Kentucky: A Guide to the Bluegrass State

By Federal Writers' Project | Go to book overview

TRANSPORTATION

OWING largely to natural barriers, and partly to the demands of interstate commerce, Kentucky's lines of trade and communication by land developed north to south rather than east to west. Pioneer Kentucky lay in the path of the great migrations from Virginia and the South to the West, and commerce between Lakes and Gulf was borne along its bordering waterways. But mountains formed an effective barrier to trade and transport eastward.

For nearly a century, except for the Wilderness Road through Cumberland Gap, the only transport route common to the three sections of the State -- mountains, Bluegrass, and western hills and downs -- was the Ohio River, tributaries of which reach back into the hills. So completely was the eastern third of the State cut off from the central and western sections that within its isolation developed a type of Kentuckian who was an enigma to the lowlanders. In the 1890's and 1900's rails were laid into the coal country in the eastern part of the State, and many extensions of the coal-carrying lines were made thereafter. In the course of this development the Chesapeake & Ohio connected Ashland and Lexington with a branch line. But even today the only direct rail route from Kentucky to the eastern seaboard is that of the main line of the C. & O., which follows the valley of the Ohio to Cincinnati.

As motor highway transport has advanced, progress has been made in penetrating the eastern section. Two U. S. highways now traverse the area, and a growing network of modern roads is steadily reducing its former isolation. Transportation in its motorized form is making Kentucky a homogeneous State.

Waterways and trails, naturally, were the first travel routes. The southern section of the trail, or trace, from Maysville to Cumberland Gap was the route by which most early white settlers entered the present State of Kentucky. Known in pioneer days as the Wilderness Road, this section today forms part of US 25E, extending southeast

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Kentucky: A Guide to the Bluegrass State
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Preface ix
  • Contents xi
  • List of Illustrations xv
  • List of Maps xxi
  • General Information xxiii
  • Calendar of Events xxvii
  • Part I - Kentucky: the General Background 1
  • Kentuckians 3
  • Natural Setting 7
  • Archeology and Indians 28
  • History 35
  • Agriculture 50
  • Transportation 56
  • Manufacturing and Mining 60
  • Labor 66
  • The Negro 72
  • Religion 77
  • Education 83
  • Folklore and Folk Music 89
  • Kentucky Thorough- Breds 94
  • Press and Radio 102
  • The Arts 110
  • Part II - Cities and Towns 137
  • Ashland 139
  • Covington 147
  • Frankfort 157
  • Harrodsburg 168
  • Louisville 175
  • Lexington 197
  • Paducah 221
  • Part III - Highways and Byways 231
  • Tour 1 233
  • Tour 2 242
  • Tour 3 246
  • Tour 4 261
  • Tour 4a 274
  • Tour 4b 279
  • Tour 5 280
  • Tour 6 288
  • Tour 7 296
  • Tour 7a 309
  • Tour 8 315
  • Tour 9 322
  • Tour 10 324
  • Tour 11 329
  • Tour 12 334
  • Tour 12a 341
  • Tour 13 344
  • Tour 14 351
  • Tour 15 362
  • Tour 16 387
  • Tour 17 414
  • Tour 17 A 419
  • Tour 18 424
  • Tour 19 433
  • Tour 20 441
  • Part IV - Appendices 449
  • Chronology 451
  • Selective Bibliography 462
  • Index 471
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