Flatboat Picture on Sandy Creek Landing Plaque

Sandy Creek Landing

This creek area, known as Sandy Creek Landing in the late 1700s and early 1800s, was mostly used by the early settlers of Spencer County. Points East and West were located directly across the river from the Blackford Creek. The settlement on Blackford Creek in Kentucky was known as Fort Blackford. It was located near the Kentucky Trail known as Warrior Trail running from Owensboro to Hardinsburg, Kentucky. Prospective settlers were camped in Lewis-Blackford bottoms waiting for the Delaware Indians and the United States Government to sign a treaty.

In 1804, the treaty was signed and immediately many crossed here to start a new life. The year 1805 saw hundreds of Pioneers following this trail to settle in Hammond, Huff, Ohio, Grass, Carter, Clay and Jackson Townships. It is estimated that 9 out of 10 Pioneers settling in Spencer County came using this trail between the years of 1800-1830.

The nearest land office was located in Vincennes, IN and required a 3 day trip on horseback from the Sandy Creek Landing area by way of Sandy Creek Landing-Selvin-Vincennes Trail. Some settlers never requested their claim and built their cabin knowing that later they would move on.

Documentation doesn't appear of a ferry license until 1866, when Samuel Near was awarded a license to operate such a ferry between Sandy Creek and Blackford Creek. It is also recorded that Ruben Grigsby, Jr. operated a ferry in 1829. The early custom was to conduct such a ferry and was by mutual agreement between landowners on each side of the river.

The Town of Grandview was settled in 1807

Thomas Lincoln Picture on Sandy Creek Landing Plaque

Thomas Lincoln

Though many remarkable families crossed the Ohio River from Kentucky to Sandy Creek Landing in the early 19th century, none ever became more prominent than the Lincolns. Thomas Lincoln, along with his wife, Nancy, and two children, Sarah and Abraham, crossed the Ohio River into Indiana in December of 1816 in an effort to make a better life for himself and his family.

The Lincolns settled about 17 miles north of Grandview near Little Pigeon Creek where Thomas and Abraham set to work carving a home from the Indiana wilderness. Father and son worked side by side to clear the land, plant the crops and build a home. Although Abraham was only eight, he was handed an axe and put to work helping to clear fields, chop wood, and split rails for fences. Abe once referred to the axe as "that most useful tool!"

Thomas found that his skills as a carpenter and cabinetmaker were in demand as the community grew. He soon became busy building homes and furniture for his pioneer neighbors. One particular neighbor; William Wood, said, "Thomas Lincoln built my home, ran up the stairs, and made all the furniture for my home." Many examples of Thomas' furniture making skills are still extant throughout the community.

Thomas Lincoln was not only a skilled craftsman but was a highly successful farmer as well. According to Dennis Hanks, Thomas often traveled the Ohio River in self-made flatboats selling surplus livestock and crops left over from the fall harvest. A close neighbor, David Turnham, purchased 100 head of hogs and 500 bushel of corn from Thomas prior to the Lincolns leaving Indiana for Illinois.

Donated by Spencer County Historical Society
and Grandview Aluminum Products, Inc.