From “Barren River Lake”

The following is excerpted from an article from a series that ran in the 1939 (Bowling Green) Daily News:

“Port Oliver Salt Works – Trading Post in the Wilderness” by Wordney White
“Of all the trails leading through Kentucky, there was none more important than the Old Trail, as it was called, leading from Lexington, KY to Nashville, TN. The Old Trail was described by a French traveler and naturalist, who traveled it in 1802…
“Long before the white man, hunter or settler came over the Old Trail through Kentucky, an Indian village was located on the Barren County side of the river, and the burnt places, the site of the campfires, and burial mounds may still be seen. The dead of this tribe were buried by laying the body on a flat limestone and surrounding this with flatstones set on the edge and this covered with dirt, forming a mound about 5 feet in height.
“At the Port Oliver Indian village only one body was buried in a mound, which was a form of distinction, as there remains marks of another village about half a mile down the river, on the Allen County side, where the mounds are circular in shape, 6 to 8 feet in height and as large at the base as a haystack. These mounds were opened at the base and found to contain, in some instances, more than 20 skeletons. The mounds are in a good state of preservation.
“On the Henderson Bend farm, not far from Port Oliver, is found the largest group of mounds and these are located atop a high bluff overlooking the river…. This bluff is very steep at this place, so steep it is impossible to climb it, but the Indians made a trail about 2 feet wide, leading up from the river which made climbing easier. The Henderson Bend farm is situated in Barren County, and contains about 700 acres.”


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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3 Responses to From “Barren River Lake”

  1. Janet Steenbergen says:

    I wonder if those mounds are still there.

    • Gclee says:

      Someone has actually been invited out to view the remains of this village, and burial area. They are supposed to get back with me on what they find. I’ll keep you posted.

  2. Frances says:

    With whom do you contact for permission?

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