Berry’s Ferry and Berry Homesite,

 Ohio River in Livingston County, KY
Located at the end of Highway 133 at the Ohio River, about 15 miles from Salem, the once popular ferry crossing to Golconda, Illinois, is no longer in use. It is now just a reminder of the Cherokee Removal known as the Trail of Tears. Founded in 1798 by James and Sarah Lusk, the ferry rights on the Kentucky side were purchased some years later by John Berry who owned a thousand acres of land along the Ohio River above and below the ferry site.

His large home was built of slave-made bricks and served travelers with accommodations when needed. In 1831, the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky enacted a law that established a voting precinct “which shall be held at the house of John Berry, at the Ferry,” to serve the citizens of Livingston County. Berry died in December of 1839 and the ferry operations continued under various owners until 1942.

Historical Significance: At Berry's Ferry, thousands of Cherokee boarded flatboats to cross the Ohio River during the 1838-39 migrations. This is also the site where, in late December 1838, moving ice forced the ferry to shut down. As a result, hundreds if not thousands of Cherokee were forced to wait - sometimes for weeks - in scattered encampments southeast of the ferry crossing. Adjacent to the ferry site (of which no tangible evidence remains) are scattered remnants that mark the homesite of John Berry, the ferry operator during the late 1830s.