Bowlingtown, Kentucky

In the late 1950's there was a small community near the Perry and Leslie County KY line named Bowlingtown on the middle fork of the Kentucky River. This Eastern Kentucky community was the home for seven generations of Bowling! Boiling families. Early records referred to this area as the Bowling District, founded by the Reverend Jesse Boling, his wife Mary Pennington, the Reverend Duff and 50 other families. Jesse Bowling was the son of Benjamin Bowling of Flat Gap, VA. (1734-1832). They were led to this area under the guidance of Daniel Boone. By the late 1800s, Bowlingtown was a thriving community of hundreds, with a post office, school, churches, grocery store, saw mill, a blacksmith, and the Frontier Nursing Service founded by Mary Breckinridge, granddaughter of Vice President John C. Breckinridge. Local officials included a sheriff, magistrate, justice of the peace and tax commissioner. The citizens were primarily farmers and coal miners. They were known to be patriotic, honest, kind and well educated people. For their time, this was a highly educated population.leave what had been family homes for generations. They were scattered all over the country. Family graves (873) were moved and reinterred at the Buckhorn Cemetery. The area is now the Buckhorn Lake State Park with the Buckhorn Lodge sitting on the hill where the original log cabin schoolhouse was built in the early 1800s, to be replaced in 1924 with a white frame schoolhouse. There is a beach and swimming area where the old cemetery was located. In October of 1999, under the leadership of Jewell Gordon using funds raised locally and a $1,000 grant from the Kentucky Heritage Society, a small sign was erected in front of the lodge describing Bowiingtown's history. There is also a marker inside the lodge on the Boiling Family.
The Editor contacted Jewell Gordon about this story and she advised that in July 2007, the Kentucky State Park Commissioner dedicated the Bowlingtown Country Kitchen which is located on the lower level of the Buckhorn Lodge. Jewell Gordon can be contacted at 661, Olathe Way, Aurora, CO 80011 or by telephone at 303-361-6748.
In 1960, the Army Corps of Engineers decided to build a dam for what was to be called Buckhorn Lake. The property More information on Kentucky History is available at www. was seized by the governrnent and the families were forced to relocate.

Taken from the BFA February 2012 Newsletter and

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