Historical Society News

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By The Staff

Making Memories was a program presented at the library Oct. 26.

The historical society partnered with  other organizations – including the library, the adult education and community education center – to assist people in Owen county who desired to preserve their precious family memories. Activities included storytelling, creating a digital scrapbook on the computer from family pictures, and a presentation of Owen County artifacts and pictures by the historical society. The crowd was light but the enthusiasm was great as the evening proved to be a delightful time of making memories.

All of us make memories, but if we don’t write them down and pass them on to our children, they grow dimmer year by year and will eventually vanish altogether. What are you doing to preserve those memories? It’s never too late to start.

Although prehistoric man, living in the area that we know as Owen County, didn’t write, his heritage was preserved by the telling of stories. Some of these stories, perhaps, revolved around hunting as man searched for the great mastodons that used the trails between the salt springs of Drennon, Big Bone, and the Blue Licks. Owen County lies within the circle bounded by these large springs, and smaller springs such as Clay Lick near Gratz were in its borders.

Later, the buffalo made these trails wider and deeper in their never-ending quest for the salt, and while many of these trails followed ridges, there is still evidence that a good number of them ran along the larger creeks and river bottoms where water was accessible and pasturage plentiful.

One of these main “traces” was just below the mouth of Severn Creek, and is known as Buffalo Crossing. The buffalo, coming through a gap in the river hills, followed the lowland to Gratz, where there was a salt spring on Lowdenback, or Hog Trough Branch. It wound on up Clay Lick, passing the sulphur spring near its mouth with the salt spring on the south fork of that stream. Another crossing near Lead Mine Landing led up the long point from the river and the left fork ran around the hill above Mussel Shoals through a gap in the hill known as “The Narrows,” and on down to Mill and Twin Creeks. The trail from Drennon to Big Bone entered Owen County opposite the mouth of the Henry County creek known as Cane Run, and crossed the hills to Eagle Creek near the mouth of Buck Run. This was the route taken by Gen. George Rogers Clark’s expedition against the Ohio Indians, and the trail led through Big Bone to the mouth of the Licking river. Pioneers referred to this trail as “Clark’s War Road.”

If  historian Charles Johnson, whose roots were in Owen County, hadn’t written down this information and passed it on to us, we may never have known about these salt licks. But then, maybe there are Owen countians who knew this information but neglected to share it with others. Sharing is what memories are all about, so even though they may seem of no great importance to you, they may be vital to future generations.

Our pulled pork BBQ dinner was a success. Thanks to all of you who attended and supported our cause to keep the museum open. It is also with sincere gratitude that we thank those who kindly made donations to the historical society this past month. With your help our history and heritage will continue to be preserved.