History of Berry, Kentucky

For the City of Berry, it's another milestone in the life of a small city in Kentucky. The city is located along the South Fork of the Licking River and is one of two incorporated cities in Harrison County. On February 27, 2008, we began our celebration of our 141st birthday of the incorporation of Berry, but the city existed as a community much longer. A history of Bourbon, Scott, Harrison and Nicholas counties written in 1882 lists the early pioneers to the Berry area: John Smith and his sons Nathan Smith and John N. Smith; Col. R. W. Porter; William Dickerson; John Burroughs; Jacob Sowders; Haman Million and Abijah De Jarnette. The Smith family from Virginia is said to have purchased approximately 1,500 acres in the area for 12.5 cents an acre. This debt was paid with maple sugar. The Smiths apparently built their first house, a log cabin, along the Licking River near the mouth of Raven Creek.

In 1807, the family built Stony Castle, a large house just west of Berry. The house, which still stands, took its name from the stones brought to the site on ox cars used in its construction.

John Smith is said to have been appointed postmaster for the area in 1829, and later operated the post office out of a large closet in the front parlor of Stony Castle.

During the Civil War, Confederate General John Hunt Morgan commandeered Stony Castle for use as a hospital after one of his two battles in Cynthiana. A state historical marker was dedicated at Stony Castle in December, 1967.

The community apparently gets its name from Col. George W. Berry. He was a wealthy property owner who donated land for the town and built the first store in the community.

The city today is composed entirely of residences with the exception of two business sites, one bank, three churches, and a federal post office. The city owns the streets other than the major thoroughfare State Hwy 1032.

As of 2007, there were 435 residents living in the city limits.

 

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