Category Archives: Old Towns & Villages

Eddyville, Kentucky

Eddyville, Kentucky’s history is rather unique.  Not many towns of 2,500 residents can claim as many milestones (both bad and good) as Eddyville.

The town is presently located along US 62 & US 641 just south of Interstates 24 & 69 in Lyon County, Kentucky.  But today’s Eddyville wasn’t there 60 years ago.

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Grand Rivers, Kentucky

Grand Rivers, Kentucky, known as the “village between the lakes”, is located between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley just north of Land Between The Lakes.  Even though the town has only a few hundred residents, it is the premier resort town for the Kentucky Lake region.

Featuring two beautiful resorts, Lighthouse Landing and Green Turtle Bay, along with Pattis’ 1880’s Settlement, Grand Rivers is a popular vacation destination.

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Dexter, Kentucky

Dexter is an unincorporated community in northern Calloway County.  It is a “census-designated place” and has a population of 277 people as of 2010. The town features a few streets on a grid and was once incorporated.

History of Dexter

Similar to the nearby towns of Almo, Hardin and Hazel, Dexter was originally a railroad camp when the Paducah Tennessee and Alabama Railroad was building a line through Calloway County in 1890.  Sam M. Jones, the landowner at the future site of Dexter, donated the right of way for the tracks and the site for the station on condition that he name it Dexter.  He chose the name after Dexter, Mo, which at that time was a thriving railroad town.  Several of Jones’ friends and neighbors were given employment in the Missouri town, so he decided to honor it by naming the station Dexter.

A post office was established on December 19, 1890 with General Buford Williams the first postmaster.

The railroad was abandoned with the tracks pulled in August 2009 (see photo below).

At some point after 1960, Dexter became unincorporated.

This photo shows the Dexter station and railroad from the early 20th century.  Thanks to Michael Hale for sharing.

Location of Dexter

The community is located just to the east of US 641, about seven miles north of Murray.  This map from 1936 shows Dexter.

Present day Dexter, Kentucky on Google Maps:

Dexter Population

1900:  221
1910:  260
1920:  278
1930:  185
1940:  243
1950:  277
1960:  250

In 2010, the US Census Bureau shows Dexter, an “census-designated place”, having a population of 277.

Dexter Contributions

If you have any information or photos you’d like to share about Dexter, please contact us.  Some information was provided by the book Kentucky Place Names.

The Life & Death of Golden Pond, Kentucky

Let’s face it – moving can be painful.  Chances are everyone reading this article has moved at least once in their lifetime.  Kids move out and get married.  Newlyweds move from apartment to apartment or to their first home.  Sometimes folks will upgrade homes and move to a bigger house to accommodate their expanding family.

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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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All Roads Lead To… Wadesboro?

Tucked away in far northern Calloway County, Ky. about a mile west of Dexter lies the old town of Wadesboro.   Chances are you’ve never driven through Wadesboro or perhaps have even heard of it.  However, the story of Wadesboro is fascinating, given the designation of the first town in far western Kentucky, the area known as the Jackson Purchase.  For a while, all roads in western Kentucky led to Wadesboro.

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Ferguson Spring in Land Between The Lakes

Ferguson Spring
The spring, located between the road and the hill.

Land Between The Lakes (LBL) has many well-kept secrets and hidden gems.  We all know about the main attractions at LBL. However, some places aren’t well-known.  One of those is Ferguson Spring, a beautiful and peaceful location that was once the former site of a farming community.

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Danville, Tennessee

The creation of Kentucky Lake in the 1940s put a lot of things underwater.  Farms, homes, businesses, roads, railroads, cemeteries and entire communities.  Danville, Tennessee was one of the communities that permanently  flooded when the Tennessee River was impounded to create Kentucky Lake.

The former site of Danville is located near present-day McKinnon. The story of Danville is unique with the fact that two large structures of the former town still remain – the abandoned and partially removed L&N Railroad bridge and the transfer elevator.

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Canton, Kentucky

Canton is located along US 68 on Lake Barkley in Trigg County, Kentucky.  It is an unincorporated community that contains some residences and a few businesses that cater to local tourists.

History of Canton

Canton’s modern-day roots can be traced back to 1799.  Abraham Boyd and his part were the first settlers.  This area was the first community in Trigg County.  From North Carolina, his people developed the town known as Boyd’s Landing.  A horse-powered mill, cotton gin, and warehouse became the center of a thriving shipping location due to its location – right on the banks of the Cumberland River.

A post office was established here on October 15, 1820 with George A. Gordon serving as postmaster.  In 1823, Boyd laid out the town he called Canton and the post office was renamed in August of that year.  The origin of the name Canton is unknown, although it has been suggested it is named for a seaport in China.

Native American Settlements

Canton is also the site of two different Native American settlements.  One to the north of US 68, known as the “Canton Site”, dates to the Mississippian period, or about 1,000 A.D.  Evidence of this site includes notched arrowheads, pieces of ceramic, and strong evidence of a permanent home-like structure.

Recently, a newly-discovered site was unearthed at the Lake Barkley bridge project, just a few feet south of the existing US 68 highway, right on the shores of Lake Barkley.  Sharp stone tools, spear points, scrapers and abundant stone flakes were found in the dig.  The shaping of the tools produced the stone flakes.  This site dates back to 8,000 to 6,000 B.C. during the Early Archaic period.

Location of Canton


Canton is located on US 68 / KY 80 about nine miles west of Cadiz. The community is located on the eastern shores of Lake Barkley.

The GPS Coordinates are 36.7989568,-87.9696112

Canton Contributions

Four Rivers Explorer is always a work in progress, including this section.  If you have any information you would like to share about Canton, please contact us.

  • Kentucky Place Names, by Robert M. Rennick
  • Trigg County History Book