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Thread: did swift have 3 groups of mines

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  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel - KGC View Post
    "Pics" from Red River Gorge are AWESOME! Archways like bridges over Creeks, MANY trails... INTERESTING "Rock Formations"... WHEW!
    Its why I almost exclusively hike and camp in the gorge, its truely a gorgeous place to see and be. I can see why this was sacred country to the indians. When you want some eye candy search Red River Gorge pictures. Then search Kentucky arches. There are over 100 arches in and around the gorge.

    here is a link to some wonderful arch pictures: http://redrivergorgearches.com/
    Last edited by KY Hiker; Jul 24, 2018 at 08:46 PM.

  2. #17
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    I am thinking Swift had at least two main, but maybe more workings or mines, remember he said they left one mine because it wasn't as rich as the other, newer mine. I think the best mine is the one he describes putting the locust posts and large rock and burying. Once again the French are documented as being on Kinniconick Creek about the time of Swifts venture. There is also some reports of his being near the trace that went to Maysville(limestone?) before Boone. That is west of the Forks !
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  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curtis View Post
    I am thinking Swift had at least two main, but maybe more workings or mines, remember he said they left one mine because it wasn't as rich as the other, newer mine. I think the best mine is the one he describes putting the locust posts and large rock and burying. Once again the French are documented as being on Kinniconick Creek about the time of Swifts venture. There is also some reports of his being near the trace that went to Maysville(limestone?) before Boone. That is west of the Forks !
    Didn't it also mention that the French were jealous of his production being better than theirs? I think one journals mentions where the French were in relation to Swift's ? Might be a way to deduce where he was if the French were on Kinni-creek. I know its a long winding creek...
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  4. #19
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    Its too bad we don't have more information from the late 1700s about the buffalo traces, eastern elk traces and Indian traces. I think it is almost certain that Swift and his party would have to use these traces beyond the 'gaps' except for the lessor creek beds that were shallow enough to walk. Think about the 'signs' they would have left for hostile Indians to use to track them. Rocky creek beds leave little to no hoof marks or broken ends of branches. Once in an area where they were working one or multiple mines, they would 'make' their own paths from mine to furnace and from furnace to char-pit where they would make their charcoal. Game trails would be important for them while doing their work as they would still have to feed themselves, also local salt licks would become important places to find game. These licks would still be present today and probably have to be less than a days walk from where they camped do to logistics. Their pack animals would need feed, the brush in a woodland would not support them for long, so field grasses would need to be nearby as well.
    Last edited by KY Hiker; Aug 02, 2018 at 01:00 PM.
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  5. #20

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    I can tell you from personal research that the mouth of Beaver Creek at present-day Allen, KY was the intersection of two major warpaths. The left trace up Levisa and probably up Russell Fork went to the Clinch through the Breaks (see Tony Scales' "History of the Breaks"), the same route Boone took down Levisa in late fall 1767. The right warpath went "To the Cherokee Territory," but not the way you'd think. Hint: Remember that Verhoeff said the buffalo traveled the ridge and mountaintops. She was correct to an extent! The Clinch trace had numerous salt licks and cane brakes to sustain the herds along the bottom lands, but when they migrated they took to the mountaintops. The Bowles Addition in modern Pikeville was once a large cane brake and would have supported hundreds of buffalo. We have found that the left trace took a more indirect route to "The Cherokee Territory." Strip mine excavations from the mid 1970s onward prove the existence of scores of Native American encampments on the mountaintops of Left Beaver Creek. Only one reason would put them there: The migration of the herds along the mountaintops. Verhoeff also documents a trace up Tug Fork and other lesser trails. The whole point of this rambling is that we shouldn't get hung up thinking that someone like Swift would have stayed with the rocky, muddy, overgrown creek bottoms and cane-thick river bottoms. In the words of my research partner, the buffalo traces along the eastern KY ridgelines were the superhighways of the day and provided enough space for men and pack animals to travel. Scalf in his "Kentucky's Last Frontier" documents Boone carvings on Floyd County mountaintops, but errs in how the woodsman would have reached that point from Pound, or more appropriately, Payne Gap. Boone didn't go down Elkhorn, down Shelby, up Long Fork or Indian Creek and through the gap into modern Floyd, but would have stayed with the buffalo traces and walked it in practically no time in comparison to the route through the valleys.
    Last edited by jim bridger; Aug 03, 2018 at 10:19 AM.

  6. #21
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    I guess your speaking in general terms of following the ridges. They are not all connected... in other words the buffalo would have to come down for licks and water sources. Just looking at the topography of East KY, other than the Pine Mt. ridge, at some point you have to come down to get up to the next ridge.
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  7. #22

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    Licks abound(ed) on the ridgetops, as well as water, which was in great supply. Businessmen today make handsome livings off the water that flows from the mountains only a few yards from the crest and has done so for centuries. I take it you have never ridden a four-wheeler ATV for miles and miles along the tops of ridges in Pike, Floyd, or Letcher county without ever coming into a valley. I'm not saying travel was exclusively at higher elevations, but the shortest distance and quickest route between two points was definitely along the tops of ridges. The connecting point for these ridges was a few hundred yards below Pound Gap at Payne Gap. Evidence of the game trails which spread out from that point still exists today, beaten deep into a gently sloping, almost level path, 8 to 10 feet in width.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim bridger View Post
    Licks abound(ed) on the ridgetops, as well as water, which was in great supply. Businessmen today make handsome livings off the water that flows from the mountains only a few yards from the crest and has done so for centuries. I take it you have never ridden a four-wheeler ATV for miles and miles along the tops of ridges in Pike, Floyd, or Letcher county without ever coming into a valley. I'm not saying travel was exclusively at higher elevations, but the shortest distance and quickest route between two points was definitely along the tops of ridges. The connecting point for these ridges was a few hundred yards below Pound Gap at Payne Gap. Evidence of the game trails which spread out from that point still exists today, beaten deep into a gently sloping, almost level path, 8 to 10 feet in width.
    Yep, that is why my handle is KY Hiker and not KY 4wheeler

  9. #24
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    I believe there are 3 groups of mines, as you know RGB. Lower, Upper, and West, and I believe the West mines are further North than the Upper mines. From my perspective, if you tell me to go west of the forks of the Big Sandy, I'm goin to the point where the Big Sandy turns into the Tug & Levisa. Anything above that are forks of either the Tug or Levisa.

  10. #25
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    This goes back to my previous thought, does upper mean up the stream, up North or up in elevation? Same with lower... its all in how it was meant when written.
    I have also been wondering on everyone's thoughts on this. The 1812 earthquake at New Madrid could have caused some covering up of what was already purposely hidden? A rock slide during that event could easily cover up the entrance.
    Also, what were the Latitude and Longitude given in some journals? I would think a ship captain would be very proficient with a sextant.
    Last edited by KY Hiker; Aug 04, 2018 at 09:14 PM.
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  11. #26
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    Remember at Swifts time you could get latitude pretty easy, it was longitude that couldn't be had with any degree of accuracy...until a good clock was invented, the English Admiralty knew this and had a huge reward for the first person to come up with a good clock for figuring longitude. Swift had to do some very very complex calculations to find longitude for his location. Then what Meridian do you use? there was one in England, slightly different than Greenwich, then the was one of the coast of Europe in the Atlantic, and even one in Philadelphia.

    The New Madrid quake is a good thought, it could have changed a lot of things...The Balanced rock could have fallen as could the remarkable rock...which no one seems to be able to find..it could be because its in the bottom of a creek.

    I agree that there are at least 3 mines..maybe more.
    Last edited by Curtis; Aug 04, 2018 at 10:00 PM.
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  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim bridger View Post
    Licks abound(ed) on the ridgetops, as well as water, which was in great supply. Businessmen today make handsome livings off the water that flows from the mountains only a few yards from the crest and has done so for centuries. I take it you have never ridden a four-wheeler ATV for miles and miles along the tops of ridges in Pike, Floyd, or Letcher county without ever coming into a valley. I'm not saying travel was exclusively at higher elevations, but the shortest distance and quickest route between two points was definitely along the tops of ridges. The connecting point for these ridges was a few hundred yards below Pound Gap at Payne Gap. Evidence of the game trails which spread out from that point still exists today, beaten deep into a gently sloping, almost level path, 8 to 10 feet in width.
    Just to send home my point here is a quote from one of the journal versions.
    'When Munday was strong again we departed from Alexandria. Guise and Jefferson, men i know as strudy hunters and able to stand hardship, went with us, and we had ponies and provisions. We reached the Big Sandy River after much hardship, but without mishap.
    Munday knew the trails and the habits of the Indians so well that we were able to avoid them. From there we traveled west through a hilly country, following the creek bottoms until we came to a rocky country that looked like the end of the world.
    A turbulent river was before us, and following its windings from the heights we came to the mouth of a large creek. Our path fell rapidly to the creek, which has small branches running through deep ravines having great cliffs rising on either side. On the opposite side of the creek from where we were the land rose up to a cliff that stood far back from the creek, and this cliff has a great hole in its side near the top. We called that the "lighthouse" we could see clear through it, and see the sky beyond.'
    It doesn't sound like they followed the ridge tops to me....

    'Munday did not know where we were, but after following the creek on a southwest course, he recognized the hills on the opposite side, and said that if we were over there he knew how to reach the Indian trace, which was some miles below, and having reached the trace he would know how to go to the mine. He said that we had to go through a myrtle thicket and then down a flight of steps that the Indians had cut in the side of the cliff at the top of it; and that across the creek from the foot of the cliff at that point and in the cliffs of the other side was the mine.
    We crossed the creek by a natural rock bridge, and Munday led us to a place that the Indians used for a camping ground, and for games when on their hunting trips. This was not the time of year for them, and we did not see any of them. We camped there, and a creek flowed by our camp. When we went out with Munday again he could not find the myrtle thicket, and we came again to the rock bridge, and from there we went down a rocky branch, and there were vines closing the entrance mouth of the branch.
    We camped in this branch and kept our horses there. We could leave them there grazing while exploring the country, because the cliffs made an enclosure except for the entrance, which was closed by grapevines. Munday could not find the cliff where the mine was, but one day he called out to us and said: "here is the myrtle thicket, i know the way now" Through this thicket we reached the steps in the cliff. From there i can point to the mine." It was hard to get through the thicket. We could not take our horses, and we stumbled many times and had to fight and cut our way. We got to the Indian steps which are cut in the side of the cliff. You can stand on top of the rock there and look across the creek, and to your left the creek cuts through the cliff, and the cliffs in front are shapes of a half-moon.
    Just above the creek, on the other side, there is a ledge, and higher up another ledge, and up near the top of the cliff a third ledge, and between the second and third ledges Munday said was the opening to the mine. Now we crossed the creek and climbed up to the second and third ledge, and then we went west a couple of hundreds yards and found the mine. There was a big rock that looked like a buffalo sitting down, resting on the slope within a few hundred feet of the opening to the mine. We cut our names on that rock, Swift, Munday, Jefferson and others.
    We got ore and we smelted in a rock house which is in the second ledge. This rock-house faces the sunrise, and looking out there is a branch of a creek that comes in from the southwest and just below the mouth of that branch are three monument rocks, one large one, and two small ones. They are layers of rock and they taper to a point at the top.'
    Last edited by KY Hiker; Aug 06, 2018 at 07:53 PM.

  13. #28

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    Version is the key word here.

  14. #29
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    ...trying to remember which version said they followed the ridges...
    Last edited by KY Hiker; Aug 08, 2018 at 07:55 PM.
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  15. #30
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    I think Boomer mentioned in another thread that US460 basically followed an old buffalo trace. I wonder where he got that info?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Route_460
    Last edited by KY Hiker; Aug 08, 2018 at 08:30 PM.
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