The Ferry at Poosey Ridge
The Ferry at Poosey Ridge
I knew about a lot of the ferries on the Kentucky River as it circles Madison County, but did not remember there being one at the end of Poosey Ridge. The road deadends at the river bank. However, I am now told that there used to be a ferry there. As a matter of fact there were two Upper Hunter's ferry at Poosey and Lower Hunter's ferry about a mile downstream. Opened before 1900 and run last by Thomas Warren, the ferry at Poosey closed in 1943. Have you driven down Poosey Ridge lately? I was there last summer. The big tornado blew away Whitaker's store at Cottonburg, but I stopped at Stocker's store, formerly run by Owen Click, for Ashland gas and a big orange. According to an 1877 deed, the road we know as Poosey Ridge was once called Goggin's Ferry Road. I personally remember ferries at Valley View, Boonesborough, Doylesville, and College Hill. Clay's ferry is preserved in name as you cross the 1-75 bridge over the Kentucky River. In an earlier column, co-author Robert Grise lists ferries of which I have no knowledge: Cleveland's Landing ferry running to the Madison side from the mouth of Boone's Creek in Fayette County (there is a Cleveland Road still in Fayette), Carver's ferry, Sanders ferry near the mouth of Paint Lick Creek, and Goggin's ferry on the road from Kirksville to the river just across the Garrard County line. He says that Hunter's ferry was at the mouth of Silver Creek. Going up the river Grise lists Combs ferry, Larimore ferry at the mouth of Muddy Creek, Cobb and Oldham ferries operating between Madison and Estill Counties. He also names the ones I just called Doylesville and College Hill; Jackson ferry and Noland's ferry respectively. On the far side of the last one was Clark County and the mouth of the Red River. The oldest ferry was established at Boonesborough in 1775. Clay's ferry was originally called Stone's ferry after Valentine Stone and it began operation in 1792. Being almost circled by the Kentucky River, Madison County has had numerous ferries over the years. Doylesville and College Hill ferries operated until the 1950s. Today only Valley View is left. Some people put a 1797 date on Goggins ferry and also mention the road by that name. As for the name Poosey, it comes from a tribe of Indians who lived in the vicinity and were called Poos. They went along the ridge from their encampment to the Berea area to trade. This route became known as Poos's Ridge, which was later corrupted into Poosey Ridge.
Dr. Fred Engle
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Dr. Fred Engle, “The Ferry at Poosey Ridge,” Madison's Heritage Online, accessed January 30, 2023, https://madisonsheritage.eku.edu/items/show/930.