The McMurrys head to Kentucky

cumberland-gap-tennesseMy recent post about the reconstructed migration route of the McMurrys from Kentucky to Indiana (Armchair Highway Archaeology) got me thinking—how might the McMurry family have gotten to Kentucky in the first place?

The five surviving children of my 6th-great-grandparents, William McMurry (ca 1725–1798) and Agnes(?) (1730–after 1772), were said to have travelled to Kentucky together around 1787–1788: John (1752–1832), James (1760–1832), Thomas (1765–1829), Jane (1767–1835), and Robert (1772–1812). What would have been the most direct available route from the McMurry’s home(s) in Fincastle, Augusta (now Botetourt) County, Virginia, to their new homes in central and southern Kentucky? Kentucky in the late 1700s had far fewer choices in terms of routes, so I decided to start there and work my way back to Virginia.

The Wilderness Road was the primary means of entry into Kentucky. As a result of his pioneering exploration of central Kentucky beginning in 1769, Daniel Boone had determined the best route into Kentucky. This route started at the Anderson Blockhouse (see photo below) on the Holston River, just east of Big Moccasin Gap. The Wilderness Road crossed into southern Kentucky through the Cumberland Gap, a mountain pass through the Cumberland Mountains region of the Appalachian Mountains.

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Mystery photo #3: Loggers with peaveys

Today’s post will be a short one, as this photo is for the most part a mystery to me. If you think you can add anything to what I know about this photo, please let me know in the comments section!

This photo comes to me from my mother, who in turn got it from my grandmother, Harriet Eva (Askew) Prettyman. It’s a photo of two men with peavey hooks on a wooden bridge over a river with floating timber. They appear to be taking a break from their job of guiding the logs down the river. My guess is that the photo is from Minnesota, that it dates to the 1890s, and that it pictures someone from either the Askew or Scott families.
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Clyde Askew, teamster for the lumberjacks

Among the photos I got from my grandmother earlier this month were two images of Clyde Askew and his uncle Samuel Askew at work in the lumber industry. Both images were taken in the winter of 1921, and both images were taken in Cass Lake, Minnesota, a thriving logging town in northern central Minnesota. A century ago, logging in Minnesota—especially in the wintertime—was an undertaking that was strikingly different from logging in more temperate climes. Continue reading