Thursday, October 29, 2009


Every little spot-in-the-road in Kentucky has a long and fascinating story behind it, a time-track of history that could easily fill books and blogs all by itself. Most of their past greatnesses go unsung or are diffused piecemeal via various disparate sources, awaiting some nutty archivists like ourselves to gather back what has been sown to the wind.

Not so with Crayne, KY. Although it's obscure enough that it doesn't yet have its own Wikipedia article, it's nevertheless well documented and represented on the web by Brenda Underdown, a historian who publishes two kick-butt blogs about Crayne and its environs. Forgotten Passages is all about Crittenden County history in general, while her Crayne, Kentucky... My Hometown blog focuses on the past and present glories of Crayne and its progenitor, Crayneville. Brenda also has a Forgotten Passages book you can order here.

Crayne/Crayneville was named for Emma Crayne, the landowner who granted access to the Illinois Central railroad to use her land to cut through. The resultant community became Crayneville, then shortened to Crayne in 1907.

Photo above: the Crayne String Band: Jonas Rushing on guitar, Elbert Brown on violin, Hughey McCaslin on double bass (though it looks more like a cello to me in the photo) and Nat Sutton on Mandolin.

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