Sunday, May 06, 2001

Road name recalls pioneer's ordeal

Ky. 8 retraces her journey home

By Gene Franzen
Enquirer Contributor

        Ky. 8, also known as River Road, follows the Ohio River from Boone County east to Maysville. In Campbell, Bracken and Mason counties, it's officially called “Mary Ingles Highway.” Who was Mary Ingles?

        Mary Ingles was the first white woman to see what is now Kentucky. She was captured by Shawnee Indians, and later escaped. Details of her ordeal are sketchy and sometimes vary but historians agree on one thing: Mary Ingles was one tough pioneer lady.

[photo] Looking west from the Combs—Hehl Bridge, Ky. 8, also known as River Road, follows the Ohio River.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
| ZOOM |
        On July 8, 1755, the Ingles farm in Virginia was attacked by Shawnee Indians and several family members were killed. Twenty-three-year-old Mary and her two sons were captured and forced to accompany the Indians west along the Ohio River to Big Bone Lick in Boone County.

        In October, shortly after her children were sent north, Mary escaped her captors and began a 600-mile journey back east along the Ohio River. She crossed freezing tributaries and lived off the land for 43 days.

        Mary was reunited with her husband, William, and they resumed farming at Ingles Ferry in Virginia. Her youngest son died in captivity but she regained her older son after he spent 13 years in captivity. Mary and William had four more children after her return.

        There have been several books and a television movie, Follow the River, about Mary's journey. A historical marker at Big Bone refers to Mary Ingles as a “courageous, resourceful pioneer.” She lived to be 83.

       Now and Then, a look at historic places in Northern Kentucky, appears Sundays in The Kentucky Enquirer. To suggest a feature, call 578-5555.

Talk radio: Voice of the combative man
Judge vs. host
Study links 'ecstasy,' learning disabilities
Ballpark costs on fast track
Clergy walk, listen in OTR
NAACP requests traffic stop data
Reform-wary teachers turn to a new union leader
BRONSON: War games
CROWLEY: These folks don't lack trouble
PULFER: Saving kids
Anything goes at party on infield
Celebrities turn out to promote latest projects before the big race
When it comes to hats, Derby fans shameless
CFT union gained ground by taking aggressive stances
Davis to decide about race
Fouled creek concerns residents
Historic train returns to service
Increase in arrests tempers OSU party crowds
Mammoth bones to be returned
Owensboro angers civil-rights leaders
Police staffing up to voters
Porn stars sign autographs as police raid premises
- Road name recalls pioneer's ordeal
The Diva of Starbucks
Tristate A.M. Report