Saturday, May 10, 2014

Last Day in Kentucky

Today was a hilly day (surprise, surprise), with scary, steep downhills and agonizing uphill climbs. When we were on top of ridges, the sweeping views were spectacular. These photos just don't do it justice. 

We were told there were sites along the route today that were significant to the UGRR, but we had no guide to them; how to spot them along the way?

As luck would have it, the owner of this home came over to talk to us. This is Asbury House. One of the Asbury men fathered a daughter with a slave. The daughter, Hannah? Bass, was raised in the home with Asbury's other children. When she was old enough, she took over the abolishionist/ conducting activities of her father and uncle. 

The current homeowner, Megan ___?, says her grandparents lived in this home without ever knowing its history. It's only been the last 15 years that local historians have pieced together the history. Megan talked a lot about how slavery and abolition split families and neighbors and towns; to this day, it can be hard for people to talk about and acknowledge their history. Megan (pictured below with me) is currently living in the garage while restoring the Asbury House. 

This next photo doesn't convey this well, but I am stopped about a third of the way down a very steep hill that is very narrow and has a sharp left-hand turn at the bottom. Treacherous but pretty! Equally long and steep climb on the other side. 

I spent a lot of time touring around historic Old Washington, Kentucky. The cabin below was built out of boards that had been a raft that transported some settlers here down the Ohio River. 

Below, a bunch of us are getting a guided tour. This is the Paxton Inn. Paxton had been both a slaveowner and an abolitionist. 

Below is the site of the old court house. The court house used to stand back where a private residence is now located. This lawn is where slave auctions were held. The stone on the right is one of the ones that slaves were shackled to. Harriet Beecher Stowe witnessed a slave auction here; the experience inspired her to write Uncle Tom's Cabin. 

This home is all restored with period pieces. It also houses all kinds of Harriet Beecher Stowe information and memorabilia. 

This house was the first to be built of limestone. 

We are camping tonight in Maysville River Park in Maysville, Kentucky. We had to cross a levee to get here.

A woman named Sonia, who was instrumental in the development of the UGRR Bicycle Route through this area, took us all to dinner at the River House in Ripley, Ohio. 

The restaurant is right on the river; sunset from there. 

I cycled 52 miles today, with 2,753 feet of climbing. 7.5 hours on the road. 

Today's route, part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

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