Category Archives: Lost Roads & Railroads

Port Royal, Tennessee

The community of Port Royal, Tennessee can trace its roots back before Tennessee was even a state.  When this area was known at Tennessee County and a part of North Carolina, settlers began to make their home along the banks of the Red River in 1784.

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Five Generations of Highways in Canton, Ky

The present-day US 68/KY 80 corridor has been an important route for more than two centuries.  With Canton’s modern history dating back over 200 years (not to mention the prehistoric era), it’s no wonder the main thoroughfare through this part of the county has changed a whopping five times.  Evidence of all five generations of this strategic route exists today.

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Submerged Energy Lake Bridge

When I was a kid, I thought it would be neat to be an archaeologist.  I suppose that is why I find some of the remains of “past civilizations” fascinating in the Land Between The Lakes.  But the society that is evident in LBL today was from 50 years ago, not 5,000… a period which most archaeologists might enjoy.  In fact, many people remember what it used to be like in LBL before TVA took over.  But for folks like me, we don’t have the memories… but we see the evidence and hear the stories.

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Danville L&N Railroad Bridge

Upon the creation of our Explorations section of Explore Kentucky Lake back in 2002 (which has evolved to this standalone site, Four Rivers Explorer), I had no idea at the time that this partially-removed railroad bridge and the “big building in the middle of Kentucky Lake” were related.  So at that time, I did two different articles, only later realizing that these two structures are related.

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The Cadiz Railroad

In 1901, William White had a problem.  He wanted to bring a railroad to Cadiz, Kentucky from nearby Gracey to help transport tobacco and other freight across the area.  Gracey had nice rail lines served by the Illinois Central and the Louisville and Nashville.  Connecting Cadiz to Gracey would benefit the citizens of this Trigg County seat immensely.

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New Photos of Old Danville Tennessee Railroad Bridge

A special thanks to the Lloyd family of Asheville, North Carolina for donating some potentially never-before-seen historical photos of the old L&N Railroad Bridge at Danville, Tennessee.  The photos were from a family member who was the engineer for the L&N Railroad bridge during the construction in 1931-1932.

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Old Hardin Southern Railroad Photos

Michael Hale sent us photos of the old railroad that once went through Hardin, Kentucky, known last as the Hardin Southern Railroad.

You can read about the history of Hardin Southern Railroad here.

Mr. Hale tells us the passenger car photos are from 1986 and 1987, just three years or so after the line was severed from Hardin to Paducah.  The other photos are from around 1999-2000.

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Pryor Creek Bridge in Land Between The Lakes

Several years ago, right after we had our first child, we were treated with an afternoon off from our little guy and ventured out into the vast woods of Land Between The Lakes.

The destination was Pryor Creek, just south of the KY/TN border near Lake Barkley.  We were on the hunt for an old abandoned bridge, and with some luck, we found it.  We went in the summertime and had to fight ticks, mosquitoes and a lot of overgrowth.

Recently I decided to take advantage of a warm winter day to revisit the Pryor Creek bridge ruins and see if I could get better photos. With all the briers and vegetation gone, it would be a lot easier to get to.  It was good to get these photos!

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Discoveries While Exploring The Shorelines of Lake Barkley

Lake Barkley recently turned 50.  The US Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) built Barkley Dam on the Cumberland River near Grand Rivers in the early 1960s.  The dam birthed Lake Barkley – a shallow sister of Kentucky Lake, just a few miles east of its sibling.

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Exploring The Ruins Of Old Kuttawa

Kuttawa, KY
The breaker wall which lies on top of old US 62/641 and the Illinois Central Railroad

When Lake Barkley reaches winter pool each fall, the remains of Old Kuttawa, Kentucky emerge.  A thriving town of several hundred in the early part of the 20th century, a good part of the old city is now buried under the waters of Lake Barkley.

Old Kuttawa called the Cumberland River its home, fixed on its northern shores.   Founded right after the Civil War in 1866 by Ohio Governor Charles Anderson, who served a short five-month term as the head of the state, the origin of the town’s name is disputed.

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