Gulliver's Western Travels Spring 2012 travel blog

Hickman's Run Animal Hospital

Hickman Run...standing on the concrete bridge

Looking Down Hickman Run

Business alongside Hickman homestead

In the early 70's, a cousin of my father published a history of the Hickman Family in Henry County Indiana. I knew that several families traveled from the Monongahela River valley to Indiana in 1790. In 1973, the Hickman home was still standing in Fairmont, West Virginia. I decided that we should try and locate the home. Armed with a map traced from my brother's copy of the family history, we set out to find this home. I don't remember all the families that migrated together, but the map has place names that reflect those families. The Ice, Mellet, Hickman, and Cochran families were represented by a ferry and several creeks. We stayed at the Cedar Creek State Park campground near Glenville, WV. It just happeded that camper next to us was from Fairmont. I told him my story and he looked at my map. He was familiar with the place names and said they were still in use. He also pointed out that some of the roads were mislabeled or missing. He helped me fill in the blanks and we took off. Near the homesite is Prickett's Fort, a revolutionary era wilderness fort. I will try and contact their historian to see if I can get more information.(We have no phone/internet for the five days we have camped in West Virginia)

I knew from descriptions that the home was located on a creek called Hickman's Run. In 1973 the structure was standing and it was covered in "ugly tarpaper siding." The creek was described as a drainage ditch covered over with concrete.

We found "Hickman's Run Veterinary Hospital." Bob stopped at the local convenience store and asked some city workers if they knew the name of the creek. They looked it up and verified that Hickman's Run was the name. They also told us that a community up the hill was also called Hickman's Run. We followed the "run" under the interstate to a place where highway 31 (now 310) met highway 73.

The intersection had the Four Corners Ice Cream Parlor. NOTE: Pepperoni rolls were invented in Fairmont. You can buy them in all the convenience stores.

Behind the store, was Hickman's Run. There was an area with concrete over the creek (Maybe a driveway??). Most of it was pretty overgrown with shrubs and trees, but I did see a fallen storage building covered in tarpaper. I might have seen some of the foundation of a home. I feel pretty confident that this corner was the location of the "Hickman House."

When we returned to the campground, our neighbors asked about our exploration. Danny was very interested in the story of the Ice Family. He knew someone who lived along "Ice's Run." Mary Ice was a young girl who was captured by the Indians. She grew up and married within the tribe. She is the mother of a great leader, Tecumseh. Our family history has a sketch of Tecumseh wearing a locket with a woman's face. I can't remember if this incident happened in West Virginia or after they moved to Indiana. It's a good story anyway.

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