The following is an excerpted piece by an unknown writer that shows delightful insight on Hwy 249, back in the day. The delight I find in it is that pretty much the same things apply to the road there today! It is well to note that I am of the opinion WD Tolle (Ellot) wrote this as it’s in the style and humor that he wrote in. Enjoy!
“The Fiscal Court of Barren County with the assistance of the citizens along the way, would long since doubtless have relocated this road or macadamized it, but it was objected to for reasons that it be preserved as an antique curiosity. While it would be much easier for travel if piked, it would tend to curdle the milk of human kindness that is daily displayed by teamsters pulling each other out of the chuckholes and up the hillsides.
“One of the popular features of this road is its elasticity. It is governed by the weather. During a drought the distance to Dry Fork is 15 miles, but during a prolonged rainy spell it has been known to reach a length of 26 miles, 2 feet, and 5 inches. One of the principal charms of the road is its meanderings, but this road does not meander any more. It formerly meandered with the Bristletown Branch. It was, indeed, beautiful to witness, but despoilers have done their work; ruthlessly separated them. It never meanders any more – goes right up, right down, and straight across.
“This is not a road, strictly speaking, but a trail. It was made by the Indians coming from Indian Creek and Indian Camp Branch to Flint Knob, in the Barrens for arrow heads. From time to time the trail was widened until a wagon can go over its entire length; in places it is wide enough for two wagons to pass each other. Most of the rail fences on the hills along the way have been set on fire and burned by sparks flying from locked wagon wheels.
“It is supposed the Indians, in granting the right-of-way over this trail, stipulated that it should not be moved from its present location; otherwise, the road would have eliminated many hills by a removal of a few yards. Since it has been widened the increasing weight put upon it has caused it to pull apart in many places. There is considerable gap on the top of Dodd Hill; the road would slip off into Boyds Creek were it not for the tough clay on the hill side.
“The road and Skeggs Creek are in a controversy now over the right-of-way across the bottom just beyond the bridge, with the creek holding trump hand. If the creek wins, and it’s little doubt it will, some enterprising man will establish a ferry down about the old ford, and the bridge will go for junk… There are many curios on this road, and should the County ever supplant it with another highway, it should be preserved as one of the sights for the inquisitive tourists.
“One of the great natural wonders of the road is the ‘Hanted’ Cave near the Peters Creek ford. There is not telling the splendors that would be revealed, were this cave to be explored and developed; and it would long since have become a popular resort, had it not been for the ‘hants’ that infest it. No one wants to intrude on the hanted property. The man who owned the cave has used every means to induce the ‘hants’ to vacate, but so far, unsuccessful. Some years ago 3 or 4 venturesome young men undertook to explore the cave. After going a few hundred yards with difficulty, they entered a wide avenue with high ceiling, through which they travelled for half a mile. Crossing a stream they went a few yards and the way became narrow and rugged and led down a very steep incline for several hundred feet; then leading out onto a level for a short distance, 4 avenues branched out. Turning into one and going a few yards they entered a large chamber, in which were a number of skeletons of men and beasts. There were skeletons of a woman and infant child lying together and that of a man on a ledge nearby. Also, two others with skulls missing, partly covered by sand and a few gravel. As they advanced into the cave they began to hear strange sounds which became more distinct and weird until they entered the last chamber when they became deafening and of such heart-rending tones as to frighten the explorers out of their wits. Needless to say, they hastened out as fast as they could, and no one has had the temerity to venture in since. The hants seen and heard about this cave are supposed to be the ghosts of people who were murdered by the Indians and John A. Murrell and the Harps.”
On an end note, if anyone knows anything about this cave on Peter Creek, near Hwy 249, just south of 921, please feel free to message me. I will gladly share any information I come across.
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