Carpenter’s Station

Historical Marker #1203 near Hustonville remembers Carpenter's Station, which was one of the early frontier settlements in Lincoln County.

Service during the Revolutionary War allowed many Virginia veterans to claim lands in what became the state of Kentucky. Among those veterans were John Carpenter and his half-brother, Adam, who were from Rockingham County, Virginia. The Carpenter brothers were the sons of George Carpenter, Sr., a Swiss immigrant who died serving in the Continental army during the Revolutionary War. John Carpenter served with a Virginia regiment for three years, while Adam had a shorter enlistment. Another brother, Conrad, appears to have been a long hunter, who had made an earlier trip into Kentucky.

The Carpenters traveled south from their home in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, through the Cumberland Gap, and arrived in Kentucky around 1779. The brothers soon established Carpenter's Fort, which was located on Cow Creek, a tributary of the Green River in Lincoln County. The small stockade provided protection for livestock against predators and served as a defense against potential Native American attacks.

Indian attacks on Carpenter's Station were not as frequent as some other Kentucky locations, but they did occur. When needed, men at Carpenter's Station served in the Kentucky militia. Conrad and John Carpenter both served stints in the militia. When Bryan's Station in Fayette County was attacked in 1782, for example, Carpenter's Station men fought in the campaign that culminated in the setters' defeat at the Battle of Blue Licks. One Carpenter's Station man, John Frye, died in the fight. Frye’s widow, Catherine Spears, later married Adam Carpenter.

As Native American attacks lessened with an increase in settler population, the need for protection in forts and stations decreased as well. Those once confined to or near stations such as Carpenter's, started spreading out and establishing their own independent farms.

Today, the Carpenter's Station Cemetery, which holds the remains of original settlers John and Conrad Carpenter, reminds modern visitors of these pioneers' desire to obtain a place to call their own and their role in America's westward expansion.