Rockland Mills

the cutthe cut 2

This article came from “History Speaks” – Quarterlies of the Metcalfe Co. Historical Society – Fall 1980 –

“A cut in the rock bluff on the waters of the south fork of Little Barren River, about 4 miles east of Knob Lick and 2 miles north of Beechville, was part of a water power project. It was made sometime before the Civil War (in the 1850s), and the Cut was made by slave labor. It was made to divert the excess water from the river in time of heavy rain. There was already at that time a waterpower mill on the south side of the river opposite the cut.
“This was part of the trading center known as Rockland Mills and was owned by William (Bill) Newman. Newman owned a considerable amount of land. The farm known as the Kelly farm now owned by Mr. Wade Cassady, the Cassady farm now owned by Mrs. Eugene Cassady and Wade Cassady, the Luther Gaddie farm, and the Henry Hubbard farm. The trading center was located on the Cassady farm with the exception of a distillery, which was on the Gaddie farm. The trading center consisted of a general store, blacksmith shop, whiskey and drug store combined, and was a mail station as this was on the Edmonton and Horse Cave mail route.
“Prior to the Civil War there was a covered wagon bridge across the river here and was said to have been burned by some of Morgan’s Raiders. The trading center also included a slave market where slaves were put on the auction block and sold or bartered. It also had a large vineyard with a winery and a very large apple orchard. The fruit was used mainly for making brandy.
“Newman was said to have owned many slaves, and on the top of a hill at the northeast corner of the Cassady farm is a cemetery where slaves are buried.”
The things that are related in this history of places and occurrences are from the memory of the original author of this article (who is not named), told to them by their grandfather, James Marion Oakes, who was born in 1851.
On another note, it states what was known as the Cassady farm was purchased by Harry Jewell and Randell Lambirth in 1974. Eugene Cassady was Lambirth’s grandfather.


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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2 Responses to Rockland Mills

  1. Katrina london says:

    My husband’s uncle was Harry Jewell and Randall lambirth is his cousins husband. Uncle Harry & aunt Virginia lived just across the bridge in a large beautiful farm house which was torn down & the house standing in its place was built in the last 10 years. My husband grew up there as a child & has many memories of the place. One being the house was haunted & many strange happenings occurred within its walls! We still visit and even fish off the bridge there. We tell our kids the stories of the lands and family times shared there!

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