(Fifth Article)
By   L. S. Pence
The Lebanon Enterprise      May 7, 1920

One of the most interesting features connected with the early undertaking of the pioneers of Pottenger’s Creek settlement was their far-seeing wisdom in the unique arrangement of the ancient roads into such a system of unity as to strength on all the surrounding stations.  In truth the original settlers were compelled to scheme every undertaking for the protection of their lives from the murderous Indians.  Let us gather a brief out line of these ancient roads that especially referred to Captain Samuel Pottenger’s settlement, and later to Pottenger’s Station.
On June 8, 1781, Captain Philip Phillips was by order of the court made “overseer” of a road starting on the “South side of the Rolling Fork opposite the mouth of Pottenger’s Creek,” and thence over to “Nolin,” where in this same year (1781) Captain Phillips erected a station upon Nolin Creek.  It will be remembered that a road ran up he Rolling Fork from Goodwin’s Station and at the mouth of Pottenger’s Creek said latter road intersected this Phillips’ road leading to the station on Nolin.  It is also probable that a road led from Goodwin’s Station down to the county line between Nelson and Jefferson, where we find the following order of February 10, 1788, which reads:  “Ordered a ferry be established from the land of Benjamin Pope in this county (Nelson) to cross Salt River to the land of Thomas Hynes on the opposite shore.”  There was to be no profiteering in those days as appears from this order:  “Ordered that Benjamin Pope be allowed to receive the same rate of ferriage as established in Jefferson.”  It stands to reason that this road existed for some years before the privilege of ferry was established upon Salt River.  Before 1780, a road was started from Cox’s Station, or that vicinity, and passed down by Captain Samuel Pottenger’s settlement (this being before any station was established) and stopped at the mouth of Pottenger’s Creek, where later both the Phillips Station and Goodwin’s Station roads joined this original road from Cox’s Station.
Also by an order of the court bearing date of June 8, 1781, Isaac LaRue was made “overseer” of a road beginning at the “mouth of the Beech Fork of Salt River, and thence over to Phillips’ Station upon Nolin Creek, where it will be remembered that a road formerly had reached said Phillips’ Station from the mouth of Pottenger’s Creek.  Therefore, from the intersections and connections of these roads they tied together, so to speak, a system of unity and safety toward all the Stations connected therewith.  This was apparent because all said Stations were in a reasonable radius from large salt wells end works being constantly operated along Salt River and down to the mouth of Beech Fork of Salt River. Great numbers of men were engaged both day and night in the salt industry, and with this extensive system of connecting roads where settlers at all times were going and returning from these salt works for supplies, and where settlers were constantly en-route to and from the “Falls of the Ohio,” and other stations near the falls, on matters of business, this vigilance of travel had the effect to hold Indian massacres as often occurring in that region of Barren and Green Rivers, yet not a single instance is given where any Indian massacres occurred upon the waters of Pottenger’s Creek or Rolling Fork anywhere adjacent to Pottenger’s Station.  It is probable that this system of roads was the direct means of the permanent safety from the Indians.
But returning to Pottenger’s Station and mentioning the “old road” (Bairdstown to Pottenger’s Creek) which ran along on “Price’s Creek,” (east of Pottenger’s Station) here at this before named creek on December 9, 1788, there branched off a road “south” through Charley Masterson’s plantation over to “middle gap” (where the New Hope pike goes through the gap over to the George W. Beall bridge) and thence from “middle gap” over to the mouth of Salt Lick Run (creek) on the Rolling Fork of Salt River.  “Jacob Miller, overseer.”  (Grandfather of the late T.J. Miller at New Hope.)  Here was the first recorded road from “Bairdstown” to the ancient “Miller-Beall plantation” upon the Rolling Fork.  However, the above road was not the first recorded road to reach the above “plantations.”  Tradition, well defined, says that Captain Samuel Pottenger’s mill was patronized by all the pioneers in the Miller-Beall section of the fork.
On February 17, 1788, a road was ordered from “Samuel Pottenger’s mill go intersect the Greene River road.”  Collins calls this Greene river road the ancient “Philip Phillips trace” over to Greene River.  From “Pottenger’s mill” the route of this above road must have crossed the Rolling Fork at the old Nathan Beall ford (1784) and followed up Salt Lick Creek, and have intersected the “Phillips trace” out near the old Joseph Winlock plantation (1781) on the waters of Pitman creek.  Some may criticize my suggestion and instead offer a route that crossed the Rolling fork at Lansdale’s ford (1782) and thence up Knob Creek and have intersected the old “Phillips trace” about where the Hodgenville pike comes into the Louisville and Nashville pike some two miles north of Buffalo.  But note this court order which reads:  “August 14, 1788, a road is hereby ordered from (Jedish) Ashcraft’s plantation to the Rolling Fork down the left hand side of Knob Creek to the said fork.”  Evidently the Pottenger’s mill road was first established.
On May 10, 1789, a road from the “Pine licks” to cross “Pottenger’s creek below Pottenger’s mill” was ordered.  In that early date “Below” meant up towards New Hope.  Everything centered from the Rolling Fork in ancient times.
On June 14, 1789, a road started at “William W. Cleaver senior fence,” (on “old road”) near Pottenger’s creek, thence “south and west” to “Lansdale’s ford” (1782).  This was a connecting road.  In 1790, however, the above “Cleaver road” was extended to the “Howard plantation," passing near the “Burch plantation.”  It is not improbable that the Howardstown pike location follows this ancient road.  Excluding the “old road,” because of the fact that no date can be found when same was established, from 1781 to 1789 there existed nine roads leading either to the mouth of Pottenger’s Creek, or to Pottenger’s mill.  It is said:  “No abilities, however splendid, can command success without intense labor and persevering application.”  The hero of “Parrot’s Manor” (Captain Samuel Pottenger) achieved success through both, and with the grace of contentment added to his illustrious character.
In the later years when Captain Samuel Pottenger viewed the many well laden flat boats bearing the products of the fertile valley of the Rolling Fork, and all boats stopping at “Pottenger’s Landing,” above the “falls of the Rolling Fork,” fate, the guide of the wise, whispered into the ears of our beloved Captain Pottenger that the commercial name of his “station” as New Haven (1819), that its future upon this crystal stream might in growth and enterprise equal the matchless town of New Haven in the State of Connecticut.

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