Henderson County, Kentucky Community


In 1862 Morris Ranger, a man known to be a cotton and tobacco king, came to Bottom's Ferry on Green River and began paying exorbitant prices for tobacco. As J.T. Hatchett remembered it, half a century later, Ranger was so sure the Confederates were going to win that he felt tobacco was better currency than greenbacks. He built a large factory and carried on an immense business for a few years, but went bankrupt at the end of the War.

The town acquired a post office in 1877, but by 1885, Starling was sure Ranger's Landing had lost it's identity. Instead, J.T. Hust built one of his tobacco factories there and the ferry continued operation. As late as the 1950s the Saturday Evening Post carried a story to the effect that the ferry took in $25,000 annually.

In 1968, the Bellfield Baptist Church started a mission at Ranger's Landing that has grown into a full-time Baptist church. Although the ferry has closed, Starling's "lost city" is very much alive.

from The Annals and Scandals of Henderson County, Ky.
By Maralea Arnett

Contributed by Leigh Ann Boucher, HCH&GS
Copyright 2002 HCH&GS