Day 1: March 24, 2006
The South End



Both towns that Zane's Trace connected were separated from the actual trace by the Ohio River. There's a newer bridge downstream a couple of miles but it is the 1931 Simon Kenton Bridge that leads to the heart of Maysville, KY. Before 1931, a ferry connected Maysville with Aberdeen, OH. Maysville started out as Limestone and I've seen (and made) references to Zane's Trace leading to Limestone, KY. But the settlement's life as Limestone was short and Maysville appears to have become the official name in 1787; About ten years before the trace was completed.

The big white house was built in 1847 by Jonathan Bierbower. It is believed to have been used to hide fugitive slaves preparing to cross the river and is now home to the National Underground Railroad Museum. The museum just opened in February to tell the story of escaping slaves from the slave holding side of the Ohio. It is not directly connected with the Freedom Center in Cincinnati but has its own set of enthusiastic supporters. Nona and George showed me around today and I intend to return to get updates as the project progresses.

New steel girders next to the existing museum are obvious evidence that the Maysville and Mason County Library, Historical, and Scientific Association is growing. There is plenty of area history for it to hold. There are signs at the Russell Theater indicating that renovation is in progress but no schedule is given. The Russell and favorite daughter Rosemary Clooney will always be connected.

OH-41, the current incarnation of Zane's Trace in these parts, crosses Fishing Gut Creek and Fishing Gut Road ("No Dumping Allowed") as it heads north. It climbs up from the river alongside Big Threemile Creek which tumbles over lots of rock ledges as it heads down to the river. At this point, the weather wasn't at all conducive to standing around taking pictures so I only have a few feeble shots of a section that really deserves more.

The Bentonville Anti-Horse Thief Society still exists and apparently have a banquet coming up next month. Although it's not actually stated, I suspect that the society's attitude towards horse thievery is unchanged.

I reached West Union with enough time to visit a couple of covered bridges in the area. On the way to one along OH-136, I turned down Zane Trace Road. Other than the name, I have no evidence that this was or was not actually on the original trace but you can see that it has been spared from development for quite sometime. You can't really see it but there is a UPS truck sitting in the driveway of the hilltop house in the first picture. It had just started down the hill when the driver spotted me. He backed up into the driveway and waited for me to pass. Then, after a friendly wave, he pulled out and headed back to the main road. What's Brown done for you lately?

The Kirker Bridge over Eagle Creek is now retired but folks can visit it from a paved pull off alongside OH-136.

The Harshaville Bridge was built around 1855 and is still in use today. Morgan's Raiders crossed the bridge in 1863 then, although they were prone to burn bridges behind them, inexplicably spared it.

Contrary to form, I booked rooms for this outing in advance. (Is this becoming a habit?) The 202 year old Bradford/Olde Wayside Inn has seen many improvements since it first opened but continues to offer good food and lodging. Dining is cafeteria/buffet style and very reasonably priced. So are the rooms at $49.95 for a brush with history. I'm in the Andrew Jackson Room.

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