Opie Read, lecturer and writer, was once editor-owner of the Scottsville Argus (see Literature).
US 31E crosses the Tennessee Line, 147.8 m., 51 miles north of Nashville, Tennessee (see Tenn. Tour 7).
( New Albany, Ind.) -- Louisville -- Elizabethtown -- Munfordville -- Horse Cave -- Bowling Green -- Franklin -- ( Nashville, Tenn.); US 31W, the Dixie Highway. Indiana Line to Tennessee Line, 150.9 m.
Hard-surfaced roadbed. Louisville & Nashville R.R. parallels route throughout. Accommodations chiefly in cities.
Taking a course through west central Kentucky, US 31W runs near the river for a time, approaches it, and then goes up the Salt River Valley. It enters the Knobs region where the countryside lumps up into small round hills streaked with ravines. Near the south-central part of the State the route makes a great elbow curve through the cavernous limestone region containing Mammoth Cave and many other subterranean wonders, then, below Bowling Green, runs through the Pennyrile. Few cities or towns line this highway. Corn, tobacco, and livestock production is the chief interest of the countryside.
The route follows the general course of the old Louisville-Nashville stagecoach road. Prior to the completion ( 1859) of the Louisville & Nashville R.R., travel over this road was greater than over any other road in Kentucky. Stephen McMurtry, a Vine Grove farmer who lived within sight of the pike, often had as many as 25 freight wagons, stagecoaches, and other vehicles rolling by in view at the same time. In 1825 Bayard Taylor made a journey over this road to Mammoth Cave, admired the scenery at the mouth of the Salt River, and picked up an explanation of the phrase, "going up Salt River." The story he got was that in earlier days, when the saltmakers up Salt River were the terror of the countryside, the steamboat captains subdued unruly members of their crew by threatening to send them up Salt River among the rowdy saltmakers. According to other sources, the phrase originated in 1832 when Henry Clay, who had an engagement to speak in Louisville during his campaign against Andrew Jackson, was persuaded by a Jackson man to take a packet trip up Salt River. While the boatman was delaying the excursion so that Clay could not arrive in Louisville until the day after the rally, Jackson apologists for Clay's