Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park

McHargue’s Mill, Mountain Life Museum, Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park, London, Kentucky, USA

McHargue’s Mill, Mountain Life Museum, Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park, London, Kentucky

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Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park

Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park is a park located just south of London, Kentucky in Laurel County. The park encompasses 896 acres, and includes a section of the Wilderness Road that early settlers used to reach Kentucky. The park is named for Levi Jackson, an early Kentucky pioneer.  It features two historic recreations of pioneer life: The Mountain Life Museum and McHargue’s Mill.

For more than 50 years the Wilderness Road was one of two principal routes used settlers moving west from Virginia into Kentucky. In 1775, Daniel Boone blazed a trail for the Transylvania Company from Fort Chiswell in Virginia through the Cumberland Gap. It was later lengthened, following Indian trails, to reach the Falls of the Ohio at Louisville. The Wilderness Road was steep, rough and narrow, and could be traversed only on foot or horseback. Despite the adverse conditions, thousands of people used the Wilderness Road. In 1796, an improved all-weather road was opened for wagon and carriage travel using money provided by the new Kentucky legislature. The road was abandoned around 1840.

Levi Jackson came to Kentucky in 1825 around the time Laurel County was formed.  His father, Rubin, farmed and operated a mill on Rough Creek. In November 1837, then 21 year-old Levi married Rebecca Freeman, daughter of Revolutionary War veteran John Freeman.  Since 1803, John Freeman operated the Freeman Tavern on the Wilderness Road. After the death of John Freeman in 1841, and his wife, Rebecca, in 1849, daughter Rebecca and husband Levi,  inherited the Freeman property.

The Jacksons continued to operate both the farm and tavern for many years. After the death of Levi in 1879 and Rebecca in 1897, the property remained in the Jackson family. In 1931, descendants donated the land for a state park to Kentucky to honor the Jacksons, Freemans, and the pioneers who helped build Kentucky.

The Mountain Life Museum is a restored pioneer village that includes seven buildings with tools and household items. These buildings in the settlement were either moved from other sites or built as replicas on the park. All buildings are filled with lots of pioneer relics including tools, products of agriculture and household implements.

McHargue’s Mill, Mountain Life Museum, Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park, London, Kentucky, USA

McHargue’s Mill, Mountain Life Museum, Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park, London, Kentucky

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McHargue’s Mill, rebuilt by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1939, is a reproduction working watermill with authentic interior works, built on the banks of the Little Laurel River.  One of the largest collections of authentic millstones in the country is on the grounds of the mill. The working stones in the mill were brought over the Wilderness Road in 1805.

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Learn more about Franklin County, Kentucky and the Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park

Summary
Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park
Article Name
Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park
Description
Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park, located just south of London, Kentucky in Laurel County, is named for an early Kentucky pioneer
Author
Publisher Name
Mark Summerfield
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10 Comments

  1. Very nice images Mark. Great use of leading lines with really good textures in the buildings. never been to Kentucky. Will have to put in on my list.

  2. Wonderful set of images Mark. I really like te second one and the way the curved walkway leads the viewers eyes to the house.

  3. Lovely processing Mark and the composition is spot on. Well done.

  4. Looks like an absolutely splendid place to spend the day. onderful photos. The greens just pop so well!

  5. Another lovely find, Mark. I really like that last image, although they are all quite nice. You always find some interesting places. Curious look to the roof in that first image. Was part of it masked out?

    • I only use a mask to affect colors and tones, especially with HDR where I tend to bring back some of the sky from the original frames. In this case, I think the issue is just one of POV – I was in quite tight to the building with a fairly wide angle so all you see is the edge of the roof whereas if I had been further back some of the actual roof would be visible.

  6. Andrew Marston
    Twitter:

    Great colors and composition all around. Thanks for sharing.

  7. What a totally wonderful set here, Mark! I have to admit, this sort of place is some of my favorite subject material for photography, and you’ve done a truly smash-up job here! I really enjoyed this post.

  8. Nice images and post. I like the gentle curve of the path on image 2 leading me to the house.

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