of James Harrod, founder of the first permanent white settlement in the Kentucky wilderness, Fort Harrod.  Also, comes with it one of strangest twists on the treasure story. This was reported by Dr. Christopher Graham  in in 1871 from conversations he had with Ann Harrod years before.  Dr. Graham was the family physician to Mrs. Harrod during the early part of the 19th century. Dr. Graham related the information to Louis Collins who recorded in his  History of Kentucky, published in 1882 by his son Richard H. Collins.
     Mrs. Harrod told Dr Graham her husband was murdered.  Mrs. Harrod claimed a man named Bridges had been searching for the Swift's silver mine. This was in 1793! Mrs. Harrod stated that many had hunted for the mines. This man Bridges,  Mrs.Harrod informed Dr. Graham, told James Harrod that he had found the Swift's mine and invited Harrod in as…

Charles Allen

Back in 1992 I had the great pleasure of spending an afternoon with Reverend Charles Allen of Sand Gap, Kentucky.  Sand Gap is located in Jackson County.  I met Mr. Allen at his home and spent most of the day with him hiking back to an area he believed he had discovered the silver ore that Swift and company mined. Charles Allen was not your average silver mine hunter, though he had claimed to have found the workings.  He had carefully identified the correct light houses, various rock landmarks and creeks.  The area he  identified was, indeed like many areas, located under and around one of the many sandstone rock houses that exist all along the escarpment of Eastern Kentucky.  It was an enjoyable day to be sure and and he was remarkably fit. This man, in his 70's, nearly walked me to death that day and I recall having a difficult time keeping up with him.
     Charles Allen was a silver mine hunter to be sure but his special gift; his uniqueness among all the rest of us was h…

Daniel Boone at Pilot Knob

Traveling east on the the Mountain Parkway one crosses part of what once was the last Shawnee Town ever recorded in Kentucky.  It was called Eskippakithiki and was located on the level plain before the terrain abruptly becomes hilly and rugged.  The first noticeable mountain is the famous Pilot Knob.  It was here that Daniel Boone proclaimed to have first saw the beautiful levels of Kentucky.  Boone was actually looking on the old Shawnee Town location. Boone reported to have made the trek up the mountain on the sixth day of June, 1769.
     Now historians report that Boone never made this trip and discovery without the help of another great pioneer, John Finley.  Old John Finley actually was Boone's guide into the wilderness after Boone's first attempt, two years earlier, ended in dismal failure.  So how is it that John Finley knew so much about the Kentucky wilderness that he could lead Boone?  Well, John Finley had somehow, established a trading store in the very Shaw…