The Road to Ritter’s Mill

ritters mill

An excerpt from CC Simmons’ “Historical Trip Through Eastern Barren Co., KY.”

“The road leading down from Hwy 63 to Ritter’s Mill is very rough, and steep. The original mill stood some 300 or 400 feet down the stream from the present location. The mill pond was at the foot of the hill where the road came down. On a very hot day in the 1870s, Wood Boyd and a very small son – about 10 or 12 years of age – were on their way to the mill driving a team of oxen. When near the bottom of the hill, the oxen saw the water and rushed into the mill pond to quench their thirst and to cool in the refreshing water. The little boy was drowned, and Mr. Boyd came near losing his life in attempting to rescue his son. The boy was buried in the small graveyard at the top of the bluff overlooking the place where he met his tragic and untimely death.”

AN: The mentioned cemetery is located 3 miles from Temple Hill, just off of Ritter’s Mill Road. It is behind a barn on a bluff overlooking Skaggs Creek, enclosed in an iron fence. Outside the fence are quite a few graves with field stones. Nicholas Wren Jones and his wife were the earliest burials there, but they were moved to Glasgow Municipal Cemetery. This cemetery is known as the Jones #2 Cemetery, and also as the Ritter-Rowe Cemetery.
It has been many years since I have been to this cemetery, and it is possible that it is no longer easy to locate.

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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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6 Responses to The Road to Ritter’s Mill

  1. I did a drawing of this mill about 1973-74,while I was attending Glasgow High School. I had a great time climbing around inside and out while doing the work. The mill collapsed about a week after I finished the drawing, good timing on my part. It was a beautiful old structure and the romantic in me fell in love with the feeling of the place. Always sad to see history pass by.
    David Carlson

  2. Rowe? I’m a Rowe. Wonder if any relation? Interestingly, I live one a few minutes away from Ritter’s Mill and visit often. It floods often and is dangerous there. I’ve seen the water spiralling like a tornado when the flow is up. I’ve heard tale from residents of vehicles washing over from stupidly attempting to cross the bridge. Once, a semi was flying down the hill and almost made a mess of us. Beautiful location otherwise. I’ve often taken photos there with and without clients.

  3. Joyce Sarnelli says:

    Hello. I am part of that Ritter family somewhere along that family tree.
    My dad was Gilbert Ritter…son of Jacob and Flossie Glass Ritter.
    I’m sure the mill was owned by Jacob’s grand parents or possibly uncles.
    I do remember dad talking a bit about the mill.
    Would love to go back and see where it stood.
    Dad was born in Nobob in 1918….same year his father Jacob passed away before his birth.

    • Gclee says:

      Most likely, if your father was born in Nobob, the mill mentioned by him would have been the one at Nobob. I am not for sure where it was located exactly, only that it was on Nobob Creek. Different members of the Ritter family owned four different mills at different points in time, scattered across Barren County. The one featured in this story is the most well known, and was actually a park at one time. If you ever get to Temple Hill, Kentucky, almost anyone living there can tell you the way. And if you get over to Nobob, I’m sure someone could point the way to where that mill was as well.

    • JRitz says:

      Actually, the mill in the story was indeed built and owned by your G-G-G-G-G-G-Grandfather, David Bowman Ritter Sr…he was my 5Great Grandfather as well. It went something like this…
      David Bowman Ritter Sr.
      David Bowman Ritter Jr.
      Jacob Fishburn Ritter
      William Henry Ritter
      Jacob Gilbert Ritter – your grandfather. Married to Flossie Glass Ritter. Died in the war the same year your father, Gilbert Leroy Ritter, was born 1918. My great grandfather was James David Ritter, who was a brother to William Henry Ritter. So I guess that makes us cousins! 😀

  4. Douglas Burgess says:

    My Father was Clarence Burgess. He and his family lived in Temple Hill. I was there a number of times as a child. I now live in NJ now. I remember him speaking of Skaggs Creek all the time. I’m sure he knew of the Mill. He passed away in 07. I would love to visit again some day.

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