Friday, June 1, 2012

Blue Licks State Park

In late May I visited Blue Licks State Park just north of Carlisle, KY on US 68. It's a relatively small park but steeped in American history and staffed by a super friendly group of people. Talk about southern hospitality!
"Buffalo Trace" Blue Licks State Park 8"x12" plein aire sketch on Wallis sanded  paper
Did you know that wooly Mammoths and musk ox once roamed Kentucky and created trails to the salt licks. Then the bison followed those same trails, followed by American Indians who were hunting the bison. Soon the settlers were also following those wide trails through the forest and eventually the easiest way to create a state highway was to follow that same trail. So US state route 68 follows that trail.

At Blue Licks State Park you can find a lovely history museum that traces the history of the area - they even have a stuff musk ox - it's going to be a drawing soon - can't resist that face.
"Licking River Trail" Daniel Boone escaped down this trail to cross the Licking River to safety
During the revolutionary way British raiders allied with Indians were attacking the settlers in this area, even though a treaty had been signed. Daniel Boone and 150 others soldier/settlers came from Bryan Station (near Lexington) to attack the British but were defeated and had to retreat back across the Licking River. Thus ended the last battle of the Revolutionary War.
"Foggy Morning at Tanner Station" 8"x12" plein aire sketch on Wallis sanded  paper
A settler named Tanner created a small fort to protect the salt lick from Indians. It took 850 gallons of salty brine water to boil down to create a few pounds of salt. Eventually a lovely hotel was built on site and the water was bottled and sold as a cure for all kinds of ailments. During the Civil Way the hotel was burned but was replaced with two smaller hotels.
"Licking River bottom land" 8"x12" plein aire sketch

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