Boone's Station

Historical Marker #17 in Fayette County commemorates Boone’s Station, a community founded by frontiersman Daniel Boone.

Settling the Kentucky frontier was a daunting task. The earliest of those hearty souls that voluntarily came across the Appalachian Mountains in order to claim land and find new opportunities were risk takers of the first order.

Accompanying the earliest arrivals were others who often did not come voluntarily. Wives and children of the frontiersman probably perceived the dangers and hardships of the Kentucky more so than their male family heads, who were often blinded with opportunity. Slaves, too, had little say in making the arduous trip and often left or were separated from family members before coming west. However, most frontiersmen felt most free and comfortable in the woods and fields where they were not constrained by society’s conventions.

Daniel Boone was one such settler. He had previously explored what would become Kentucky before finally settling there and had become accustomed to a lonely life on the frontier. After having helped establish Fort Boonesborough on the Kentucky River, Boone soon felt that that settlement had grown too populous for his liking. So, in the winter of 1779-80, he moved his family to what is present day southeastern Fayette County and established Boone’s Station.

A few other pioneer families joined the Boones and set up a primitive-sheltered settlement. A more permanent stockade and cabins were erected the following spring. Boone experienced many hardships during his time at Boone’s Station. Much of his trouble related to the Revolutionary War. In 1780, Edward “Ned” Boone was killed by Native Americans in present-day Bourbon County. The following year while serving as a legislator for Virginia, he was captured in Charlottesville by the British and held for several weeks. In 1782—and now back in Kentucky—Boone participated in the Battle of Blue Licks, a terrible defeat for the Kentucky frontiersmen. Boone’s son Israel and nephew Thomas were both killed during the battle.

Claims for the land on which Boone’s Station was founded were called into question and although Boone continued to live there for a time, by about 1783, he had moved on with his family to Limestone (present-day Maysville), Kentucky. Ever seeking space, Boone eventually moved to Missouri in 1799 and died there in 1820.

The land on which Boone’s Station was established was purchased by Robert Frank in 1795 from Ambrose Gordon. Frank claimed clear title to the land and constructed a stone house on the property. By the end of the twentieth century the property had devolved to Robert C. Strader, who willed the land to the Kentucky State Parks system. The following year it became the Boone Station State Historic Site.