The famous Hatfield-McCoy feud, a long-running and violent conflict between two Appalachian families, began in Kentucky in the late 19th century.
Lyon County, Kentucky, has a rich and diverse history that dates back to its early settlement by pioneers in the late 18th century. The area was initially inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Chickasaw and Shawnee, who utilized the region's bountiful natural resources for hunting and gathering. European explorers, such as Daniel Boone, also ventured into the area in the late 1700s.

In 1805, Lyon County was officially established and named after the distinguished statesman John Lyon. It quickly became a thriving agricultural community, with settlers cultivating crops such as tobacco, corn, and wheat. The county's proximity to the Ohio River also allowed for easy transportation of goods, further contributing to its economic growth.

During the Civil War, Lyon County, like many other parts of Kentucky, was deeply divided. While some residents supported the Union, others sympathized with the Confederacy. The county saw several skirmishes and raids carried out by both sides, leaving a lasting impact on the community. After the war, Lyon County slowly recovered and resumed its focus on agriculture.

In the 20th century, the construction of the Kentucky Dam and the creation of Kentucky Lake in the 1940s brought significant changes to the area. The resulting recreational opportunities, including boating, fishing, and camping, drew tourists from all over, boosting the local economy and establishing Lyon County as a popular vacation destination. Today, Lyon County maintains its agricultural roots while embracing the tourism industry, offering visitors a unique blend of historic charm and natural beauty.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Lyon County, Kentucky.

  • 1799 - Lyon County is created from portions of Caldwell County and Livingston County.
  • 1803 - Eddyville, the county seat of Lyon County, is officially established.
  • 1815 - Kentucky State Penitentiary is established in Eddyville.
  • 1820 - The Eddyville Furnace, a major iron producer, begins operation.
  • 1824 - The Lyon County Courthouse is built.
  • 1830 - Lyon County's population reaches 3,233 people.
  • 1842 - The Kentucky State Penitentiary is moved to a new location in Eddyville.
  • 1855 - The Lyon County Herald newspaper is founded.
  • 1861 - Lyon County residents vote to remain in the Union during the Civil War.
  • 1873 - The Eddyville Academy is established as a private school.
  • 1901 - The Eddyville and Cumberland Springs Railway is completed.
  • 1926 - Kentucky Dam is constructed on the Cumberland River, creating Kentucky Lake.
  • 1938 - Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area is established.
  • 1966 - Lyon County High School is completed.
  • 1998 - The Lyon County Museum opens to preserve the county's history.