Kentucky: A Guide to the Bluegrass State

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Tour 1

( Portsmouth, Ohio) -- South Portsmouth -- Ashland -- Catlettsburg -- Paintsville -- Prestonsburg -- Pikeville -- ( Norton, Va.); US 23, the Mayo Trail.

Ohio Line to Virginia Line, 194.6 m.

Hard-surfaced roadbed in most places; remainder graveled. Chesapeake & Ohio Ry. parallels route throughout. Accommodations chiefly in towns.

This route follows the low bluffs along the curving Ohio River; the Big Sandy Valley, and the Levisa Fork, a tributary of the Big Sandy River. In the southern section it passes between a cordon of small hills that increase in height toward the south until, at the Kentucky- Tennessee border, they are stopped by the great purple and green wall of the Cumberland Mountains. Veined by the river and its tributary creeks and locked on three sides by hills and mountains, the Big Sandy country was the last part of Kentucky to be surrendered to the white man by Indians. Game abounded here and salt licks were plentiful; until 1795 this common hunting ground was regularly visited by Creeks, Choctaws, and Cherokees from the South, and by Shawnees, Miamis, Delawares, Wyandottes, and Illinois from the North.

The rest of Kentucky had already been cleared before this section was settled, and in the 1820's population in the Big Sandy Valley averaged only about six inhabitants to the square mile. But hardy, independent men continued to come into the valley by way of the four gaps through the Cumberlands and along the Indian trails, or down the Ohio and up the Big Sandy Rivers to the dark hills beyond. These men established farms in open hollows; the loggers arrived later, to "bring daylight in the swamp" and send millions of logs floating down the Big Sandy; little towns arose in some of the more accessible pockets of the region; and to the long-sounding toot of the packets that plied the river was added, in the 1870's, the clear sharp whistle of locomotives announcing the coming industrialism. The hills were tapped for their mineral resources and coal mining became a major industry in the valley; in some of the larger towns small factories developed. Today the Big Sandy Valley has hard-surfaced roads, modern hotels, schools, and churches. As seen from US 23, it has a settled appearance. Just across the hills from the river, however, the, isolation still continues. Side roads leading off from the highway are few; in the remote hollows, or on the steep slopes of countless hills, are lonely little cabins where the spinning wheel is kept busy and the wagon carries the family to "buryin's," "meetin's" or "foot-washin's." This is Jesse Stuart's coun-

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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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