“A rich commercial history“
About Lee County
Beattyville and Lee County have a rich commercial history. From the earliest times American Natives harvested the resources of the area. The earliest inhabitants were cave dwellers in the Big and Little Sinking Creek area; they hunted and farmed. In latter times, the Shawnee to the north, and the Cherokee to the south, exploited the plentiful game, and often clashed in this Dark and Bloody Ground – this no-man’s land. A major route for these Indian nations was the Athawominee, or the “Path of the Armed Ones.” It ran from the Cherokee nation in the Carolinas, through the Cumberland Gap, north to Lake Erie. A branch of this trail ran along the South Fork of the Kentucky River, through the Beattyville – Proctor area.
In 1750, Thomas Walker explored the Three Forks area, and specifically Walker Creek. Later, in the 1760s, other explorers and long hunters, like Daniel Boone, the Skaggs brothers and James Knox explored the Kentucky highlands.