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Trip Planner USA  /  Kentucky  /  Eddyville

Eddyville

4.3
Water Parks
Eddyville is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Lyon County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 2,554 at the 2010 census, up from 2,350 in 2000. The Kentucky State Penitentiary is located at Eddyville.HistoryEddyville, the seat of Lyon County, was settled around 1798 and named for the eddies in the nearby Cumberland River. It became the seat of Livingston County when it was formed in 1799; then the seat of Caldwell County upon its formation in 1809; and finally the seat of Lyon County upon its establishment in 1854. Thus, it holds the distinction of being the only city in Kentucky to have served as the county seat of three separate counties. The Eddyville post office opened in 1801.Throughout Kentucky, Eddyville is best known as a metonym for the Kentucky State Penitentiary, although the prison itself is actually 3mi south of the present town on the shore of Lake Barkley in Old Eddyville on KY 730. Taking six years to build (1884–1890), the massive stone prison structure towers over Lake Barkley and is sometimes called "The Castle on the Cumberland". Its electric chair has had a long history of use, dating to the period before 1936 when executions were still publicly conducted in Kentucky for some crimes (e.g., rape as in the case of Rainey Bethea) while electrocutions at Eddyville were strictly reserved for others (e.g., murder). Executions are still held at the prison, although there have only been three since 1976 and only one since 1999. The primary method has been changed to lethal injection.
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