TriCounty Community Guide 2019 - Page 43

Babourville is a town rich in history with many firsts and folks can visi to experience these and more. Visitors can stop by Dr. Thomas Walker State Park to see a replica of the first cabin in Ke - tucky. Born in Virginia, Thomas Walker studied medicine and became a doctor but also speculated in land. He joined the Loyal Land Company, organized and led the first expedition throug the gap in the mountains, which he named Cum- berland Gap in 1750. His expedition explored thou- sands of acres of land in the western wilderness of Kentucky decades before Lewis and Clark. Near the river, which he named the Cumberland, Walker built a cabin. A replica now stands on part of the land claimed by Dr. Walker at 4929 KY 459 in Barbourville. Continued on 44 >>> FIRST KENTUCKY HOME Nearly a generation before Daniel Boone and 42 years before Kentucky would become a state, Dr. Thomas Walker led a party of explorers through the Cumberland Gap to the western wilderness of Kanta-Ke. Walker set off from his home on March 6, 1750, with five men and seven horses to look for and claim land suitable for settlement as part of the 800,000-acre land grant to the Loyal Company of Virginia.Walker set about naming mountains and waterways, including the Cumberland River, in honor of the Duke of Cumberland. The Dr. Thomas Walker State Historic Site in Barbourville marks the earliest travels of Dr. Walker and includes a replica of the first log cabin in the new ter- ritory that he and his party built there in 1750. The park, located on Kentucky 459, has a putt-putt golf course open seasonally. Call 606-546-4400 for information. The Times-Tribune • Community Guide 2019 — Page 43