The Kentucky River


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One of the largest tributaries that feeds into the majestic Ohio, the Kentucky River cuts a swath through the heart of the Bluegrass. Its 255 miles have formed a living thread that binds the people and places of the state. A sweeping cultural history, The Kentucky River reflects the rich tapestry of life along the stream’s banks, Flowing with tales of river ghosts and hidden treasures lying in the backwaters, the book records the myths and events the river has spawned. Bell Ellis also celebrates Kentucky’s influence on such figures as writer Wendell Berry and painter Paul Sawyier.
Beginning with an intriguing overview of the river’s formation and characteristics, Ellis shows how the stream has helped shape Kentucky’s environment, economy, and political culture. In centuries past, flotillas of flatboats carried whiskey, pork, and valuable raw materials downriver to markets in Louisiana. Later, the river became a source of entertainment as showboats brought theater movies, music, and dancing to otherwise isolated communities. Ellis also chronicles the effects of human interaction with the river. Bridges, ferry landings, locks, and dames appear around every bend, and individuals have continually tried to harness and control the river’s power in the face of flood and drought. The book describes the environmental impact of the settlement, logging, mining, and industrialization, developments that have sometimes tainted Kentucky’s mighty waters with silt, sewage, and trash. In the last thirty years, however, Kentuckians have come together in major efforts to clean and preserve Kentucky’s waters and the life along its banks. Advocates for the river achieved a victory in protecting the stunning Kentucky River Palisades between Boonesborough and Frankfort, and efforts continue to preserve the irreplaceable river for future generations.  


Additional information

Weight 21 oz

Very Good

Extra Notes

Has writting on the front end page