The Legend of Martin’s Station

Recently, I was asked by a friend about some local information, and when I went into research mode, I pulled out some older manuscripts, and came across this bit of lore, to add to the Warren County Barren River legends. It follows along with the Middle Bridge and Lilanthal’s Curse legends, in that it involves a girl… Of course it involves a girl! But no treasure. Sorry!
The following account was taken from page 9 of Emory H. White’s manuscript, The Barrens (c. 1986). Mr. White was born at Martinsville, on Barren River.

“Samuel and Andrew McFadin (sic.), Revolutionary War veterans from North Carolina, built a station on the north side of Big Barren River near the mouth of Drake’s Creek in 1785. It was a popular stop-over on the Cumberland Trace. A little later the first cabins were built several miles downstream at the present site of Bowling Green. About 10 miles east, or upstream from McFadden Station, between 1785 and 1790 Hudson “Hook” Martin established a station on the Old Settlements trace. It is said he was so-called because he had lost a hand and had a hook as a replacement.
“There is a story that relates that Martin had a very beautiful daughter, Some explorers or hunters stayed for a while at Martin’s Station, and one of the hunters fell in love with Martin’s daughter. A duel was fought between the hunter and the girl’s brother, who wished to avenge her loss of honor. The girl threw herself over the bluff by the station and was killed where the Big Spring flows into Barren River. Each year, on this same night, if there is a full moon, the water from the spring runs red. However, I have never met anyone who has observed this phenomenon. By 1820 the station had become known as Martinsville and the store was operated by a William Martin. When this settlement was abandoned many years later, all the land was bought by Ed White.”

AN: Emory H. White was a school teacher, and as I said at the beginning of this section, he was born in the Martinsville area. He had relations buried in a few of the cemeteries in this area, and he spent many hours in research on the origins of place names along the Big Barren River in Warren County. Hope you enjoyed this version of events from the long ago past. We may never know the truth, as so many legends abound… But it seems it was definitely about a girl!


About Gclee

I am a long time genealogy and local history hunter from Barren Co., KY. I have many stories to share that may be of interest to other local genealogists and history buffs. I enjoy this as a hobby and hope I can be of encouragement to others. I also hope everyone enjoys my stories as much as I have enjoyed learning about them.
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4 Responses to The Legend of Martin’s Station

  1. Gclee says:

    I have been told the daughter’s name was Elsie. She had three brothers – Edward, David, and Hudson Martin, Jr, who was a doctor.

  2. cressit says:

    My great-great-grandfather was Dr. Hudson Martin who lived in Barren Co. He had brothers Edmund Hawkins Martin and David Walker Martin. I think one of his sister’s name was Eliza. Their father was Lt. Hudson Martin, a Revolutionary War vet…. same family?

    • Gclee says:

      I’m pretty sure it is. And if it is, the Hudson Martin is buried out near the Barren River Dam, off one of the side roads on Hwy 252. They are the only Hudson Martins in the area that I know of.

    • Jenny Rainwater says:

      My great grandfather was Dr. Hudson “Hutt” Martin, brother of Edmund and David. Dr. Hudson “Hutt” Martin is buried with his second wife in the Huffman-Butler Cemetery near Finney. He had other siblings: Mary Frances [md Trigg]; Virginia [md Radford and then Burke] Eliza [md Hawkins]; Edmonia [md Starr and then Crenshaw] . All the above were children of Hudson Martin and Mary Ann Hawkins who also lived in Barren/Warren counties. The second Hudson Martin listed was the son of Lt. Hudson Martin and Jane Walker Lewis of VA.
      Dr. Hudson Martin’s son (John Massey Martin) was my grandfather who moved to TX and OK. From who do you descend?

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