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Homestead Hunting in LBL

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Explored:  June 5, 2005 by Shawn Dunnaway

It's sometimes hard to imagine that the now rolling hills and rocky shores of LBL were once farms, communities, and home to over 900 families.  In the 1960's when the Land Between the Lakes was being formed as a National Recreation Area, the towns and communities sprawled across its 170,000 acres were abandoned and the structures dismantled. 

Although that was almost 50 years ago, the careful eye can still find signs of their existence.  On this journey, we set out to find a homestead near Energy Lake.  We had received a call from our friend James who was interested in looking for his grandmother's home place.   He knew the approximate location and we used an old map of the area from before LBL was created to pinpoint the location.  The map has dots to indicate structures and comes in very handy for homestead hunting!

We had planned on driving as far as possible down LBL 327 and hiking to the end of LBL 330, but the conditions were quite muddy on the road and we decided to hike instead - a 2.6 mile round-trip.  As we neared the place where the structures once stood, we realized that we had chosen a bad time of the year to go homestead hunting.  The foliage was very high and made it almost impossible to find the remnants of the homeplace. 

We did find the foundation of what was probably a smokehouse, but opted out of hiking through the waste high, snake infested field to find what was left of the house.  We'll definitely be going again this fall to find out what's out there waiting to be discovered!  If you're interested in going homestead hunting, the best time is between late November and mid April. 

If you're interested in exploring this site, the GPS coordinates are:  36 degrees 52.56 min. North and 88 degrees 00.16 min. West. 

Beaver Dam Outlook
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

The view from the top of this beaver dam shows a Kentucky Lake inlet in late spring. An inlet like this one is habitat to a variety of exciting wildlife and plants just waiting to be explored!