|First Camp Site in Kentucky, Pineville, Ky.|
Dr. Thomas Walker and 5 companions, employed by the Loyal Land Company, came into this region April 14, 1750, to locate lands for settlement in these western reaches of Virginia. His 1750 journal relates that he established a camp at this spot and spent 3 days here, hunting and fishing. He then moved on to the river, which he named Cumberland River. Walker preceded Daniel Boone in Kentucky by 16 years.So many Kentuckians are familiar with Daniel Boone, but few are aware of Dr. Walker. Walker's naming of the Cumberland River preceded the naming of the pass his group took to enter the area, a pass later named Cumberland Gap. Walker was also the first American to discover a use for coal.
After returning from his exploration of the "western frontier" of Kentucky, Walker returned to Virginia. In 1957, he became Thomas Jefferson's guardian as the young Jefferson's father had passed away.Walker, having a grant of 800,000 acres in what would become southeastern Kentucky, remained in Virginia.