Calvert City To Paducah To Monkey's Eyebrow To Bandana To La Center To Wickliffe To Cairo And ....
Love's Truck Stop
October 14, 2022
Almost before I got started yesterday, I came across communities named "Cloud Crossing" and "Possum Trot." (Did you know that opossums and possums are different animals? Perhaps the easiest way to tell the difference is geographically -- possums are native to Australia, New Zealand, and China, while opossums live in America and Southern
Canada. So perhaps this community should be named "Opossum Trot?")
I am doing a pretty good job of driving US 60 or at least staying close to it.
Paducah (/pəˈduːkə/ pə-DOO-kə) is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of McCracken County, Kentucky. The largest city in the Jackson Purchase region, it is located at the confluence of the Tennessee and the Ohio rivers, halfway between St. Louis, Missouri, to the northwest and Nashville, Tennessee, to the southeast. As of the 2020 census, the population was 27,137, up from 25,024 during the 2010 U.S. Census. Twenty blocks of the city's downtown have been designated as a historic district and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Paducah was first settled as "Pekin" around 1821 by European Americans James and William Pore. The town was laid out by explorer and surveyor William Clark in 1827 and renamed Paducah.
Although local lore long connected this name to an eponymous Chickasaw chief "Paduke" and his band of "Paducahs", authorities on the Chickasaw have since said that there was never any chief or tribe of that name, or anything like it. The Chickasaw language does not have related words. Instead, historians believe that Clark named the town for the Comanche people of the western plains. They were known by regional settlers as the Padoucas, from a Spanish transliteration of the Kaw word Pádoka or the Omaha Pádoⁿka.
(Oops -- sorry for the one photo that is rotated 180 degrees.)
Incorporation, steamboats and railroads
Paducah was formally established as a town in 1830 and incorporated as a city by the state legislature in 1838. By this time, steam boats traversed the river system, and its port facilities were important to trade and transportation. In addition, developing railroads began to enter the region. A factory for making red bricks, and a foundry for making rail and locomotive components became the nucleus of a thriving "River and Rail" economy.
Paducah became the site of dry dock facilities for steamboats and towboats, and thus headquarters for many barge companies. Because of its proximity to coalfields further to the east in Kentucky and north in Illinois, Paducah also became an important railway hub for the Illinois Central Railroad. This was the primary north-south railway connecting the industrial cities of Chicago and East St. Louis to the Gulf of Mexico at Gulfport, Mississippi, and New Orleans, Louisiana. The Illinois Central system also provided east-west links to the Burlington Northern and the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railways (which later merged to become the BNSF Railway).
In 1924 the Illinois Central Railroad began construction at Paducah of their largest locomotive workshop in the nation. Over a period of 190 days, a large ravine between Washington and Jones streets was filled with 44,560 carloads of dirt to enlarge the site, sufficient for the construction of 23 buildings. The eleven million dollar project was completed in 1927 as the fourth-largest industrial plant in Kentucky. The railroad became the largest employer in Paducah, having 1,075 employees in 1938.
As steam locomotives were replaced through the 1940s and 1950s, the Paducah shops were converted to maintain diesel locomotives. A nationally known rebuilding program for aging diesel locomotives from Illinois Central and other railroads began in 1967. The shops became part of the Paducah and Louisville Railway in 1986. In the early 21st century, they are operated by VMV Paducahbilt.
At the outset of the Civil War, Kentucky attempted to take a neutral position. However, when a Confederate force occupied Columbus, a Union force under General Ulysses S. Grant responded by occupying Paducah. Throughout most of the war, Col. Stephen G. Hicks was in charge of Paducah, and the town served as a massive supply depot for Federal forces along the Ohio, Mississippi, and Tennessee river systems.
On December 17, 1862, under the terms of General Order No. 11, US forces required 30 Jewish families to leave their long-established homes. Grant was trying to break up a black market in cotton, in which he suspected Jewish traders were involved. Cesar Kaskel, a prominent local Jewish businessman, dispatched a telegram of complaint to President Lincoln and met with him. As there were similar actions taken by other Jewish businessmen and loud complaints by Congress about the treatment of their constituents, Lincoln ordered the policy to be revoked within a few weeks.
On March 25, 1864, Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest raided Paducah as part of his campaign northward from Mississippi into Western Tennessee and Kentucky. He intended to re-supply the Confederate forces in the region with recruits, ammunition, medical supplies, horses and mules, and especially to disrupt the Union domination of the regions south of the Ohio River. Known as the Battle of Paducah, the raid was successful in terms of the re-supply effort and in intimidating the Union, but Forrest returned south. According to his report, "I drove the enemy to their gunboats and fort; and held the city for ten hours, captured many stores and horses; burned sixty bales of cotton, one steamer, and a drydock, bringing out fifty prisoners." Much of the fighting took place around Fort Anderson on the city's west side, in the present-day Lower Town neighborhood; most buildings in the neighborhood postdate the war, as most of the neighborhood was demolished soon after the battle to deny any future raids the advantage of surprise that they had enjoyed during the battle. Among the few houses that were not destroyed is the David Yeiser House, a single-story Greek Revival structure.
Later having read in the newspapers that 140 fine horses had escaped the raid, Forrest sent Brigadier General Abraham Buford back to Paducah, to get the horses and to keep Union forces busy there while he attacked Fort Pillow in Tennessee. His forces were charged with a massacre of United States Colored Troops among the Union forces whom they defeated at the fort. On April 14, 1864, Buford's men found the horses hidden in a Paducah foundry, as reported by the newspapers. Buford rejoined Forrest with the spoils, leaving the Union in control of Paducah until the end of the War.
1937 Ohio River flood
In a far-reaching flood, on January 21, 1937, the Ohio River at Paducah rose above its 50-foot flood stage, cresting at 60.8 feet on February 2 and receding again to 50-feet on February 15. For nearly three weeks, 27,000 residents were forced to flee or to stay with friends and relatives in higher ground in McCracken or other counties. The American Red Cross and local churches provided some shelters. Buildings in downtown Paducah still bear historic plaques that define the high water marks.
Driven by 18 inches of rainfall in 16 days, along with sheets of swiftly moving ice, the Ohio River flood of 1937 was the worst natural disaster in Paducah's history and elsewhere in the Ohio Valley. The earthen levee was ineffective against this flood. As a result, Congress authorized the United States Army Corps of Engineers to build the flood wall that now protects the city.
In 1950, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission selected Paducah as the site for a new uranium enrichment plant. Construction began in 1951 and the plant opened for operations in 1952. Originally operated by Union Carbide, the plant has changed hands several times. Martin Marietta, its successor company Lockheed-Martin, and now the United States Enrichment Corporation have operated the plant in turn. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), successor to the AEC, remains the owner. The plant was closed in June 2013, and the Department of Energy began the process of decontaminating and shutting down the facilities.
(On the left is the Ohio River and on the right is the Tennessee River)
(I thought of my mom when I saw this museum. She was a quilter and if I am not mistaken, had one hang in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.)
Paducah has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa) with four distinct seasons and is located in USDA hardiness zone 7a. Spring-like conditions typically begin in mid-to-late March, summer from mid-to-late-May to late September, with fall in the October–November period. Seasonal extremes in both temperature and precipitation are common during early spring and late fall; severe weather is also common, with occasional tornado outbreaks in the region. Winter typically brings a mix of rain, sleet, and snow, with occasional heavy snowfall and icing. The city has a normal January mean temperature of 34.6 °F (1.4 °C) and averages 13 days annually with temperatures staying at or below freezing; the first and last freezes of the season on average fall on October 25 and April 8, respectively. Summer is typically hazy, hot, and humid with a July daily average of 78.9 °F (26.1 °C) and drought conditions at times. Paducah averages 48 days a year with high temperatures at or above 90 °F (32 °C). Snowfall averages 8.9 inches (23 cm) per season, contributing to the average annual precipitation of 50.32 inches (1,280 mm). Extremes in temperature range from 108 °F (42 °C) on July 17, 1942, and June 29, 2012, down to −15 °F (−26 °C) on January 20, 1985.
As of the census of 2010, there were 25,024 people, 11,462 households, and 6,071 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,251.0 people per square mile (483.0/km2). There were 12,851 housing units at an average density of 642.5 per square mile (248.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 70.99% White, 23.67% African American, 0.22% Native American, 1.02% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.07% from other races, and 3.01% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 2.68% of the population.
There were 11,462 households, out of which 26.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.5% were married couples living together, 16.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 47.0% were non-families. 41.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.09 and the average family size was 2.84.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 21.8% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 24.4% from 25 to 44, 27.7% from 45 to 64, and 18.2% who were 65 or older. The median age was 41.4 years. For every 100 females, there were 85.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $31,220, and the median income for a family was $42,645. Males had a median income of $36,778 versus $27,597 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,430. About 18.1% of families and 22.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.3% of those under age 18 and 12.8% of those age 65 or over.
As of the census of 2000, there were 26,307 people, 11,825 households, and 6,645 families residing in the city.
The river continues to be a prominent source of industry for Paducah. Twenty-three barge companies have their operating or corporate headquarters in Paducah. In 2017, the city of Paducah opened a 340-foot transient boat dock that provides space for transient boaters to tie up for a few hours or several nights, increasing tourism in the city. Amenities include fuel (diesel and marine grade gasoline), water, power pedestals, and a sewer pumpout station (seasonal for water and sewer amenities).
Just outside the Paducah city limits sits one of the United States' few sites serviced by three railways, an interstate, and a major inland waterway. The site is known as the "Triple Rail Site." This site has 600+ acres with triple rail service allowing access North, South, East, and West from a single location. It is served by Paducah & Louisville Railway (P&L), CN, and BNSF. The site has river access at the confluence of the Ohio, Tennessee, and Cumberland Rivers, just miles from the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway and Mississippi River. The site is zoned for heavy manufacturing. The City of Paducah and its partners are seeking economic development of the site.
Monkey's Eyebrow is a rural unincorporated community in Ballard County, Kentucky. It is generally the northwesternmost community in the Jackson Purchase area of western Kentucky that is identified on the highway maps distributed by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. The community is part of the Paducah, KY-IL Micropolitan Statistical Area.
There were originally two Monkey's Eyebrows, commonly known as Old Monkey and New Monkey. One was at the top of a small hill, the other at the bottom. There were stores at both locations. Today, there are no stores. According to an article nearly 30 years ago in the county newspaper, the Advance Yeoman, the area acquired its unique name around the turn of the 20th century. A nearby attraction is the state-controlled Ballard County Wildlife Management Area. Goose hunting is a winter activity in Monkey's Eyebrow.
Monkey's Eyebrow has been frequently noted for its unusual place name.
One theory on the origin of this unique name is that when looking at it from the air, or on a map of Ballard County, it resembles a monkey's head. Monkey's Eyebrow is located where the monkey's eyebrow would be located. It has also been said that, when viewed from a nearby hill, the shape of the town resembles a monkey's eyebrow.
Yet another theory of the town's naming is that sometime before 1900, a community resident would go to nearby Needmore to get supplies, instead of going to the local general store and blacksmith shop built and owned by John and Dodge Ray, as the man didn't like his neighbors. It has been stated that the man considered the store to be "only fit for a bunch of monkeys", and that he considered both of its owners to be monkey-like, even having eyebrows resembling those of a monkey. It has also been stated that the man viewed the brush on Beeler Hill above the store as resembling monkey eyebrows.
Kelsey Waldon, Country singer raised in Monkey's Eyebrow
Paul Watson, Musician born in Monkey’s Eyebrow
A post office has been in operation at Bandana since 1880. Some say the community was so named for a traveling salesman who carried his goods in a bandana sack, while others believe the name marks an incident when a bandana was lost by a group of pioneers near the site.
As of the census of 2010, there were 203 people, 77 households, and 63 families residing in the CDP. There were 101 housing units. The racial makeup of the CDP was 97.0% White, 2.5% African American, and 0.5% from two or more races.
There were 77 households, out of which 23.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.1% were married couples living together, 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 18.2% were non-families. 11.7% of all households were made up of individuals living alone, and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 2.87.
In the CDP, the population was spread out, with 21.7% under 18, 3.9% from 20 to 24, 22.1% from 25 to 44, 30.6% from 45 to 64, and 19.3% who were 65 or older. The median age was 44.9 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.6 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $88,906, and the median income for a family was $88,906. The per capita income for the CDP was $40,536.
LaCenter formerly and often informally written as La Center, is a home rule-class city in Ballard County, Kentucky. The population was 1,009 at the 2010 census, making it the most populous community in the county.
The Kentucky Secretary of State is unclear upon the city's date of incorporation, but the LaCenter Woman's Club states it was originally named Merriville after the daughter of Maggie Davis, the land owner who sold the property for the new city to its developer, the La Center Land Company, in 1902. After the Postal Service rejected this name for the new post office, the postmaster requested "LaCentre" for the city's central location within Ballard County, and later settled for "LaCenter." One of the land developers, Stokely T. Payne, may have suggested the name, claiming the new city to be the "center of the universe," and possibly in the hopes that it would someday become the county seat.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,038 people, 419 households, and 261 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,351.0 inhabitants per square mile (521.6/km2). There were 492 housing units at an average density of 640.4 per square mile (247.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 89.40% White, 9.06% African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.29% Asian, and 1.16% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.58% of the population.
There were 419 households, out of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.8% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.7% were non-families. 35.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 21.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.90.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 23.2% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 23.9% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 26.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 80.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 71.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,188, and the median income for a family was $36,250. Males had a median income of $32,813 versus $20,417 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,317. About 13.9% of families and 16.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.9% of those under age 18 and 12.2% of those age 65 or over.
(Wickliffe calls itself "The Mother of The Mighty Mississippi" and it is just downriver from where the Ohio joins the Mississippi as you might be able to tell from the photos. It is sad that the town doesn't make more of its riverfront.)
The city of Wickliffe is the site of a Mississippian culture village now known only as Wickliffe Mounds. The village was occupied from around 1100-1300 AD. Today, Wickliffe Mounds is a state historic site and home to a research center and museum.
In 1780 during the Revolutionary War, General George Rogers Clark established Fort Jefferson on a hill overlooking the Mississippi River one mile south of present-day Wickliffe. The fort was intended to protect what was then the western boundary of the infant United States from raids by the British Army and Native Americans. It was abandoned in 1781 after a siege by the Chickasaw.
The site later served as a Union Army post during the Civil War. General Ulysses S. Grant directed a demonstration against the Confederate-held position at Columbus, Kentucky, in January 1862. Troops from the post joined in capturing Fort Henry in February 1862. It served as a Union supply post for operations in the western theater of the war.
A 90-foot-tall cross, the Fort Jefferson Memorial Cross at the Confluence, was completed in 2000 on Fort Jefferson hill.
As of the census of 2000, there were 794 people, 327 households, and 216 families residing in the city. The population density was 578.3 people per square mile (223.8/km2). There were 384 housing units at an average density of 279.7 per square mile (108.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.33% White, 1.76% African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.88% Asian, 0.25% Pacific Islander, and 2.64% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.26% of the population.
There were 327 households, out of which 25.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.1% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.9% were non-families. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.74.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 19.0% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 25.9% from 25 to 44, 26.3% from 45 to 64, and 18.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 112.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 107.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $28,750, and the median income for a family was $35,417. Males had a median income of $30,556 versus $16,477 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,273. About 10.1% of families and 16.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.4% of those under age 18 and 25.5% of those age 65 or over.
Kenny Rollins, basketball player, member of the University of Kentucky's "Fab Five" who won the 1948 NCAA Championship, the 1948 Gold Medal Winning U.S. Olympic Team, and the NBA's Chicago Stags and Boston Celtics.