The United States Geological Survey has a great online mapping feature that is quite addicting and can suck you in for a while.
A few weeks ago, Lisa Trimble, a Facebook fan of Four Rivers Explorer, sent me a photo of an old abandoned school bus in Land Between The Lakes.
I asked Lisa regarding the whereabouts of the bus and she gave me some good information on how to find it. The location is a popular hunt for geocachers and actually has a name on geocaching.com – Homer’s Garage.
Finding skeletal remains of civilization in Land Between The Lakes isn’t rare. However, a stripped down school bus is a one-of-a-kind discovery. Despite the fact that the old bus is odd and usual, it’s history is not much of a mystery.
According to geocaching.com, the name Homer’s Garage comes from Homer Ray, a former resident of Land Between The Lakes before it became a national recreation area. Mr. Ray owned Ray’s Garage, a shop located where the remains of the bus is today.
Mr. Ray was one of the last people to leave Land Between The Lakes in 1969. He relocated to Eddyville and operated a garage there until his death in 1981.
Much of the land surrounding the former site of Homer’s Garage was owned by his family. Mr. Ray’s father, Cordie, operated the Kuttawa Ferry across the Cumberland River. Ray and many of his family members are buried in Sardis Cemetery in Land Between The Lakes.
About The Old Bus
I am not an expert at identifying old cars, let alone a bus that is 60 years old. It appears to have belonged to the Lyon County School District; you can see faint lettering on the bus reading “Lyon County”.
It also appeared to seat 32 people, with eight seats on each side of the bus. It’s been striped of virtually everything, leaving only the shell. If you think you know what year, make and model of the bus is, feel free to comment or email me.
Find The Bus
Getting to the bus is not difficult. It is located in northern Land Between The Lakes. From the Trace, take Old Ferry Road and go about 6.5 miles to LBL Road #126. Take that road and travel about a half mile until LBL Road #126 splits into #127. You’re in the general area.
Find a place to park on the side of the road . There is an old driveway with a mound of dirt and gravel near a modern road sign. Take this path and head into the woods about 500 feet or so. You’ll see the bus in front of you. The bus can be spotted from #126 in the winter months.
As always, leave no trace! In the warm months, make sure you watch where you step and check yourself for ticks.
There is a geocache at this site. You can get GPS coordinates for Homer’s Garage at geocaching.com.
More Photos of the Old Bus
Here’s some pics I took of the old bus.
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.
In the mid-1800s, the iron ore industry exploded in the area known as “Between the Rivers.” With its prime location due to its close proximity to the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers, the industry flourished. These rivers were the best way to transport goods since railroads did not exist in this area at that time.
It’s no secret that Land Between The Lakes (LBL) is an adventurer’s playground. Opportunities for hiking, biking, wildlife viewing, camping and exploring abound. Honker Lake is one of the most scenic spots in LBL, offering beautiful views year around and chances to see the area’s abundant wildlife.
Summertime at Honker Lake in Land Between The Lakes is a great place to hike, see wildlife, and get some great photos. Read more about Honker Lake.
We can’t get enough of historical photos, especially those that show such drastic change. Recently we found these photos on the US Army Corps of Engineers’ Flickr album. We selected three of our favorites, but you can see the entire album on their Flickr.