What is the Kentucky Bend?

Kentucky is not an entirely contiguous state — the most southwestern part of it, called the Kentucky Bend, is completely surrounded by Tennessee and Missouri. Considered a peninsula because it is surrounded on three sides by the Mississippi River, the bend is a little less than 18 square miles (about 45 square km) in area.

More facts about the Kentucky Bend:

  • Nicknames for the bend include the New Madrid Bend, the Madrid Bend, Bessie Bend and Bubbleland.

  • Though as of 2000 there were fewer than 20 people living in the Kentucky Bend, in the late 1800s, there were more than 300. This is because the Kentucky Bend used to be a major cotton-producing area.

  • The Kentucky Bend is featured in Mark Twain's memoirs, in which he paints the picture of a six decades-long family feud in the area that was so extreme that the two families, the Darnells and the Watsons, would bring their guns to church with them just in case violence broke out.
More Info: www.kentucky.gov

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