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|About||The RHHS is the trustee and owner of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky. It is our mission to preserve the history and buildings of Rabbit Hash.|
A History of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky
By: Donald E. Clare, Jr.
On the left bank of the Ohio River at mile number 506.1 is nestled the early 19th century river hamlet, Rabbit Hash, Kentucky. It still looks much the same as it has for each preceding generation.
This area of Boone County, Kentucky can trace its settlement as a rural community back to around 1813 when the Boone County Court issued its first ferry covenant bond to Edward Meeks for a ferry boat in this vicinity of the river. Since Kentucky’s official boundary was the low water mark of the Ohio River on the opposite shore, any and all decisions, regulations, and permits concerning the Ohio River fell under Kentucky jurisdiction. Meeks Ferry was actually up river from Rabbit Hash, probably around the mouth of Middle Creek. It was established in order to transport people, livestock, and farm products across the river to the opposite shore of Rising Sun. The town of Rising Sun was laid out and established in 1814, while it was still a part of the North West Territory. Indiana didn’t become a state until 1816. It was about this same time when travel and transportation of goods by the newly developed steamboat was beginning to come into its own. (Several years earlier, in 1811, the very first steamboat, the New Orleans, passed down this portion of the Ohio on its inaugural trip from Pittsburgh to Louisville, and then onto New Orleans.) It became necessary to provide a mode of physical communication between the Kentucky side and the Indiana side of the river as the two settlements extended and population grew. Economy and trade began to rely more and more on river transportation resources, and getting farm products to the steamboats and getting other goods off the steamboats was the business of this early river settlement area. An expansive sandbar on the Kentucky side of the river necessarily prohibited steamboats from being able to land there. Instead, they landed at Rising Sun where the channel was deeper and
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