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Quicksand, Kentucky facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Unincorporated community
Country United States
State Kentucky
County Breathitt
Elevation 810 ft (250 m)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 41363
GNIS feature ID 501479

Quicksand is an unincorporated community located in Breathitt County, Kentucky, United States, alongside Quicksand Creek. Its post office closed in 1996.


Since its inception, Quicksand has been known for being "where the Bach's lived," a prolific family whose members also spell their last name as "Back." In the spring of 1791, Joseph Back, his wife Elizabeth Hoffman-Maggard, and their four children (Joseph Jr., John, Mary, and Henry) came from Culpeper County, Virginia and settled there. They were the only settlers, for miles around, in that dense, rugged wilderness. They squatted on some land that was known as "the Round Bottom." This is a section of about 80 acres of very fertile land that is nearly encircled by the curves of Quicksand Creek. The family brought with them an old Family Bible (actually a Catechism). They wrote all sorts of family information onto the pages of that old book. The old Bach Family Bible is now on display at the Breathitt County Library, in Jackson.

In 1797, Joseph, his wife, and their two younger children moved down to some land along the Cumberland River, after their two older sons left home and got married. Joseph died in 1819, and his wife died in 1826. She was the first person to be buried in what became the Maggard Cemetery. In 1836, their son John, his wife Catherine Robertson, and their children moved back into the old family cabin at the Round Bottom. John bought all the land on both sides of the creek, from where it emptied into the Kentucky River, going back up the creek, about eight miles. It totaled 2,500 acres, and he bought it for $2,000 in gold. As the years went by, members of the Bach (and Back) family bought more and more land in and around Quicksand, and they passed it down within the family.

By 1900, John and Catherine's grandson Miles Back owned over 20,000 acres there. Miles was born in 1853. He was married three times (to Clementine Spurlock, Drusilla Keith, and Lenora Watson), and he had at least twenty-two children. He was very well-known and highly respected, throughout Breathitt County. He built a large, two-story house, on a hill overlooking Quicksand Creek. He also established the Miles Back Cemetery behind his house, where he was later buried, along with his second and third wife, and some of his children. Around 1908, Miles sold about 15,000 acres of his land to the Mowbray-Robinson Lumber Company.

Fred Mowbray and Edward Robinson built a massive sawmill along Quicksand Creek, just down the hill from Miles Back's house. From about 1909 until about 1922, their lumber company cut down all of the beautiful forests in that part of Breathitt County. They sold the lumber to the Singer Sewing Machine Company, in South Bend Indiana, which manufactured wooden cabinets for their sewing machines. They made about 10,000 sewing machines a day. However, clear-cutting all those trees created an environmental disaster. In 1923, Fred Mowbray and Edward Robinson donated all of that devastated land to the University of Kentucky, forcing the college and the taxpayers to pay to replant the trees and attempt to fix all the damage. The university established the Robinson Substation there, on Miles Back's land, alongside Quicksand Creek. They replanted some of the trees, but it is impossible to replace the magnificent forests that once graced that area.

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