gilbertsville,ky photo


US 641
Gilbertsville KY 42044

Kentucky Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau  

The original town of Gilbertsville was founded in 1871 near the Tennessee River as "Clear Pond," named for a nearby lake. In 1874 it was incorporated and renamed "Gilbertsville" in honor of Jesse C. Gilbert, who served as a Kentucky state senator from 1871 to 1875. The town grew to include a bank, several stores, a jail, and a school teaching grades 1-12. It had a population of approximately 300 in 1930. The village thrived because besides the fertile bottomland, it afforded the combination of river access for transportation and fishing, and railroad transportation via the Illinois Central railroad. Modern Gilbertsville The construction of Kentucky Dam (1938–1944) meant the end for old Gilbertsville. The town was moved to its present site, initially called "West Gilbertsville" by the time that Kentucky Lake was impounded in the early 1940s. A notable event in the town's history was the dedication ceremony for Kentucky Dam on October 10, 1945, at which President Harry Truman gave the dedicatory speech. It has been the site, for several decades, of the 25-acre (100,000 m2) Kentucky Sheriff's Boys and Girls Ranch, which has provided a free week-long summer camp for thousands of  children ages 8–11. Tourism related to the dams and lakes created nearby by TVA has driven the economy of the town since the 1940s. The town has an airport, an 18 hole golf course, a large marina, and has been the site of bass fishing tournaments.