Ky's Frontier Highway
University of Kentucky geographer Karl Raitz and archaeologist Nancy O’Malley have written Kentucky’s Frontier Highway: Historical Landscapes Along the Maysville Road, a well-researched, readable, mile-by-mile history of one of the most important pioneer routes into Kentucky’s Bluegrass region.
In the late 18th century, when Americans heard of the beauty and bounty in Kentucky, there were only two viable paths through the Appalachians to that new frontier: Daniel Boone’s mountainous route over the Cumberland Gap and a riverboat journey down the Ohio River that often ended at Limestone, now known as Maysville. To reach the heart of the Bluegrass around the burgeoning settlement of Lexington from Maysville required a trip south of about 70 miles along the Maysville Road. That began as an animal track, was subsequently a Native American footpath and eventually became a well-marked, rutted road.
Kentucky’s Frontier Highway tells the story of how the route carried thousands of families to their future homes across the Commonwealth and how it was improved as a thoroughfare with thriving communities along its path. It also relates the critical role it played in the history of the state and nation.
The book’s descriptions of the current route and its many points of historical and current interest are amply illustrated with photos. In addition, the book, as can be expected from two such academics, is fully annotated and referenced. It will be of interest to the modern-day traveler, local resident and historian alike.
Kentucky’s Frontier Highway: Historical Landscapes Along the Maysville Road
By Karl Raitz and Nancy O’Malley
University Press of Kentucky