The Great Depression, along with floods and a severe drought in the 1930s, left many Kentucky families with the difficult decision to keep their hungry children or send them away to a place where they could be taken care of and fed. For at least one orphanage in Jefferson County, that meant overcrowding, and eventually the children’s home began sending orphans across the state on westbound trains.
West Kentucky High Iron feature story - Boom to Bust: The History of Earlington.
The history of many towns in west Kentucky has been shaped, in large part, by the coal companies and railroads that brought in jobs, money, and people. During the golden years of coal and rail in the early 20th century these towns boomed. And when the coal ran out and the trains stopped rolling, they crashed. The city of Earlington, Kentucky is one of those towns.
Murray State’s NPR station, 91.3 WKMS presents the first program in its new “Sounds Good Documentary Series” with the airing of West Kentucky High Iron: The Story of Four Rivers Rail on Sunday, March 3 at 9:00 a.m.
The hour-long documentary takes listeners around the four rivers region exploring the rail industry’s history and how this method of transportation has touched people’s lives. Rail historian Cliff Downey and WKMS Producer Todd Hatton connect the segments with reflections recorded while riding the historic “City of New Orleans” Amtrak line from Carbondale, IL to Fulton, KY.