Memories of “Stringtown on the Pike in Kentucky”

Jeannette Holland Austin
4 min readJun 14, 2024

Everyone has memories of growing up. The hometown story or adventure may not be exciting, yet it is reminiscent of an earlier time when we cared not for the rigors of adulthood. Life was simple.

Some forty years later, I visited my old home, expecting to look once again at the huge ballfield in my backyard. Yet, to my surprise, it was a small yard!

Samuel Drew, a professor of chemistry at the University of Stringtown, tells the following story from Stringtown on the Pike, a tale of northernmost Kentucky (1901) by John Uri Lloyd:

“When I think of my boyhood, memories of the Kentucky Pike arise, and I recall his boyhood experiences as a barefooted child who, in August's heat, dared to walk barefooted on the road up the hill between noonday and mid-afternoon raised his feet quickly.

“I know of which I speak, for I often relieved my blistering soles by slipping aside into the weed-lined by-paths, preferring them, even if they passed near the honey-locust tree, under which danger lurked in the great brown thorns that always menace the barefooted boy of Kentucky. That pike is yet vivid to memory. Again, I see the dust of ancient times. Again, the sun’s fierce rays force me to be more lazy. Often, I seek a shade tree at the roadside to find the grassy brink of a grateful spring. Leaning over…