Historical Marker #1228 commemorates the oldest house still standing in Bell County. The house was constructed out of brick about 1800. Although the subject matter of the marker is later than the era of Daniel Boone's early exploration, this house rests on Boone Trace and therefore represents a marker along this historic trail.
The general route of Boone Trace through this area was north, following the course of Yellow Creek along present-day 19th Street in Middlesboro. The route turns left in front of the house on Hurst Road and north along Old Pineville-Middlesboro Road (Highway 3486) to Meldrum. Yellow Creek runs on the right side of the road while traveling north along most of this route.
It was in this vicinity—barely out of the shadow of Cumberland Gap—that early explorer William Calk traversed this area. On March 13, 1775, Calk, who was from Prince William County, Virginia, set out with a party of settlers and their slaves to claim lands purchased from Native Americans by Colonel Richard Henderson in what would eventually become Kentucky. Henderson had sent Daniel Boone and a party of men ahead of Calk's group to widen the trail and begin marking off property lots in the Bluegrass Region at what would become Boonesborough.
During his grueling journey, William Calk kept a journal of his travels. On April 8, he mentioned that his party "Crost Cumberland Gap." He commented that his party met a number of other early settlers turning back "for fear of the Indians." However his group went "on Still with good Courage." Of the many obstacles that Calk encountered, creeks and rivers seemed to prove especially dangerous. Calk wrote that day that "we come to a very ugly Creek With Steep Banks & have it to Cross Several times." That night Calk's faction made a camp by the creek, which was likely Yellow Creek.
Boone and his forward party arrived at their destination on April 1, but Calk and his group did not make it to Boonesborough until April 20, after experiencing many days of bad weather, unpleasant food, and constant dangers.