Summer is definitely the time for travel. Most of our trips out of the hollow involved visiting relatives rather than tourist destinations. Whether you are headed ‘down home’ or to the beach, you learn a lot about small towns along the way. Paducah is, and always will be, a river town. It’s hard to escape the mark made by the Ohio River in this town’s history. Even if you could, the giant wall keeping downtown safe is a constant reminder of what was and what could be again. Ravaged by floods in the past, the citizens of Paducah built a wall along the river as it winds through downtown.
The wall stands waiting for the next deluge and it’s duty to protect Paducah from rising water.
Driving through it gives you a sense of Jurassic Park. But, in this instance, the raging monster is the Ohio River.
The streets of downtown travel along the wall protected from the River. Driving through it brings you right to the edge of the river, a waterside park and up close views of river traffic.
The wall itself is decorated with murals that depict Paducah’s rich history. Each mural is different. Some are so realistic that you feel like you could step right into the scene and become part of history itself.
This one depicts scenes from one of the great floods in the 1930’s that devastated the town.
This one depicts clippings from the town newspaper. They are so realistic that it seems as if you are looking at a scrapbook.
Take a step back and you can tell it’s part of the wall.
Paducah has taken the time to revitalized its downtown. Its flat streets make for an easy walking tour of the area. Museums and shops are plentiful. It’s a downtown definitely worth visiting again. A driving tour of the area also lets you enjoy the rich history as seen in the many historic houses along tree lined streets. Every once in a while something different pops up that reminds you of the past.
When it does, you appreciate a town that has taken the time to preserve its history. I hope you enjoyed the pictures. To learn more about Paducah, visit paducahky.gov.