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Mosby Ridge Road Bridge is an important connector

Comments re photo 85178 Old Iron Bridge in Metcalfe Co

By Billy Joe Fudge

Thank you Tiffany for preserving the image of this iconic landmark for posterity's sake!

This is the Mosby Ridge Road Bridge and to many it carries much historic symbolism. The dry creek bed to which you refer is East Fork of the Little Barren River. Just downstream halfway between the bridge and Highway 80, Red Lick Creek joins up with East Fork and then about 300 yards downstream from East Fork's crossing beneath Highway 80, Leatherwood Creek empties into East Fork.

East Fork heads up in the hills about halfway between Subtle and Breeding. Red Lick heads up just behind Chestnut Grove Church and Leatherwood begins about 200 yards West of the intersection of the Sparksville School building. Together these three drain the Western Slope of the Sparksville-Breeding Highlands, which sports the highest elevations in Adair County and are a part of the Green River Watershed.

For the record, the Eastern Slope of the Sparksville-Breeding Highlands drains into the Cumberland River Watershed.

The Barrens, thus the names Little Barren River and Barren River, were primarily a prairie grass ecosystem which was created and maintained by Native Americans. They used fire to regularly burn much of South Central and Western Kentucky to kill off the woody brush and allow the native grasses to grow. This created vast areas for grazing herds of buffalo, deer and other game animals which were vital to the survival of Native Americans. Monroe, Metcalfe, Adair and Green Counties more or less formed the Southern Kentucky dividing line between these vast grasslands to the West and the millions of acres of forest to the East.

As to the historic symbolism I spoke of, this old bridge is much more than just a crossing from one side of the Little Barren to the other; it is a joining of the East and West, the forest and field and indeed the past and the present!

This story was posted on 2019-09-22 06:15:43
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