Our county road signs help preserve some of our long ago history by holding on to the old pioneer family names that lived here, but many times there is more to the story than meets the eye.
Close to the center of Crittenden County leading off of the old Fords Ferry Road there is a road named Pickering Hill. Just another country road you may think as you drive by, but it also has history and mystery connected to its name. It may seem like just an ordinary county road winding its way through the woods and over a steep hill to continue its journey to the Ohio River. In the 1830's this was the main trail that was traveled to get to Fords Ferry in order to cross the river to the Illinois side. Located at Fords Ferry was the ferry boat owned by James Ford, it was then known as Ferry Ohio.
Legend tells us that this is the route that many of the early pioneer lost their lives and never made to the Ferry to cross the Ohio. Many pioneer families traveled this way headed for new land in Illinois and Missouri and points North. A favoriate location for the local outlaws to stop the travelers would be at the foot of Pickering Hill. The outlaws would seem friendly and helpful and get the strangers trust then they would rob them and sometimes murder them and steal their goods and possesions.
Pickering Hill was once the home place of an early pioneer family by the name of William Pickering.
Mr. Pickering was supposedly murdered by one of James Ford's sons. It was thought that Pickering may have been witness to some of the wrong doing that was happening on the road close to his home place. The person or persons that killed him was never proven.
The road still carries the name today, but the murder was never solved and the Pickering family that lived here still remain a mystery today.
The picture above is the view from atop Pickering Hill looking toward the Illinois side. What an absolute beautiful sight, it just takes your breath it is so beautiful. It is one of the many unexpected scenes that we are blessed to have in Crittenden County.