Kentucky River Oral History Project, 1986-1990 by
Publication Date: 1986-1990
Housed at the Kentucky Historical Society. Abstract: "This project documents the economic and social conditions of people who have lived or worked on the Kentucky River. Workers talk about several industries and occupations associated with the river: coal mining, locks and lock repair, logging, rafting logs downriver, sawmills, farming, fishing, oil drilling, and bootlegging. Many of the interviewees worked for the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Several types of boats are discussed: showboats, steamboats, pleasure boats, ferry boats, barges, and various other kinds of commercial boats. Narrators recall floods along the river, especially those in 1933, 1937, 1962, and 1978, and the ice tide during the winter of 1917-1918. Other topics are the droughts of 1930 and 1936; boat wrecks, drownings, and other river accidents; environmental concerns such as pollution of the river, dredging, and the ecology of the river basin; the history, including the geological history, of the Kentucky River and the Kentucky River Basin; the impact of the Great Depression and World War II on the area; social life and recreation; the river as depicted in fiction and poetry; and Paul Sawyier and his paintings. Communities along the river that are discussed include Valley View, High Bridge, Shakertown, Boonesborough, and Oregon. Thomas D. Clark and Wendell E. Berry are among those interviewed."