KENTUCKY BEND

3/29/2020

Like a circus wagon with animals in tow, there exists a state in America where the occupants of this island state are isolated from its mother state. Unlike the Hawaiian or Aleutian Islands that are separated from each other by ocean water, this little wad of Kentucky is surrounded by Missouri and Tennessee and has no direct land connection with ‘Ma Tuck’. Its existence is solely the result of political decrees and the great Mississippi River. Containing around 18 people in 17.5 square miles of land, this ‘bubble bend’ is only accessible by car by traveling north out of the northwest corner of Tennessee. It consists of fertile farmland surrounded by levies with a few residences and a small cemetery. There are NO fast food restaurants within its confines. When standing in the middle of this ‘spit’ facing north, you are surrounded on 3 sides by the state of Missouri, just across 180°of Mississippi River bend. To the south of you lies the great state of Tennessee who once fought to claim this parcel in court. Realizing the expense of maintaining such a small area with a tiny population, they gave up, but still maintain the roads. The children go to school in Tennessee but the residents get their mail from the town of New Madrid, Missouri and vote as Kentucky citizens. Confused? Go there after a heavy rainstorm and watch the northern portion become a lake as the 30-foot-high Army Corp of Engineer’s levy prevents the rainwater from exiting and the river water from entering. In the 1760’s surveyors were sent out to establish a state border latitude that became known as the Mason-Dixon Line that extended to the western reaches of the Mississippi River. In 1780, it became a dividing line for slavery with northern states abolishing this trend. In 1792, Kentucky’s western border was set as the navigational centerline of the Mississippi River and with that double bend and by definition, created the Kentucky Bend. Only lawyers could pull off that stupid fiasco. 

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