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Kentucky Lakes Area History

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Kentucky Dam DedicationThe history of the Kentucky Lake area offers unique perspective on how our region has changed over the last several decades.  For instance, did you know that entire towns, one with over 2500 residents, had to be completely relocated when the lakes were built?  And did you know that thousands of people were relocated when the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) purchased over 170,000 acres of land to form a national recreation area?

Something of this magnitude doesn't seem possible.  But it happened, beginning in 1938 and lasting over the next 30 years.  We invite you to take a look at the wonderful history of the Kentucky Lakes Area.   And if you have something to share, please get in touch with us.

Pictured at right is the dedication of Kentucky Dam in 1945.  US President Harry S. Truman is shown speaking.

Kentucky Lake History

Lake Barkley History

Land Between The Lakes

Kentucky Lake Communities

Historical Maps

  • Find historic highway maps before the creation of Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley, or LBL.  State and county maps are available for download.

Be sure to check out Explorations, our first-hand accounts of historical attractions of the Kentucky Lakes Area.


Bald Eagle
Photo by Melodie Cunningham

This majestic bald eagle is keeping a close eye on his Kentucky Lake neighborhood. The months of January and February are the best times to catch a glimpse of bald eagles in Land Between The Lakes.