Volume 1 follows the Reed family from May, 1800 thru September, 1884. Here are some excerpts from the first few chapters of Timeline 1 (1800) …
His body was in a beggar’s pose. His head down. Shoulders slumped. “Charles, I’m fifty-seven years old. I just can’t go to Kentucky with you. I beg you. Please stay here and take over the mill. Please.”
Just east of Staunton was an open field surrounded by trees on three sides. It was here that settlers heading to Kentucky camped overnight…
William Bongurt spoke decisively, “The price will be $25 for the two of you. I’ll get you to Boonesborough in one piece. Prefer paper money because of the weight, but will take coins.”
The morning the wagon train was getting ready to leave Martin’s Station two wagons pulled up. Two whites and thirteen blacks. Each white was driving a wagon while seven blacks were chained in one wagon and six in the other. The whites were the Nicholas brothers, Jack and John. The names of the blacks didn’t matter.
“Mr. Reed?” said Curtis. “Charles, please call me Charles”, he responded. “What are you going to do in Kentucky?” “This may sound strange,” said Charles. “ My son and I are going to build a grist-mill somewhere.”
“And how many rooms will you be needin, Mr. Reed?” Kallie asked in a heavy Irish accent. Charles looked at Samuel and said to her, “One will do to start.”… “It’ll be $25, paper or gold,” she replied. “Breakfast and supper are served daily except on Saturdays. I’ll do your washin’, but only on Mondays. Outhouse is out back. You need to empty your own pot each day.”
“Where I have been the most fortunate is in acquiring different buyers for my corn,” continued Tom. “A lot of corn farmers take what they need and sell the rest of their corn. “There are four distillers south of here who are experimenting with making different kinds of whiskey. I think whiskey will be a big industry for Kentucky….”
“Mr. Hogan,” interrupted Charles as Hogan got up from the card table. “I’m Charles Reed and I’m looking to hire someone to guide me to eastern Kentucky and back. I was told you might be the person who could do this.”
Hogan was ready at dawn. He and Charles, along with one pack horse, headed into the sun towards Tygarts Creek. It was a crisp late October morning. Charles had stolen four biscuits from Kallie as she was preparing breakfast from the house. On the way out he thought – I really like that lady...
“How many different trails do we need to get to the Tygarts?” asked Charles. “One,” laughed Hogan. “The trail we’re on now goes all the way to the Ohio River at Poage’s Landing. This part of the trail is well defined. East of the iron ore furnace the trail is not as well defined – but, it is still a trail.”
“Charles,” Hogan began. “Tygarts Creek flows east and then north into the Ohio River. These small streams we are crossing now are not the Tygart yet. But I’ll know it when I see it.” And then all of a sudden, Hogan announced with a smile, “Here you are Charles – Tygarts Creek.”
But then, about five to seven miles from its beginning, Tygarts creek reunited with the trail and the both of them opened up into a beautiful valley about a mile long by maybe a quarter mile wide. Two steep hills protected this valley. The valley itself had some trees, but not enough to convince a stranger like Charles that something other than tranquility was destined to be here. “What a gorgeous piece of ground,” Charles commented. Charles made a sketch of the valley.
The next day Charles and Hogan were on the trail going back to Lexington. Charles had sketches and documentation giving him the Tygarts Creek land on which to build his mill. As Charles and Hogan crossed Tygarts Creek, Charles looked at Hogan and asked, “Well, Hogan, what do you think?”…“Mr. Reed, it’s not my mill to build. There are no saloons, poker, or horse racing around this creek. So, chances are you won’t see me around here anytime soon. But like I told you last night, there’s something special about those caves north of your mill site and you should keep an eye on them.”