Birmingham, Kentucky

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Birmingham was a town in Kentucky that was destroyed by the creation of Kentucky Lake.

History[edit]

Birmingham was located on land owned by Thomas A. Grubbs in 1849, laid out and platted in 1853 and incorporated in 1860.[1][2] Early residents included L. S. Locker, Thomas Love and Thomas C. Grubbs.[1] Birmingham enjoyed prosperity shortly after the end of the Civil War when a stave mill and timber business employed over 200 people.[1] Birmingham was named after Birmingham, England in hope that the city would establish its European namesake's iron industry; the area had its own nascent iron industry, some remains of which can be viewed today in the Land Between the Lakes.[1] Collins' History of Kentucky states that in 1874 Birmingham had a population of 322; by contrast, the county seat of Benton, Kentucky then had a population of only 158.[1] By 1894 Birmingham had five churches, two schools, two hotels, four dry goods and general stores, three grocers, two millinery shops, two wagon and blacksmith shops and a drug store.[1] By 1929 Birmingham still had around 600 residents.[1]

The Tennessee Valley Authority announced the building of Kentucky Dam for the creation of Kentucky Lake in 1938, and at that time Birmingham's residents were informed that they must relocate.[1] The TVA commenced land purchases in 1942.[1] The dam was completed in 1944, and the entirety of Birmingham, Kentucky was submerged under the resulting lake, the largest manmade lake in the world at the time.[1][3] Some residents of Birmingham had to relocate a second time due to the creation of Lake Barkley.[1]

When the water in Kentucky Lake is low, the remains of foundations and streets of Birmingham are often visible, especially at Birmingham Point.[1]

Notable people[edit]

NBA star Joe Fulks was born in Birmingham.[4][5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l History of Kentucky Lake: Old Birmingham, at kentuckylake.com
  2. ^ Collins, Lewis (1877). History of Kentucky. p. 543.
  3. ^ Kleber, John E., ed (1992). "Lakes". The Kentucky Encyclopedia. Associate editors: Thomas D. Clark, Lowell H. Harrison, and James C. Klotter. Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-1772-0.
  4. ^ Joe Fulks biography Archived July 23, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Joe Fulks information and statistics at Basketball-Reference.com

Coordinates: 36°54′47″N 88°11′53″W / 36.91306°N 88.19806°W / 36.91306; -88.19806