Ruddell's and Martin's Stations Historic Association

Martin's Station and

Ruddells & 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 (includes Ruddles, Martins & Grants stations).
  • Organization membership & attendance at the annual gathering is open to descendants and any friend of the organization.
  • Our research site is open to all.

    In June of 1780, the British Empire launched an unprecedented attack on Kentucky. Starting in Detroit with 150 Rangers & Canadian militia, and then gathering 600 - 900 Indians as they made their way South. They attacked Ruddles Station (near Cynthiana, KY) on June 24, and then Martins Station (near Paris, KY) on the 26th. A smaller group also destroyed Grants Station.
    Of the almost 500 settlers, a few were killed on the spot and some along the way, but most ended up in Detroit and further into Canada. Several of them were taken by the Indians (most from Ruddells Station), adopted into their tribes, and were not released up to 15 years later.
    It is estimated 1/10 of the Kentucky population was taken, and then largely forgotten by history until 1999 when RAMSHA was formed. Since then, we attempt to meet every year, conduct tours of historic sites, enjoy educational programs and share the stories of our ancestors.

  • Dear RAMSHA members,

    - We have agreed to meet June 24-25, 2022, with the meeting being held (Saturday, June 25) at Fort Boonesborough during their pioneer Gathering of Descendant's event.

    - On Friday, June 24, activities may include: breakfast in Falmouth McDonalds, 10:00 Bird's War Road, Ruddles Station, lunch in Cynthiana, Ruddles Mill, and an original pioneer built log cabin.

    - On Saturday, June 25, we will have our (private) meeting in the morning, a (*public) program, a table to educate event attenders on RAMSHA, and enjoy the frontier Kentucky speakers & presentations.
    - *We are scheduled to provide a program (Nancy O'Malley, Geophysical Survey of Ruddells Station site) for the event.

    Weekend lodging would best be centered around Lexington, KY, near I-75.
    Alternate would be Richmond (or even Winchester, or Georgetown) area.

    The early 2022 event description at the Fort event: Fort Boonesborough will have a day 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 played a part in the early settlement of Kentucky and those who had ancestors who came to Fort Boonesborough in the 18th century. 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, artifacts from the original fort site, colonial music, book signings, and ongoing historical interpretation of the daily lives, chores, skills and trades of those who came here during that time. Representatives from several historical and genealogical groups will be on site to assist with information on genealogy, early Kentucky cemeteries, early Madison County Family History, RAMSHA, and more.

    - 2023 Gathering, plan for the Maysville (Limestone), Old Washington area.

    This should be what you need for planning your trip. There will be an opportunity at the meeting to catch up with dues. There is no further cost except for fort admission ($5/person) and your meal(s).

    We're looking forward to seeing everyone!
    Jon Hagee - RAMSHA President and the RAMSHA Officers

    RAMSHA Gathering 2021

    - Saturday (June 26) schedule:
    - 9:00: Meet in Cynthiana parking lot, Walmart/McDonalds
    - 9:30: Ruddle's Station (memorial, tours)
    - 11:30: Meeting: Sharing, intro's (Hopewell Museum, Paris, KY)
    - 12:30: Lunch
    - 1:30: Update on the Geophysical Survey of Ruddells Station site.
    - 2:30: Presentation on "Frontier Culture".
    - 3:30: Update on the fence & monument painting/cleaning.
    - 4:30: logo examples, vote
    - 5:00: Sharing of books for sale, etc.
    - 6:00: Meet at local restaurant (optional, post-Gathering fellowship)

    - Friday (June 25) For those of you who are here for the weekend, we are also planning on having a pre-Gathering activity on Friday! Lunch in Falmouth, Ky, then follow Bird's War Road to Cynthiana.
    11:00 am - Meet at Howard’s place in Falmouth, Ky, for lunch and introduction. We will proceed from there to the banks of the Licking River and Bird's landing site. We will then follow the route our ancestors used. (Unfortunately, due to the railroad closing our route, we were unable to complete this part. Next year!!! ) Led by Don Lee.

    RAMSHA Gathering 2020

    Due to the pandemic crisis, we ended up having two Zoom meetings in 2020. Hopefully we'll be able to pick up where we left off in our planning for 2021.

    - A reminder that we have an officer vacancy. Let me know if you're interested in serving in the 2nd Vice President position. You do not have to be a resident of Ky.

    - There was discussion of having a future Gathering in the Maysville / Old Washington area.

    -I am also putting together a Planning Committee. That will formalize the advisory group we've had in the past couple years. Volunteers are welcome. My appreciation to everyone that has been participating in planning!

    Jon Hagee – President RAMSHA

    RAMSHA Gathering 2019 - Blue Licks

    A recap of the 2019 Gathering.

    - Lodging for this weekend was limited at Blue Licks. Other options include Paris, Maysville, Lexington, Georgetown, all within 30 minutes of one of the sites we'll be visiting (Cynthiana/Blue Licks).

    Schedule: RAMSHA Gathering 2019

    We started getting together around 7:30am
    - left from Cynthiana parking lot, McDonalds/Walmart by 8:15
    Here is the google map:'s/@38.379459,-84.3091201,19z
    - travel to Ruddles Station site (some who know the site met us there)
    - time at RS & vault was cut a few minutes short due to the weather
    - travel to Ruddles Mills
    - Ruddles Mill Cemetery
    - travel to Blue Licks/DB Cabin
    - stop at the Daniel Boone cabin, met Julie, the new property owner, cabin deeded to the hist soc
    - stop at Tanner's Station / had a couple flintlock shooting demonstrations
    - skipped the trail walk to the river and around to the spring
    - lunch (buffet together in the restaurant. $9.00, drink $2.50, 18% gratuity and 6% sales tax = $14.38)
    - visiting time after lunch back in the meeting room / registration / dues (Daniel Boone meeting room at the Blue Licks State Park Lodge)
    - program by our own Jon Hagee: "The Lower Blue Licks of the Licking River: Frontier Crossroad"
    - meeting/announcements/tabled discussion/voting
    - short break
    - family stories
    - officially end Gathering.
    - Several took advantage of the 60% discount for the museum. ($2, good museum, all enjoyed it!)

    6:30 - A dozen of us met at Track's restaurant in Carlisle, KY, very nice, great end to the day!

    It was wonderful seeing everyone, our friends & family!

    Jon Hagee – President RAMSHA
    Don Lee & Bill Overbey – RAMSHA Officers

    The 2018 Gathering started on Friday, there was a pre-Gathering tour of the Ruddles Station site, Bird’s War Road and the cemetery at Ruddles Mills. This is a special tour for those that have not been to the station site.

    We also had an optional pre-Gathering visit to the RS property early Saturday morning.

    The 2018 Gathering was on Saturday, June 23, in conjunction with a weekend historical festival at Fort Harrod State Park. This is an annual reenactment, based on the 1780 attacks. The highlights:

    – We got to see Fort Harrod, built on the original site. Many of our ancestors were spent time in other forts, and Fort Harrod was one of the most important.

    “In June of 1777 [Jesse Conway] marched under the command of Colonel John Bowman to Boonsburough where he was under the command of Colonel Boon… in the fall of 1778, the Fort was besieged by the Indians who kept up the siege for nine days and nights… In the spring of 1779 he returned to Harrodsburgh and enlisted again in the company commanded by Captain Isaac Riddle… and stationed at a fort on Licking River and served till the 24th of June 1780 when the fort was taken and the whole garrison made prisoners and the fort was burnt by the British and Indians.” [from Jesse Conway’s deposition, Sept. 5, 1832]

    Here is a slide show of a past reenactment:

    – I have negotiated a special deal for us with the park, your cost for the day is $10 per person, and includes admission to the fort, reenactment at 2pm, your lunch and a special concert that evening ($20+ value).

    – We had our meeting during the day in a private meeting area and enjoyed an excellent program from Shawnee storyteller & singer, Russell Morris.

    – We had an update on our efforts to do Magnetic and Ground Penetrating Radar on the Ruddles Station fort & battlefield site.

    – We have an optional After Hours Gathering, dinner at a local restaurant, then a concert by one of my very favorite Traditional Scottish/Irish bands, Father, Son and Friends.

    – Descendants will be recognized during the day.

    – We had volunteers to be at our booth to tell people about RAMSHA, sell books, register our own people, etc.

    – The event also has various historic demonstrations, fort tours, music, reenactor native & settler camps. This is quite different from the Descendant’s Day at Fort Boonesborough (if you were able to attend that a couple years ago).

    Some who stayed over got to see more activities at Ft. Harrod on Sunday (18th century church service, Native drumming & storytelling & a battle at 2:00.

    A look ahead at tentative future RAMSHA Gathering plans. 2019 to be at Blue Licks State Park. And a special R&MS-based reenactment for 2020.

    2017's RAMSHA Gathering was held on Saturday, June 24.

    We met 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 included a talk from LaRoux Gillespie (Map Your Land for the Rest of the Story!) & Don Lee (History of Bird's War Road) and was at Kinnett Tavern, then a short walk to visit the actual landing site.

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

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

    We had supper with several folks in Ruddle's Mill after visiting the cemetery.

    The general time schedule was:

    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

    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.

  • If you are on Facebook, join our: Ruddell and Martin Stations Historical Association group
  • Join the RAMSHA Email List. To join this group, go to this site, click Join Group:

  • Join RAMSHA.

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