While paddling on the Mayors Hike, Bike, and Paddle up the Ohio to Beargrass Creek, see if you can identify two interesting sites that could help tell the story of the life and history of Beargrass Creek.
The two photographs above are a testimony to the ability of nature to heal and restore itself. Jim Bruggers with CJ wrote a special report on Beargrass Creek: Troubled Stream: Neglect, Abuse. The May 2011 photo is of the location where a VW Bug sat in the creek for over 30 years. Today, you can not tell it was there. Some neat news is that Bernheim Forest is coordinating a riparian restoration project on this property .
The building of the 1850 Beargrass Creek canal, moving the mouth of Beargrass about two miles upstream, had many impacts on our city. At the time Louisville was the 10th largest city, and was actively building a robust sewer system. Check out the history here. According to Wikipdia, there was a Fort Elstner between Frankfort Ave. and Brownsboro Road that housed over 1,000 soldiers as part of the Louisville defence system. As you paddle along the creek you are able to see evidence of Louisville’s evolving transportation system - railroad, barge, and road access.
You can see seven bridges, all of different ages, along the paddling portion of the Hike, Bike, and Paddle route. I have also seen many old bridge abutments. In the photo below there are two different bridge abutments in the creek right near Home of the Innocents.
Make plans to join us on Memorial Day for the Mayor’s Hike, Bike, and Paddle. Explore the historical, ecological and recreational opportunities of our waterfront. There are maps, directions, agendas, etc. on the web site.
For a complete history of the waterfront and the confluence area with Beargrass Creek refer to Rick Bell’s new book "Louisville’s Waterfront Park".
For more interesting topics related to archaeology, visit archaeology excavations.