NoD: How Horses Found Lexington

Vanceburg Streetscape
Historic Marker #205 – Vanceburg, Ky.

Just outside Vanceburg in Lewis County, where the Salt Lick Creek meets the Ohio River, is a historic marker, “Route for Horses and Cattle.” The names and date on this historic marker reveal to the careful reader an important history. The marker reads:

In 1775, Col. Robert Patterson, Wm. McConnell, David Perry and Stephen Lowry brought the first horses (9) and cattle (14) into northern Kentucky. Animals were brought by boat from Ft. Pitt and driven overland from here to the early inland settlements.

For those who read of the Patterson Cabin, you know the importance of Col. Robert Patterson. William McConnell, for whom Lexington’s McConnell Springs was named, is another key leader in early Kentucky history. Yes, these men would go on to establish much of the Bluegrass. And they brought with them the first horses and cattle into northern Kentucky. OK, these may not be the ancestors of Man-O-War or Seabiscuit, but the species that has so contributed to our state and it image first arrived by way of boat from Pittsburgh near this spot in Vanceburg.