Next week, we will chronicle the once-thriving community that was swallowed up by Kentucky Lake, Birmingham.
It has been an educational experience for us and, judging from the feedback we have gotten, enjoyable for our readers.
Only a very few cities, such as the new capital of our nation, the new capital of Brazil (Brasilia) and some others, start out life as a substantial urban entity. Almost all others, including New York, London, Paris and other great cities of the world, grew from a modest collection of homes and enterprises.
Many, many more of those gatherings of people either grow to a modest size or fade away completely.
We tried to identify why each community formed where it did (a crossroads, a riverbank site, the availability of some natural resource), how it came to be known by the name by which we know it, and give some anecdotal examples of what the people who live there are like and what they have done over the years.
We found much in common among the various communities, and things that make each of them distinct.
We are so very grateful to everyone who took time to talk with us, who provided historical photos, who shared stories and in any other way helped us produce the series.
We wish to formally credit the several published sources that have recorded the history of Marshall County, including:
• Images of America: Marshall County, by Connie M. Huddleston, Carol Aldridge, Virginia Smith, published in 2006 by Arcadia Publishing of Charleston, S.C., Chicago, Ill., Portsmouth, N.H., San Francisco, Calif.
• Lemon’s Handbook of Marshall County, by James Robert Lemon, self-published in Benton in 1984 and reprinted in 1987 by the Marshall County Genealogical Society.
• Pictorial History of Marshall County, Kentucky, a publication sponsored by the Tribune-Courier and published in 1993 by Heritage House Publishing, Marceline, Mo.
• History of Marshall County, Kentucky, another Marshall County Genealogical Society project, published in 1984 in collaboration with Dave Turner & Associates of Paducah.
• Never to Return: Marshall County Forever Changed, written and published in 2008 by Paul Dotson.
Later this year, we plan to produce similar stories about the four larger towns in the county, the incorporated communities of Benton, Calvert City and Hardin plus the unincorporated Draffenville.
It is what we and our ancestors have done that has made us what we are today.
We think it is good to remind ourselves where we came from, in order to better determine where we want to go.