Cordell Hull Navigation Lock
A total of 15 locks and dams were constructed on the Cumberland River. Two of the 15 locks were located in what is now the Cordell Hull Lake Area of Responsibly. Lock Seven was constructed in the early 20th century located on river mile 299.7, near Carthage. The remains of Lock Seven can be visited today as a recreation area. Lock Eight was also constructed in the early 20th century, and is located on river mile 317, near Defeated Creek.
Historic Dam & Lock
Once it was realized that the Cumberland River fed the Mississippi River, the river’s use was greatly increased as a means of transporting goods. By 1824, steamboats were carrying hemp, tobacco, and cotton down the Cumberland. Unfortunately, traveling the Cumberland River was not without dangers. In the Cumberland’s natural state, the river was almost impassable at its lowest water levels, strewn with rocky shoals, rapids, and sand and gravel bars. Navigations was extremely hazardous, and wooden hulls were easily damaged, and after accidents (which were common) boatmen could usually only salvage the damaged cargo.
By the End of the 20th century, river commerce on the Cumberland River was dying. Railroads ended flatboat and raft traffic on the waterways and reduced steamboat traffic. River traffic dropped down to less than ten boats per year. The last commercially – operated steamboats were taken out of commission in 1933.
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