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Historical Marker #103

113 Great Buffalo Trace, Frankfort, KY 40601

According to this historical marker, McAfee Company and Hancock Taylor came here and surveyed area in 1773, and it became an early pioneer stopping place. By 1775, "Leestown" was settled and named by Hancock and Willis Lee and later established by Virginia General Assembly in 1776. Although it was temporarily abandoned in 1777 because of Indian attack, Leestown was reestablished and became well-known shipping port for tobacco, hemp, corn and whiskey to the New Orleans market during the late 18th century. 

In 1783, the Virginia General Assembly had tobacco inspection warehouse erected in Leestown and a hemp factory was here for many years. The "rope walks" was the old-fashioned hand factory for spinning hemp and making rope. Leestown was described as being "west of Lexington on the eastern bank of the Kentucky River" and was located exactly one mile above Frankfort. While several publications have suggested the hemp factory at Leestown was the Kentucky River Mills (see Franklin County Hemp Marker #1164), evidence shows that these were two separate factories that operated during different time periods.

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