Paducah, Kentucky is a small hidden town between St. Louis, Missouri and Nashville, Tennessee.The name “Paducah” was named in honor of Padouca Indians, the largest nation of Native Americans that ever roamed North America. Lewis and Clark had made acquaintance with many of them while on their trek west.
Paducah became the headquarters for many barge companies, with numerous dry dock facilities for steamboats and towboats. The proximity to coalfields in Kentucky(east) and in Illinois (north) Paducah also became an important railway hub for the Illinois Central Railroad. Paducah’s location made it a hub of river traffic on the Ohio, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Cumberland rivers making it the center of merchandising for a four state area.
Today, Paducah scenic riverfront is the site of historic markers, “Wall to Wall” murals, fireworks, concerts and festivals. With a population just over 27,000, twenty blocks of the city’s downtown have been designated as a historic district and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The historical Brookport Bridge on the edge of town is almost 100 years old and a ten-span, steel grate deck, narrow two-lane truss bridge. I have travelled over many bridges in our travels, but this one scared me the most. In the middle, I felt like I was going to fall right thru into the water. It it also quiet high and the steel grates grab the vehicles wheels – even at 20 mph it is nail biting. I would suggest another route off the freeway if heights or bridges bother you!