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Hip-Hop-a-potamus
04-11-2013, 03:02 PM
I need to know your impressions of the far western area of the state, specifically Crittenden County.

I have a real life character who came from there, so I need to know more about it. She was born circa 1904, but left prior to 1920, so I'd have to think historically, even if there has been a little modernization. For example, saying "lots of Wal-Marts" wouldn't help me.

I've had one person tell me "not much there, lots of Amish." It appears to be near coal country but not necessarily coal producing itself? I see from a map that it borders the Mississippi River and Illinois on the other side.

Specifically, I need thoughts on the geography, flora and fauna, the character of the people, special speech patterns... anything you can think of that would make this woman's memories stand out as being from a native Kentuckian.

Thanks all. :)

Maryn
04-11-2013, 04:56 PM
These are the members who had IDed themselves as Kentucky people in that big thread on locations. Some I haven't seen in a while, but some I see around all the time.

bethany (Louisville)
bkendall (Ft. Knox area)
Dawnny Baby (northern, near Cincinnati)
Elonna (northern, near Cincinnati)
Little Red Barn (Louisville)
Komnena (Louisville)
rosepressey (Louisville)
sunshinefaith83
underthecity (northern, near Cincinnati)
Will Lavender (Louisville)

Want me to direct the ones I run into to your thread?

Maryn, helper monkey

WeaselFire
04-11-2013, 09:05 PM
Might start with these guys:

http://www.westernkyhistory.org/crittenden/crithissoc.html

Didn't live there, but been there a number of times. Rural, somewhat poor, not very many people. Big Amish community, but that's not the dominating environment. Nice hunting, the Ohio river is nice there as well with some good bass fishing. I remember mostly antique shops, no real large businesses. Some cute restaurants with local food, no real big name places. Paducah is the happening place out there, and that's not saying much.

The area is rolling hills, mountains aren't like the Rockies, more rounded and worn. Country roads, lots of wildlife. Tons of deer. People are slower, more laid back, generally very nice and courteous. Southern charm, but not the refined type like Charlston would be. Dry county, but I don't know before prohibition, when your character would be there. Speech was a bit of a southern drawl, but not real thick like a Georgia/Alabama drawl. Y'all spoken here, of course. Big Civil War history area, which might affect your character.

Turn of the century might be classic Beverly Hillbillies. :)

Jeff

GeorgeK
04-12-2013, 12:07 AM
If that's in the areas of the land between the lakes that's near bayou.Yes, there's bayou in western Ky.

Komnena
04-12-2013, 12:42 AM
Only it probably would be called slough, not bayou, in this area.

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
04-12-2013, 03:45 AM
Thanks everybody!

It's nice to know that my basic impressions were pretty much spot-on. Being a genealogy buff, I know the places to look for local info on lots of spots, and that's kind of the feeling I was getting from what I found, but I'd love to have more from semi-locals. It's those little details, you know?

And WeaselFire, I actually mention blue coats in my first sentence, so I got that covered! :D

Little Red Barn
04-12-2013, 03:52 AM
coal country is in eastern ky. mountain region. think justified.

western is flat.

and i 24 takes you straight to nashville from parts of the western side.

eta; it is where my current wip takes place and where my real life ancestors first settled. = )


ETA: you say "Specifically, I need thoughts on the geography, flora and fauna." On flora and fauna I'd suggest you research books, nurseries etc. I know I've spent hundreds and hundreds of hours on research, travel etc to be accurate in mine.

Komnena
04-12-2013, 04:26 AM
My father grew up in western Kentucky in a county bordering Crittenden. There would not have been many blacktop roads in 1920. There would have been a lot of dirt roads. People walked or used equines, either mules or horses.

Little Red Barn
04-12-2013, 04:34 AM
My father grew up in western Kentucky in a county bordering Crittenden. There would not have been many blacktop roads in 1920. There would have been a lot of dirt roads. People walked or used equines, either mules or horses.
aye and with crit co having the ohio river bordering it north/ and northwest, that area would have been a bustling lil' trading/buying spot.

Komnena
04-12-2013, 04:41 AM
Also, there would have been little electricity or running water. There would have been no Lake Barkley or Kentucky Lake. Your character could well have known people who remembered the Civil War.

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
04-12-2013, 05:26 AM
coal country is in eastern ky. mountain region. think justified.

western is flat.

and i 24 takes you straight to nashville from parts of the western side.

eta; it is where my current wip takes place and where my real life ancestors first settled. = )


ETA: you say "Specifically, I need thoughts on the geography, flora and fauna." On flora and fauna I'd suggest you research books, nurseries etc. I know I've spent hundreds and hundreds of hours on research, travel etc to be accurate in mine.

I'm only in the introductory stages of my research at this point, but in my searches, I haven't found much on what I'm looking for, unfortunately (the fond memories people have of the scent of tobacco patches or jessamine. That kind of stuff).

Traveling to a place is great if you can afford it, but I've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars researching plenty of other topics, and I'm a bit skin't at the moment. It's not like I don't know how to research. I'm EXTREMELY detailed in my historical fiction.

I'm in Canada, so the research materials I can find here on Kentucky are rather limited, as you might imagine. And I have found two books on Amazon on Kentucky history that deal with Western Kentucky, but nothing on the flora and fauna.

That's why I'm asking at AW. Because everyone is usually very helpful.

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
04-12-2013, 05:27 AM
Also, there would have been little electricity or running water. There would have been no Lake Barkley or Kentucky Lake. Your character could well have known people who remembered the Civil War.

Good point, K. Thanks for that observation!

Little Red Barn
04-12-2013, 05:53 AM
hip. let's start with your flora and fauna, maybe here. http://www.knps.org/links.html and of course all your kentucky uni's generally have an ag dept. so those are a valuable resource.

in early 1900, the town would've relied on the ohio river for transportation goods etc. the town(s) in this area will have possibly flooded during your period, if i recall, and caused a lot of problems for folks etc.

i'll see what else i can find for you.

eta: no amish until the late 1970's. and around those parts, a methodist bishop would be having a lot of power and influence back then, i believe ... but will double check.

Komnena
04-12-2013, 06:57 AM
Fauna- groundhogs, rabbits. Perhaps coyotes. Moles. Foxes. Raccoons. Opossums.
Insect life would include a not so charming creature known as chiggers. Ants would be found wherever people had food. I don't know if fire ants would be found in Crittenden County but they are nasty creatures. Flies. Shuck corn outside and they will come. Nasty-biting little creatures. They will make you appreciate non poisonous spiders. Cicadas. No harm in them but a lot of noise.
Reptile life would be snakes. Close to the river the water moccasin would be a feared creature. Garter snakes and a big one called a chickensnake. Not poisonous but an ugly thing given to taking chickens.
Spider life would include black widows and brown recluses. And perhaps a pretty one called writing spider.

Komnena
04-12-2013, 07:08 AM
Also 1918 was noted for being the year of the Great Flu.
The winter of 1917-18 was unusually harsh. The Ohio River froze.

hillcountryannie
04-12-2013, 09:18 AM
Not a native Kentuckian, but I live here now and I travel through that area often.

It's pretty flat, maybe some rolling hills, but it's definitely not Appalachia. I think there are some covered bridges in the area that probably would've been there around that time.

Deciduous forest that looks pretty bleak in the winter. It's rural but then the whole state pretty much is, except for Louisville.

Don't know what the mentality was back then but today a lot of Kentucky sort of sees Louisville as different from the rest of the state. Sometimes like it's not part of it. Haha.

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
04-12-2013, 03:07 PM
Thanks for the additions, guys.

Komnena, being Texan, I am familiar with chiggers AND fire ants, and was glad to escape from both! :)

And good to know about the Ohio River freezing. Yep, fully familar with the flu epidemic. Probably not going to go into that. My gal moved out to sunny California, and that will be much of what happens to her, but I want her to be proud of her roots, rural as they were.

Little Red Barn
04-12-2013, 04:39 PM
for "character of people": this is a wonderful native author who writes many books about the western region. http://www.amazon.com/Shiloh-Stories-Library-Paperbacks-ebook/dp/B005IEGTYE/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1365770021&sr=1-3&keywords=Bobbie+Ann+Mason

Komnena
04-12-2013, 07:13 PM
I'd also read Jesse Stuart.
True, Louisville is often seen as different from the rest of Kentucky. I didn't grow up here. My grandparents lived in Graves and Christian counties.
There's also Lexington. It's a big place too.

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
04-13-2013, 06:32 PM
Great! We're going out for brunch today to celebrate my book release, then going book shopping afterward. Will keep an eye out for these two.

:)

King Neptune
04-13-2013, 10:06 PM
I am not from that area, but I have a bunch of relatives in the next county northeast from there. I have been there a few times, and WeaselFire's comments seem accurate.

Another thing would be that there was a major flood there that led to levees being built. Apparently the flood was in 1897, but I don't know when the levee was finished. There probably were smaller floods anyway.

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
04-14-2013, 04:57 AM
Pleased to say I found a $5 copy of "Feather Crowns" while we were out today. I'd always wanted to read it anyway, so this will be a good chance to examine her dialogue for quirky Kentucky-ness.

Thanks, y'all.

GeorgeK
04-15-2013, 05:13 PM
Don't know what the mentality was back then but today a lot of Kentucky sort of sees Louisville as different from the rest of the state. Sometimes like it's not part of it. Haha.
That's actually correct. In general Louisville culturally is part of Indiana, yet Cincinnati and Dayton are part of Kentucky

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
04-16-2013, 05:03 AM
That's actually correct. In general Louisville culturally is part of Indiana, yet Cincinnati and Dayton are part of Kentucky

Interesting. Kind of the way we Texans basically think of El Paso as being part of New Mexico. We don't think about it all that much. Too far away.

GeorgeK
04-16-2013, 04:37 PM
1920's in any part of Ky except Northern Ky, there would have been a lot of anti-Catholic sentiment, anti-Mormon, anti-Jew, anti-black, anti-German, anti French...let's just say a lot of WASPs

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
04-18-2013, 04:12 AM
Good to know, George. Thanks! :)