Jeff Harvey

Continuing the look at earlier residents of the Bluestone River valley, courtesy of William Sanders II’s book “A New River Heritage, Volume IV” (1994, McClain Publishing), we come to someone already mentioned in passing.

Kensie Rowland (Roland) was the first known mill operator in the valley. He owned the bottom land on both sides of the Gardner Road and the mill was close to the present site of the Bluestone bridge known as the Blue Bridge.

The Rowland property extended to border the Maxey farm and to the old Harold White home built by Riley Griffith.

Rowland had two sons, Dan and Bob. Bob and his wife, “Aunt Kate” lived on the top of Black Lick knob above the Virginia brick plant near Gardner. Kate, who was praised as the last representative of the old pioneer women by Sanders, raised their granddaughter Virginia, who as Virginia Wolford Scott, served Princeton for many years as City Clerk.

The original Kensie Rowland home was located where the New Rich Creek Baptist Church is now.

Next to the church is the property owned by Carlos Farley. Across the river is the old Henry Clay property now owned by Dave Hogan.

South of the Blue Bridge was the John Peck farm going back to the Clay-Pearis and Brown connections. The Malcolm Farley and John Mutter family farms and Sheriff Lewis Farley’s home were also in the area,with the last home being at the entrance of the Nubbins Ridge Road, part of the Shrewsbury-Maxey property.

Jeff Harvey is a freelance reporter and columnist for the Princeton Times. Contact him at

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