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Showing posts from 2013

Lost Treasure and Christmas

I will be posting a new entry in a few days about flint types of Eastern Kentucky. Not so much related to John Swift's lost silver mines but really of interest to those folks who enjoy geology and archaeology information. This site is still dedicated to the famous legend and promises new posts on the subject in 2014.In the meantime, stop by my publishing site Booklocker.comand order your copy of my book, Swift. It's a great story that includes all the famous Swift journal information available and some really neat perspective on early Kentucky history.
 The book is also available through Amazon.comand Barnes & Noblecom.Swift makes a great Christmas gift for someone interested in Kentucky history and especially the lore surrounding the oldest known treasure legend in the state. Ordering is easy and secure on line at either of this sites. You can also purchase at most book stores. If they do not have copies in stock most will gladly order it for you and delivery is fast. …

The High Rock Petroglyph

What do you think the strange symbols carved on this sandstone boulder represent? The High Rock Carving is certainly one of the most mysterious antiquity found in the Red River Gorge country.  We did a previous post  about this strange rock in August, 2012. Discovered underneath a small rock shelter near the High Rock fire tower, the carvings were discovered on one loose boulder in the shelter. In the late 70's the boulder was removed from the rock shelter by the Red River Museum and Historical Society placed at the museum in Clay City, Kentucky. It was felt that vandals and artifact collectors would soon end up destroying the unusual carved stone. In fact some of the surface appears to have been chipped away, perhaps portions already removed by vandals.    The carvings have many varied, curved shapes including concentric circles and shapes that may represent animals. Additionally, there are numerous holes and other features. Some of the rock has been lost likely by the weathering …

The Bluegrass Railroad Museum Train Ride

So on my recent birthday my intentions were to climb the Cloud Splitter Rock in the Red River Gorge. Oh, I had climbed it many years ago but as a matter of self pride, dealing with the inevitable aging process, I had convinced myself to undertake this climb for the self satisfaction of saying I could still do it. My daughter Allison had agreed to accompany me on the trip, probably just to make sure I made it. That was my plan. That was until mother nature decided to create a 90 degree day on my birthday. Too much heat and I folded and withered from the macho cliff climbing attempt.      The Cloud Splitter is well named. One of the massive stand alone outcrops in the gorge it provides beautiful vistas of the Red River valley. Though not an official trail is marked, one certainly exists because of the many hikers that make their way up to the top of the cliff.     So, instead I ambled on down to Versailles, Ky to the Bluegrass Railroad Museum. I specifically went to take the train ri…

John Swift

Be sure to check out my book Swiftand get your copy from Amazon.com today.





Broke Leg Falls

For sure one old landmark in eastern Menifee County Kentucky is Broke Leg Falls. The Falls has been a tourist stop along US Hwy 460 since the 1940's and before. It was a place for picnics and adventures into the rough rocky terrain the likes of the Red River Gorge. It's location on once a major highway along with the pristine beauty of the box canyon that the stream formed no doubt contributed to the popularity of the Falls.
    The Falls is about 80 feet in height but much of the year has a small water flow. But over eons of time the Falls and stream have carved out a magnificent canyon retreating nearly to the crest of the ridge.
    Located in Menifee County Kentucky, Broke Leg Falls has been a popular tourist spot for travelers of the US Highway which is located only a few yards from the falls. A popular landmark since the 1940's, the Falls was privately owned. Visitors could pay a dime and get to hike the short distance down into the box canyon to view the Falls…

Behind the Scenes

Getting the right photograph for the blog entry involves getting out and visiting some pretty interesting sights. Since the Swift Blog prominently features a collection of photographs related to each topic a lot of effort is required to get to the "right" spot to bring a photo that helps explain the topic. It is a fun adventure for sure and provides the chance to visit or revisit some wonderful places.
    Since this site is devoted to the Swift Legend a lot of the places deal with geology and landmarks. But really it's what ever catches my fancy as I explore this great state.  I have made it a practice to film video clips while making photos for the web site.  Very amateur and random but the purpose was to video record the site visit and rather hastily since much of my time is devoted to make the actual photos used in the blog.
    I was looking through some of these clips and thought I would string some of them together and share with you here.  It's not long a…

Swift- The Legend Continues...

Hello everyone.  Summer is in full swing here and I am currently working on some more (hopefully) interesting entries for the Swift blog site. I have received several emails from some of you regarding some of the very interesting finds and discoveries you have made. Perhaps I will be able to travel to some of the places you have shared.
    I very much welcome any topics you might wish to share on this site and extend an offer for you to post an article on this site. Now the site gets many visitors everyday. Some are serious treasure hunters and researchers and others simply stumbled upon the site. Either way, I am glad to have visitors and certainly welcome comments.
    In a few weeks I plan to post a short video of "out takes" at some of the sites covered here over the years. I have made it a practice to shoot some video footage along with the photos that go into this blog. The video is not professional to be sure, but does provide some fun background of the effort it …

Half-Moon

Perhaps no other rock formation in the gorge is as well known as the Half Moon Rock. It has been climbed, repelled, photographed and admired from every conceivable way possible. It is also mentioned in several versions of the Swift journal. The mention is casual to be sure and there are numerous rocks outcrops that could be claimed to be the Half Moon. The one I am familiar with is in the heart of the Red River Gorge.    The Half-moon rock is located on a ridge parallel to the Chimney Rock ridge spur with a small box canyon between the two massive rock outcrops. They are located at the mouth of Chimney Top creek where it flows into the Red River. This creek is one of the major streams in the heart of the gorge and is full of rock formations.     The Half-moon rock is mentioned in some of the more prominent Swift journals and some of the oldest versions as well.  While a number on cliff formations can have the shape as described as a half rounded object, this particular one in the …

Jeptha's Knob and other Craters

Perhaps 425 millions ago a meteorite nearly a half a mile in diameter slammed into the earth between present day cities of Shelbyville and Frankfort, Kentucky. The giant interplanetary traveler was traveling at an estimated speed of 10 miles per second. That is roughly 36,000 miles per hour! Needless to say, something the size of a small Kentucky town hitting the earth at such a speed was bound to leave an impact and that it did.     Perhaps some of you from Kentucky while traveling between Lexington and Louisville on I-64 have noticed the lone hill structure in the vast open flat landscape of the region. The hill is called Jeptha's Knob and is what is left of the ancient meteorite impact. What is now observable is not the typical crater that is most familiar such as on the moon or the famous Arizona crater. What you see actually represents the bottom, center of the crater. You see, geologist tell us that when the meteorite hit the earth the impact is so forceful that he causes …

Swift Synopsis

Now that the book has been out for a year, well it is old news. For those who never heard of the book or thought they might be interested in purchasing their own copy, I thought I would use this post to give blog readers a brief overview of the book.
    First, let me say the book is a historic fiction. It is however, based on historical events and places as well as famous pioneers of Kentucky. It is also based on perhaps the most famous and oldest legend of Kentucky often called "The Lost Silver Mines of John Swift."  This legend has been around since even before Kentucky official became the fourteenth state in 1792.  The Swift mine workings were mentioned in land grants as early as 1788.
     Since the legend claims that John Swift was in the wilds of what might now be Eastern Kentucky in 1769 and Daniel Boone was making his second exploratory trip that same year the two concepts come together nicely. So from the outset of my writing adventure I wanted to be central to …

Valley of Bones

One of the most fascinating places of National significance, geologically speaking, has to be Big Bone Lick near Union, Kentucky. Since historic times the place has been known to pioneers, presidents and paleontologist world-wide. Without much doubt the origin of the study of paleontology had its beginnings right here at this world known landmark. Thomas Jefferson, while in the White House had bones collected from the site and shipped back east. Some of these bones are now distributed in museums around the world.
    In Jefferson's day the question as to the origin of these giant elephant like creatures bones had not yet been deduced. The greatest scientists of the day had not reconciled the idea of bones of a known tropical animal had somehow been uncovered in a region that was clearly inhospitable to such wildlife. Yet, here they were and in large numbers. To make matters worse, many of the bones could not be identified with any known, living creature on the planet at that …

Eskippakithiki-Eden of the West

by Kiowa Scott Muncie

This is not your usual post concerning Swift, his mines or even his hidden silver, but better yet, about a treasure we all seem at some point take for granted. A certain tract of land here in Kentucky was called the Eden of the West by pioneers passing their stories around campfires describing the magnificent meadow lands of the Indians and the Blue Licks. It truly must have been a hunter's dream if one could brave both the Natives and hardships of the trip across the mountains. What an experience it must have been to explore and hunt the vast unknown wilderness. The history surrounding the old Shawnee village has always peaked my curiosity though I personally do not believe the area is related to the Swift legend. I do believe, however, more attention should be given to this area by state and local archaeological organizations. Doing so would help secure and preserve the history associated to this unique place. This is, after all, the place Kentucky gets is …