It is 1815 and the adventurous McClure family is traveling by flatboat on an exciting journey down the Ohio River. Young Mary and Jonathan watch for sandbars and dangers up ahead, while their parents steer. The boat is loaded with everything the pioneers will need for their new life -- including their nervous horse, cow, pig, and mule. The McClures are eager to reach the country downstream where the rich farmland costs just a dollar an acre and people say you can plant a stick and it will grow. As the brave family journeys toward their future home, readers come along on a vivid trip into the past.