Forty years after groundbreaking ceremony, Lake Barkley State Resort Park continues to impress
by Hawkins Teague
Aug 29, 2006 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
TCR photo/submitted
A photograph of Lake Barkley during the construction of the lodge reveals how much had changed. The photo was taken in 1968, two years after the groundbreaking for the park.
TCR photo/submitted A photograph of Lake Barkley during the construction of the lodge reveals how much had changed. The photo was taken in 1968, two years after the groundbreaking for the park.
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Although it may feel like Lake Barkley State Resort Park has been a part of the county since the beginning of time, it was only an idea a mere 40 years ago.

Thursday, Aug. 24, marked the 40th anniversary of the groundbreaking ceremony for the park. There were no events to commemorate the anniversary, but John Rittenhouse, the park manager, said there would likely be celebrations when the anniversary of the lodge arrived. Trigg Countians will have to be patient, though. The luxurious lodge that everyone knows and loves wasn’t dedicated until June 1, 1970, making 2010 the year to mark your calendar.

Still, 40 years is quite a milestone, even if the park didn’t become what it is for quite a while. Like any institution, there will always be changes coming. Rittenhouse said there would be substantial renovations made to the lodge this year. Some of the carpets and drapes will be replaced, and a more modern and efficient heating and cooling system will be installed.

Looking back in Cadiz Record archives, one gets a sense of the excitement felt in the county in 1966 when the park was to begin construction with a $3.9 million federal grant. About 2,500 people came out to watch public officials speak and remove the first shovelful of dirt from the ground. The Trigg County High School Marching band played as people took their seats. Boots Randolph later played his hit song, “Yakety-Sax.”

At the ceremony, Smith Broadbent Jr. welcomed Eugene P. Foley, the assistant secretary to the United States Department of Commerce. Broadbent told the crowd that Trigg County was noted for its country hams, but that nothing was too for Foley. Trigg County was prepared to offer Foley “the whole hog,” he said. With that, Broadbent slyly pulled out a cage with a small, live shoat in it.

Upon looking at the tiny pig, Foley said that of all the honors that had been bestowed on him, this topped them all. Broadbent then presented with a 35-pound ham.

Col. Jesse L. Fishback, the district engineer for the Nashville District, made a speech a while later. Reading excerpts from the speech, one might think all that talk of ham spurred his appetite. Fishback spent a huge amount of time stretching a food analogy as far as it could go, comparing the park to dessert and the lake to a meal.

For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.
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