216 Maxwell Street...Grand Rivers, KY 42045...270-217-3432 or 270-331-4928...E-mail Us!






Grand River, KY


Go to www.grandrivers.com


Grand Rivers is known throughout the Mid-South and Mid-West as Kentucky's Resort Village.  She's a small burg (350 residents) with shoreline and resorts on both Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley.  She has developed into the place where vacationers and people who live nearby flock for great boating, fishing, live theater, great food and varied events throughout the year.  As a quaint little walking community that is becoming ever more golf cart friendly, she compared favorably with such high profile resort communities as Mackinaw Island, Seaside, Carmel and Provincetown.  Come see for yourself and be ready to be captivated.   Our history is outlined below.

Grand Rivers is fortunate geographically to be at what was in the middle of the 19th century called “The Narrows”.  The point where the two navigable rivers, The Tennessee and The Cumberland, nearly come together.  Later this community became known as Nickell Station, named after a prominent local family given a Revolutionary War Land Grant in the area.  The train station here in town, the bridges over the rivers and the water tower where the steam locomotive picked up fresh water for its boiler enabled the tiny town to grow. 


Then, in 1890, Thomas Lawson (a Massachusetts millionaire) was asked by his investment banker to come to a new town called Grand Rivers in Kentucky to manage the iron ore furnace they were building on the banks of the Tennessee River.  Thus, the Grand Rivers Company and the town were born.  For a while, the town absolutely boomed. 


Then the process for manufacturing steel was developed.  Steel, being stronger and lighter than iron, caused iron production to decline precipitously around the turn of the century.  In the 1920’s the iron furnace shut down for good.


The city government was formed in April of 1890.  There was an independent Grand Rivers schools system which we’re told provided an outstanding education.  The school building was tall and handsome, all brick like the Boston Block, the largest building in town which housed everything from groceries and a pharmacy to apartments and a pool hall over the years.  It burned in the late 1940’s.  The school was torn down in the 1960’s. 


Sadly, very little of Grand Rivers’ built history and heritage survives today.  But that is typical of America where buildings that provide us a link to our past and our roots are disposed of much more quickly than in European towns and cities.  It’s sad to see and we hope you will do anything you can to help reverse the loss of buildings that bespeak our past, whether grand or modest.


In the early 1940’s, the federal government through the Works Progress Administration, built Kentucky Dam on the Tennessee River.  In 1937 along the heartland’s rivers, the country experienced the worst flooding of it’s history since Europeans settled here.  The dam was built as part of an effort to control future flooding.  Then in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, Barkley Dam was built.  Now there were two huge lakes here in Western Kentucky. Between them was

an area of 180,000 acres that the government had it’s eye on for a recreation areasomewhat similar to a national forest.  This land was taken by imminent domain, just as the land bordering the rivers had been for the lakes.  Thus, TVA’s Land Between the Lakes (LBL) came to be in the 1960’s and the canal was formed to join the two lakes.  This canal is the only waterway joining the giant lakes and it forms the northern border of LBL.  It also just happens to be about a mile south of Grand Rivers. 


If you’ll look at the map tab on this site, you’ll see how lucky Grand Rivers is to be bordered on three sides by water and to have a huge – no massive – park just at the edge of our tiny town.  With many, many terrific golf courses in the area, 4 top notch state parks around the lakes, Paducah’s cultural offerings, two wonderful resorts with marinas here in town, live entertainment venues, about a quarter million surface acres of water and clean, safe and wholesome environs, Grand Rivers has a great deal to offer campers.  Whether you prefer water sports, fishing, hunting, hiking, nature watching (catch our eagle watch weekends in LBL), or just want a quiet yet convenient place to relax; you just might have found just the place.


Go to www.grandrivers.com to learn more about our hamlet.


Click Here to Go to Pattis 1880's Settlement Restaurant!




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© Crockett Frontiers Campground

216 Maxwell Street...Grand Rivers, KY 42045

Phone: 270-217-3432 or 270-331-4928



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