Two Towns Long Gone-Old Eddyville & Old Kuttawa

Two towns long gone – Old Eddyville and Old Kuttawa. They live on in these old black and white photos. These photos cause my parents to start their “I remember when” stories.  TVA and the Corps of Engineers created Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley by damming the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. But they did more than create–they also destroyed.

Old Kuttawa showing Red Front

Old Kuttawa showing Red Front store

Hundreds of people lost their homes and lands during the controversial creation of two lakes. People who had inherited old family farms were forced to pack everything up and move away. They left the only home they had ever known. I can remember as a child speaking with older people who were heartbroken. Many of them never really recovered. Some say they died with broken hearts, and I believe that’s true.

Perhaps in time people will come to believe it was all done for the greater good. We got a nationally recognized game reserve (Land Between the Lakes). We got more places to hunt and fish, and the lakes are a playground for people from far and wide. Heck, the dams even generate a fair amount of electricity. But I’ve heard that most of the power goes elsewhere.

Somehow none of that matters when you watch old folks view the pictures. They remember a childhood roaming the old streets. Of afternoon matinees in an old movie theater. Or shopping at a long-gone dry goods store. I remember riding the old ferry near Kentucky State Penitentiary. We visited my aunt, uncle, and cousins “between the rivers.” And Old Kuttawa is still my favorite of all the places I’ve lived. What a graceful old town it was.

That’s something the lakes couldn’t wash away–memories.

What memories do you have of these old photos?  (click on a photo for larger)

Two towns long gone--Old Eddyville ferry landing viewed from land between the rivers

Two towns long gone–Old Eddyville ferry landing viewed from land between the rivers

Two towns long gone--Scott Service Station Old Eddyville

Two towns long gone–Scott Service Station Old Eddyville

Two towns long gone--Old Eddyville looking up the hill toward "Pea Ridge"

Two towns long gone–Old Eddyville looking up the hill toward “Pea Ridge”

Two towns long gone--Old Kuttawa showing Red Front store

Two towns long gone–Old Kuttawa showing Red Front store

Two towns long gone--Old Kuttawa with John Kingston

Two towns long gone–Old Kuttawa with John Kingston

Two towns long gone - Old Kuttawa both sides of street

Two towns long gone – Old Kuttawa both sides of street

Two towns long gone - Old Eddyville cafe

Two towns long gone – Old Eddyville cafe

Two towns long gone - Old Eddyville Street

Two towns long gone – Old Eddyville Street

Two towns long gone - Old Eddyville School

Two towns long gone – Old Eddyville School

Old Eddyville Flood of 1937

Two towns long gone – Old Eddyville Flood of 1937

Two towns long gone - Old Eddyville stores

Two towns long gone – Old Eddyville stores

Old Building with cars Eddyville

Old Building with cars Eddyville

 "Old" Kuttawa Springs

“Old” Kuttawa Springs

More old photos here:

Old Photos Eddyville Kuttawa Kentucky

 

© Wade Kingston

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Two Towns Long Gone-Old Eddyville & Old Kuttawa

  1. Reminds me of the four lost towns of Massachusetts – Dana, Greenwich, Prescott and Enfield – which were disincorporated and drowned in 1938 to create Quabbin Reservoir, a new source of drinking water for Boston 75 miles to the east. Remains of a dozen Peebles ancestors and their in-laws and relatives were dug up and re-buried in a special cemetery in Ware, a few miles to the south. My ancestors helped found the town of Pelham and lived in the eastern side of town, down by the river in what became parts of Prescott and Greenwich in the 1800s. Damned shame, when “progress” can uproot so many people whose entire lives were wrapped up in small towns such as these.

    • It is sad, Frank. Even more so now that dams are falling somewhat out of favor and energy needs are coming from other sources. Some dams, particularly in the west, are actually being destroyed so the rivers can resume their natural state. Too late for the towns and lives that were destroyed. Gone forever.

  2. I often lament the flooding of these towns, especially the farms. You can never pay a farmer enough. If crops are rotated, the land produces for generations. I was just talking about this last week.

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