Area History

Vast forests did not cover all of Kentucky. In the south-central portion of the state an area or open grasslands known as the "Barrens" made a stark contrast to the heavily forested terrain surrounding it. The Indians had repeatedly burned the forests that red the region as a mans to stampede and kill big game. These fires created an open Ji that in turn drew all types of wild game to feed elf its lush grasses. Buffalo herds migrated eastward across the Mississippi to Illinois, and then to Kentucky. These herds came to the and multiplied, providing food and clothing for the Indians.

The open lands of the Barrens also drew settlers who found the treeless areas to cultivate. Originally the pioneers thought the treeless grasslands infertile because of the lack of forestation. They soon found the soil to be some of the best that they encountered . Farms and communities soon began to cover the area. In 1798 Barren County became the county of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Taken from parts of Green and Warren coutnies Beginning in 1815, the county had 1,000 square miles taken away to create portions of Allen , Edmonson, Hart, Metcalfe, and Monroe Counties.

Although Barren County had a railroad, most of south-central Kentucky remain isolated for development became a topic for most civic and government ions. A dam on Barren River had economic potential in the promotion of tourism. By 1960, construction of a 146 foot-high dam began on the river. When completed the dam had created Barren River Lake. The lake covers 10,000 acres and shoreline of 141 miles. The Louisville Corps of Engineers designed and built the dam. They continue maintain the lake.

A movement by the people of Barren to establish a park next to the lake became a reality on January I, 1965. The state purchase adjoining farms to extend the park site and the Louisville Corps of Engineers donated acreage to round out the parks boundaries. In 1966 the park constructed a boat dock with a marina. The Department of the Interior, Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, approved a total development of $3,469,000. A federal grant of $1,734,500 funded fifty percent of the estimated cost.

In 1971 the Louie B. Nunn State Lodge opened. The lodge overlooks the beautiful 10,000-acre lake. Barren River Lake is located in some of Kentucky’s most scenic countryside. On the first weekend in June the park hosts Glasgow Highland Games, a festival celebrating Scottish . Thousands of people attend this pop : event each year.