Throwback Thursday – The Longhunters

Throwback Thursday is going way back this week, about 20 years further back than the founding of Warren County and Bowling Green. It was the early 1770s and a group of 13 Longhunters explored their way through the wild frontier, finding themselves along modern day Barren River.

The Longhunters historic marker sits downtown next to the old Warren County Courthouse on 10th street. The Longhunters were the 18th century pioneers known for blazing trails, mapping out new territories, and settling the American frontier. They would travel for several months at time, facing the unknown wilderness of nature in Native American territory. One of the most famous Longhunters was Daniel Boone.

In 1775, over 200 years ago, this group of 13 Longhunters made their way to Barren River, carving their names into beech trees. These were the first known European settlers to reach current day Bowling Green. Two of those men, Joseph Drake and Henry Skaggs, left legacies in Warren County. Drakes Creek and Skaggs Creek are named for them.

Darryl Skaggs, a descendant of Henry, published a book about their travels titled Be Safe and Keep your Powder Dry. According to the book, Drake and Skaggs were Longhunters who traveled all the way from Virginia and Maryland to settle parts of Kentucky and Tennessee. Henry Skaggs passed away while settling Kentucky, and his grave can be found in Hart County, just 30 miles north of Bowling Green.

After the Longhunters helped open the trail to further settlement in the area, pioneers started making their way into the Kentucky wilderness. But it would be another two decades before Warren County and Bowling Green were officially established.