5. Where did people settle when they first came to Eastern Kentucky?
The first settlements were down on the river and creek bottoms.
You know we have two types of land here. We have hills and a fairly small amount of river
and creek bottoms. And the first people that arrived got deeds to the bottoms.
In fact, if you look at some of these, they look like they're snakes because people would get a
deed or a land patent to a long, thin piece of land that covered a whole lot of river bottom.
People who arrived later took the land farther away from creeks and farther away from rivers
and got the less desirable hill land. And so you saw some interesting patterns that develop
at that time.
You need to remember that by 1850, there was still a whole lot of land in this country
that didn't belong to anybody. People came and got deeds to the land. But at that time,
there was still an awful lot of land that nobody owned and nobody lived on.