Settlers of Schultz Creek Valley

G. Sam Piatt

May 18, 2013


PDT Outdoor Columnist

Ohio is not known as a state with many fishing lakes, yet if you check out a 32-year-old state-produced publication labeled “Ohio Fishing Maps,” you’ll see 70 lakes listed for use of the public.

These include Jackson City Reservoir and Jackson Lake.

Jackson Lake is one of the more famous among fishermen. It covers 242 acres and is located just west of Oak Hill in Scioto County. It’s best known for crappie and largemouth bass. Numerous fish attractors have been added to good existing cover for higher fish populations.

Jackson City Reservoir covers 190 acres and is located just west of Jackson in Jackson County. The 58-year-old lake features drop-offs to 30 feet just a few feet from its 8.4 miles of shoreline. Depths range to 50 feet and many fish attractors have been placed.

Rocky Fork Lake, covering 2,080 acres in Highland County, is considered one of the better muskie lakes in Ohio. The deepest hole is about 35 feet but the average depth is much less than that. Its 30 miles of irregular shoreline feature numerous bays where serious fishermen can get away from the pleasure boaters.


The upcoming edition of Bridges magazine will be carrying a story about Brysons General Store, located on Schultz Creek 2.5 miles south of South Shore, at the junction of Ky. 3308 and Ky. 784.

The store has been operating at that spot continuously by the Bryson family for 103 years. It’s open now just on Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., when Bonnie Bryson and her brother, Bob (Shag) are on hand to greet visitors and customers.

Banjo and Guitar pickers and singers perform around the old potbellied stove on the third Saturday of each month.

Yesterday the Bryson Store Bluegrass Pickers performed. The group included Monty Tarr and Carol Jane Wagner on guitars and Larry Roberts on the banjo. Buddy Potter, also a member of the band, on this day sat in a rocker and listened.

Bonnie said the Bryson farm passed down from three greats: grandfather George Dortch, an early Greenup County settler. It was the dowry farm he gave to his daughter Martha who married A.H. Bryson the first. They passed it on to their son J. D. Bryson who married Nan McAllister (daughter of Captain Jack McAllister). They passed it to their son A.H. Bryson the second who was better known as Huse and who started the store along with his wife Elizabeth Callihan Bryson (daughter of Ned Callihan). They passed it on their son Jim — Bonnie and Bob’s dad.

Also among their ancestors are ties to early industry and commerce in addition to farming.

“These include Sebastian Eifort, our great- great uncle, who built the Boone Iron Furnace and later owned and mined fireclay holdings in Carter County, and who also later managed the Hunnewell Iron Furnace for the EK Railroad,” said Bonnie.

“Henry Barrack, our great- great-grandfather who was engaged in iron production at the Boone Furnace; Ned Callihan, our great-great grandfather who worked as a teamster for the EK Railroad; Captain Jack McAllister, who (after the death of his brother Capt. John McAllister) was the master of the packet boat The Fannie Dugan that operated on the Ohio River.

“Our Hannah ancestors worked in the local timber and sawmill industry”


Youngsters age 1-15 who go fishing to catch fish (don’t we all?) will have an excellent chance to do just that when they cast their lines into the waters of a fish hatchery.

The Cave Run Kids Fishing Derby is set for June 1 at the Minor E. Clark Fish Hatchery off Ky. 801 in the shadow of the Cave Run Lake Dam.

Participants will be fishing in ponds stocked with large numbers of rainbow trout, channel catfish, largemouth bass and crappie.

Members of the Northeast Kentucky Fish and Game Club and the Kentucky Houndsmen are sponsoring the tournament. They will be cleaning fish for youngsters and assisting with the casting tournament.

“Kids will have a chance for some big fish, not just small ones,” said Admiral Gary Greene, one of the organizers.

They’ll need to be early risers. The fun starts at 6:30 a.m. and runs to about 11 a.m.

Youngsters must be accompanied by an adult. They should bring a fishing pole, tackle and a cooler for keeping their catch fish, and lawn chairs to sit on.

A variety of baits will be provided, and there’ll be a limited number of fishing poles available for children who need to borrow one.

There will be free food, games, displays and prizes. And each participant gets a “goody bag” and a free T-shirt.

Take the Farmers exit off I-64 just west of Morehead and the hatchery is about four miles south of there.

For more information, call Tom Timmermann at (606) 783-8650.

G. SAM PIATT can be reached at (606) 932-3619 or Gsamwriter@aol.com.