Ruddell's and Martin's Stations Historic Association

Martin's Station and

Ruddles & Martins Stations Historical Association (RAMSHA) is a Kentucky-based organization dedicated to remembering and honoring the inhabitants of the forts involved with the historic event that took place in frontier Kentucky in June of 1780.
  • Membership & attendance at the annual gathering is open to any friend of the organization.
  • Our research site is open to all.
  • Here is the schedule for this year's RAMSHA Gathering, Saturday, June 24, 2017.

    We will be meeting at The Kennett Tavern in Falmouth, KY. Kennett Tavern is at Main and Shelby in downtown Falmouth, near the river bridge. (From 27, take 22 North into town.) The city has a beautiful and spacious conference room, some of you will remember us meeting there before.

    It is located a short walk from Birds landing site on the river and it is actually on Bird's war Road (Main street). This is a very historic building that was constructed just 9 years after Bird's forces and our ancestors passed through on their way to Detroit. It has been restored except for the upper floors which remain untouched. The county was established in 1793 and the first meetings were held in this building. It was a Tavern, inn and stage coach stop between Cincinnati and Lexington.

    Our meeting and speakers include a talk from LaRoux Gillespie (Map Your Land for the Rest of the Story!) & Don Lee (History of Bird's War Road) and will be at Kinnett Tavern, then a short walk to visit the actual landing site.

    I am arranging for some artifacts from Ruddle's Station to be available during the meeting.

    After lunch at a local restaurant we will motorcade over Bird's War road, ending the day at Ruddell's Fort near Cynthiana, KY.

    We are working on something for the early evening for those who want to stick around (includes supper).

    The general time schedule is:

    9:00 registration/meeting
    11:30 walk to River
    12:00 lunch
    2:00 Bird's War Road
    4:00 Ruddles Station
    5:30 - after hours activities

    See you there,

    Jon Hagee
    RAMSHA President

    The 2016 Gathering was held in association with the frontier Descendants Day at Fort Boonesborough. We began the day with a visit to Ruddles Station historic site / vault. At Fort Boonesborough, we were able to enjoy fort & event attractions at Ft. Boonesborough including 18th century Surveyor & several authors.
    - 1:00 - Music Concert by RAMSHA's President Jonathan Hagee, Colonial Balladeer, featuring British Isles Ballads & Pub Songs from 1780 in the 1780's Tavern Blockhouse.
    - 2:00 - enjoy fort & Descendant's Day event including KY Secretary of State Land Office speaker - Early land acquisition/Patent process.
    - 3:00 - RAMSHA's own LaRoux Gillespie - in the Orientation Blockhouse - will present the story of Christian Spears, the Burgers and many of the other Ruddle's Settlement captives.
    - 4:00 - Private RAMSHA meeting - in the Orientation Blockhouse. (Not on the BB schedule.) Sharing stories, organization news, officer reports.

    - 5:30pm - short hike/visit to Lower Howard's Creek (Many of our ancestors were at other forts before Ruddles & Martins Stations, this is the beautiful preserved pioneer/Indian route from BB to Ruddles & Blue Licks. You will be walking in the footsteps of our ancestors & the British & Indians).
    Here are some photos from a trip we took a few years ago on Lower Howard's Creek.
    - 6:00pm supper at historic/scenic "Halls on the River", site of pioneer settlement (frontier land route traveling N. from BB towards ). Restaurant is right next to trailhead.

    - Holder Trail, mouth of Lower Howard's Creek (on the Kentucky River):

    A link to Halls on the River restaurant.

    Here is a description of the Fort sponsored event:
    Fort Boonesborough “A Gathering of Descendants” – 6/18/2016 to 6/19/2016 – Fort Boonesborough will have a weekend that we hope will remind folks of what homecomings and family reunions are about, with a bit of a twist! We want to welcome everyone who had ancestors who came to Fort Boonesborough in the 18th century and played a part in the early settlement of Kentucky. We will have resources and information available about many of the folks who were here in those early days, ideas of where to find genealogical information, museum exhibits of artifacts from the original fort site, authors on hand to sign books about early days of the fort, the people, and surrounding areas, and ongoing historical interpretation of the daily lives, chores, skills and trades of those who came here during that time. Representatives from the Dr. Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, The Society of Boonesborough, Eastern Kentucky Library and Archives, and some local Historical Societies will be on here to assist with information on Genealogy, early Kentucky cemeteries, early Madison county Family History, and more. This event is free with regular paid admission to the fort.

    The June 13, 2015 Gathering started with a visit to the site of Ruddle's Station & the Lair Vault. Our meeting was then held in association with the Fort Boonesborough “A Gathering of Descendants” which brings together the descendants of pioneers which passed through Fort Boonesborough. Several of the RAMSHA ancestors were at Fort Boonesborough (and other KY forts) before coming to Ruddles & Martins Stations.
    Unfortunately, the day was marred by the news that the newly elected RAMSHA President was badly injured in a car wreck on his way to the day's events. Our appreciation to the other officers who stepped up and did a great job filling in.

    Message from outgoing President Don Lee:
  • Due to the recent loss of my wife Elizabeth and partner of 54 years I have been in a period of deep grief and sadness, so, Jon, Bill and Nancy have stepped up and worked on our Gathering for this year and They have done a great job too. So here is their outstanding plan for Gathering 2014. Come out and join us for a wonderful day. Bring a friend with you. Everyone is welcome.
    Don Lee - President
    Ruddell & Martin Stations Historical Association

  • RAMSHA Gathering 2014 was held on June 14 at Blue Licks State Park. This weekend was focused on the buffalo traces of frontier Kentucky, pathways of the hunters, militia & settlers of Ruddles (and Martins) Stations. The importance of places like the Lower Blue Licks and their connections with those forts.
    Our speaker was the very knowledgeable and engaging Quinton Tyree of the Park Staff who presented an analysis of the Battle of Blue licks fought, at the Park location August 19, 1782, by three Kentucky units of the Kentucky Militia versus the British and Indian forces. Second a three-person group from West Virginia, Thadd McClung, his son Ayden and Bill Hunt came as the King's 8th Regiment of Detroit who (along with Canadian militia and several hundred Indians) took the Kentucky forts in 1780. They gave a fascinating presentation of the uniform, gear, and firearm of a British Regular Soldier.
    President Don Lee made the announcment that he was stepping down and that fellow Co-Founder & 1st Vice President Jonathan Hagee (who was then unanimously elected) had been nominated by the Board to replace him. Jon was the first person to put up a Ruddles Station web site, is the descendant of more than one KY pioneer and RevWar soldier (is a Kenton descendant), including John Conway, Ruddles Station builder & founder, who was Jon's mother's 6th great grandfather. For the past 2 decades, Jon has been a frontier KY reenactor, lecturer & musician and has been instrumental in organizing many of our past Gatherings.
    A new officer role was then created; President Emeritus, of which the first person elected to fill that position was Don Lee.
    Following lunch at the Hidden Waters Restaurant of the Park, Jon Hagee and Quinton Tyree led the group to the junction of the Buffalo Trace and battlefield where they described the battle that had taken place there August 19, 1782. The pioneers had passed through the ruins of the abandoned Ruddells Station immediately before the Battle of Blue Licks.
    Then Jon led a caravan to Tanner's Station which is a recreated 1784 fortified blockhouse. From there he led the group to Nicholas County to the last cabin in Kentucky occupied by Daniel Boone and family prior to moving to Missouri. Next the caravan proceeded to Ruddles Mill to the Old Stonermouth Presbyterian Cemetery where Isaac and Elizabeth Bowman Ruddell are buried. Then the caravan drove by the old mill site on its way to the farm of Dunny and B. T. Darnell (who was with us all day) to the site of Ruddell's Station and the Burial Vault on the bank of the South Licking River.
  • The 2013 Gathering was on Saturday, June 22. After the program & lunch, we visited the Ruddles Station site.
  • There was no RAMSHA Gathering in 2012.
  • The 2011 Gathering was held at Biancke's Restaurant in Cynthiana, KY, featuring a wonderful performance by Mel Hankla as George Rogers Clark and some colonial music from our own 1st VP Jonathan Hagee ( ). Following lunch we made our annual visit to the site of Ruddle's Station on the Licking River.

  • The RAMSHA officers made a presentation of thanks on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010 to the Assembly Cafe.

  • The 2010 Gathering was held in the Kinnett Tavern June 26, 2010. Kinnett Tavern, a Federal Style Structure, was built in 1790 and sites along Bird's War Road in Falmouth, Kentucky.

    We were spellbound by The Eva Lail Story (Character presentation by Bonnie Strassell) and heard from Robert Francis, one of our beloved founding members, then discussed the Ruddell's Station bricks memorial project.

    We also heard from Ray Jackson (A Grant's Fort descendent) via videoconference:

    We hope this helps you understand the involvement of Grant's Station in the June 1780 incursion against the Kentucky Forts. It is our wish to involve these descendents in RAMSHA.

    After an excellent lunch at Assembly Cafe we walked down to the Licking River to the British & Indian landing site (Forks of the Licking) then motorcade along the exact road cut by Capt Bird and his forces as they went to attack Ruddells & Martin stations. This is the same route on which they returned with captives enroute back to Detroit.

    The day was ended with ceremony at Ruddle's Station near Cynthiana, Kentucky.

  • Gathering 2009 was our 11th anniversary, held at the Bourbon County Fairgrounds, Paris KY and featured a guided tour of Capt Henry Bird's War Road from Falmouth to the Stations.

  • The 2007 & 2008 Ruddles & Martin Stations Gatherings were held at The Historic Village of Ruddells Mill. Here is Don's report:

    On Friday, June 13 there will be a time for preparation and setting up equipment and tents, etc. Volunteers are welcome, so come on out and help. Our Gathering 2008 will be held on June 14 and 15. It will be a joint reunion with Historic Ruddles Mills, Inc., in the Village of Ruddles Mills, Kentucky. Our usual meeting will be at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 14 in the Ruddles Mills Christian Church shelterhouse across the street from the Church. We will conduct a business meeting to discuss the business of the association. The meeting will conclude with a lunch served at noon or there about. Antique and a flea market vendors will be set up in the village. At 3:30 p.m. there will be a tour of historical houses. Remember Ruddles Mills is one of the oldest continual settlements in Kentucky. First there is the Stephens House built before 1790 and hosted by owners BC and Beth Wyatt, then there is a tour of the Trabue House, two story log home built by Isaac Ruddell about 1790. This home has been totally and beautifully restored by the present owner Frank & Lally House. Frank is a master gun maker and personally made the blacksmith nails to match the original nails used by Isaac Ruddell. Frank also handmade the shakes for the roof with a drawknife. As I said Frank and Lally are very versatile and talented people. Frank made the weapons used in the Movies, Mel Gibson's "The Patriot," "Pirates of the Caribbean " and Russell Crow's "Master and Commander, far side of the world." Frank was Master Armor on "The Patriot" and made the rifles and pistols you see Mel Gibson use in the movie. Mel is a friend and has been a guest in their home. at 7:30 p.m. Frank and Lally will host a barbecue dinner under the trees on the grounds of Trabue House. This is a chance of a lifetime. The historic House tour and Dinner will be by "Ticket only." So you need to make arrangements to purchase tickets. We are doing this for security and privacy reasons. Sunday morning, June 15, 8:30, a.m. we will serve a Ham Breakfast at "The Foley Home." Start your day with The smell of ham, eggs and coffee served by Hostess and Historic Ruddles Mills President, Michelle Foley. at 1 p.m. "The Dedication" of the Isaac & Elizabeth Ruddell Monument in the Mouth of Stoner Cemetery. afterward we form a motorcade and proceed to a tour of the Ruddell & Martin Station Fort sites. Come join us for two exciting fun filled days.

    Don Lee, President

  • In the spring of 2007, we had a special event at a NEW reenactment of the 1780 attack on Ruddles Station.

    We had fifty RAMSHA members attending. Jon was there both as a reenactor and also representing the Simon Kenton family. Bill Overbey & Jon staffed the booth for RAMSHA, representing the John Conway family.

    The location was a beautiful new Kentucky State Park park called Boone's Station. This is the farm that Daniel Boone and his family established during and after the frontier era. This site has more reenactment information:

    Here is the script for the drama/reenactment.

    Here are some photos:

    Previous year's meeting topics for discussion included Jon Hagee's presentation on:

  • A Ruddles Station boy held captive for over a decade who even fought along with his Shawnee captives against Simon Kenton.
  • Another fort attacked at the same time as Ruddles and Martins.
  • Was the fort attacked twice, in the Spring as well as the Summer of1780 and what damage was done?

    We were unable to visit Martin's Station due to construction.

    In 2004, our own Jon Hagee made a presentation on the Early Frontier, including clothing, gear and other artifacts.

    In 2003 we were entertained and informed by Simon Kenton and SimonGirty/Shawnee authority Barbara Lehman of Urbana, Ohio who made a presentation on the Munger/Girty connection as well as background on the Shawnee, who participated in the capture of Ruddles and Martin's Stations.

    In 2002 Archaeologist Nancy O'Malley brought us exciting news from the Ruddles Station site and we enjoyed a uniformed flintlock salute by the Sons of the American Revoution. In 2001, Donald Drewry who dresses 1780's entertained us with period music and storytelling.

    Here is a list of area lodging, dining and other points of interest, etc.

    Questions to Don Lee at (859)654-3848 or

  • Jon Hagee's (the original) Ruddle's Station page.

  • Our comprehensive Ruddle's and Martin's Fort Research Site. Our sincere thanks to founding member Bob Francis.

  • I have gathered some research on Grant's Station which was also attacked June 1780.

  • Join the RUDDLESFORT Discussion Group hosted by Rootsweb. The group is designed to bring together folks interested in this event and time period. To join this group, all you have to do is follow the directions given below:
    RUDDLESFORT Mailing List to subscribe send message to In body of message put only"subscribe". This mailing list comes to you Courtesy of Jon Hagee and Bob Francis.

  • President's Report of the 2002 Gathering.

  • Lodging and Attractions in the Ruddle's and Martin's Stations area.

  • Join RAMSHA.

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