Liberty Station

Liberty Station, Owen county, Kentucky, is on the new short-line railroad from Cincinnati to Louisville.  It will doubtless be much more important than any other station on the road.  It’s near proximity to the flourishing towns of New Liberty, three-and-a-half miles south; and the town of Ghent, ten miles to the north; and surrounded by a body of rich, high rolling, and fertile lands, occupied by an industrious, frugal population, will concentrate at this point an amount of trade and travel much beyond that which will be gathered at any other point on the [rail]road.

There is near this station sulphur springs, as valuable for their medicinal qualities as any in the western country.  These springs, known as the Sanders’ Sulphur Springs, have been of public notoriety for their great healing and health restoration qualities for fifty years, even from the first settling of this country.  The largest spring is within 200 yards of the depot.  It is no great stretch of the imagination to perceive now what a wonderful watering place these Sanders Springs will soon become.  They are situated midway between two great cities of Cincinnati and Louisville, only about two hours travel from either, with sulphur water as pure as the Virginia White Sulphur and as healthful as the Upper Blue Licks.  We may expect to a certainty that these springs will be to our cities, in a few years, what the Saratoga Springs are to the cities of the east.

The early history of these springs and the Valley of Eagle creek is very exciting and romantic.  The very rolling condition of all the counties bordering on the Ohio river is well known.  Their continuous lofty undulations of high hills and low hollows rise and fall to the extent of 300 feet, running parallel with the river from Pittsburg to the mouth of the Salt river.  Every 20 or 30 miles a dividing ride makes its appearance, passing north and south, as if designed by nature’s God for a great natural highway, for travel, for men and animals.  Such a ridge comes in from the direction of Lexington and Georgetown, and after meandering through the center of Owen county, passing by the handsome own of Owenton and the very pretty town of New Liberty, terminates on Eagle creek at one of the celebrated Sanders Springs, in full view of the Liberty Depot.  This great natural highway had been traveled hundreds of years before Daniel Boone’s and Finley’s discovery.  A numerous host of wild animals, in making their way from a large district of country to get to the salt property in these waters, traveled so constantly along this natural highway that they made a large road track, and since they passed down Eagle hill to get to these springs, the road bed is to be seen to this day.  There is a spring on each side of the creek.  Around these springs in the valley of Eagle creek was, of course, the great base for the congregation of the innumerable company of all kinds of wild animals, and of course the great resort for our early hunters.

The waters at these springs, and at Big Bone and Upper Blue Lick, are said to contain the same qualities.  At all three of these springs were gathered together more of the wilds of nature, more buffalo, elk, bear, deer, bear, and even the mastodon, the wonder of the world, than at any other place in all the Western country, and therefore around these congregated more than anywhere else, the numerous roving bands of wild Indians.  These were their hunting grounds and used by several different [Indian] nations for that purpose alone.  They often made war upon each other and here was their battleground, also.  Many monuments of Indian warfare are to be seen in the Eagle creek valley and near these springs even to this day.

As the railroad cars pass down the wide valley of Eagle creek, the scenery is grand and romantic.  One day these high elevations will be adorned with splendid country residences for retired city merchants.  This wide, beautiful Eagle creek valley will be laid off in garden plats, handsomely cultivated for city markets.


Signed “J.M.C.“ It's likely from a letter to one of the Louisville or Cincinnati papers of the day.  Here, as reprinted in the Kentucky Explorer, July/August 2013.