TriCounty Community Guide 2019 - Page 14

CUMBERLAND FALLS One of Corbin's main attractions for tour- ists and residents alike is the beautifully majestic Cumberland Falls. The waterfall is 65-feet high and 125-feet wide and is home to one of only two moonbows in the world. Cumberland Falls was officially established on August 21, 1931, however, the rock over which the Cumberland River plunges is about 250 million years old. Often called the “Niagara of the South,” Cumberland Falls has attracted the atten- tion of countless people since prehistoric times, according to the Cumberland Falls State Park website. The first permanent, white settlers at the Falls did not arrive until 1850, but Native Americans lived there as long as 10,000 years ago making their homes in rock shelters at the base of the cliffs that line the river. As early as 1650, Shawnee, Cherokee, Chickasaw, and the Creek nations visited often and used the areas for temporary hunting camps, the website says. Dr. Thomas Walker during his 1750 explo- ration of Kentucky named the waterfall after the Duke of Cumberland, a son of King George II of England, according to the Cumberland Falls State Park website. Ownership of Cumberland Falls included Samuel Garland, a Virginian who traded a portion of his supplies for the land around the falls, according to information provided on the website. The first official record of the Falls owner- ship occurred in 1800 when the Commonwealth of Kentucky granted Matthew Walton and Adam Shepard the Falls and 200 acres. In 1850, Louis and Mary H. Renfro bought 400 acres “including the Great Falls of the Cumberland.” The couple reportedly built a cabin near the Falls. Socrates Owens constructed a hotel at the falls, the State Park's website says. When Owens died in 1890, his widow, Nannie William Owens, and his son, Edward F. Owens, took possession of the Cumberland Falls Hotel. The Owens family later sold the hotel and 400 acres to the Cumberland Falls Company, which in turn sold it to J.C. Brunson, who renamed the hotel the Brunson Inn. In November 1927 Kentucky native T. Coleman DuPont offered to buy the Falls and the surrounding acreage to give to the Commonwealth for a state park. On March 10, 1930, the Kentucky legislature voted to accept the offer of the Falls area as a state park. Under the direction of Dr. Willard Rouse Jillson, who had served as the first commis- sioner of state parks, a committee adopted a motion to make Cumberland Falls part of the state parks system. The dedication of Cumberland Falls as a Kentucky State Park took place August 21, 1931. The road from Corbin to the Falls needed improvement, according to the Cumberland Falls State Park website, and in 1931 a new highway was completed. Between September 7 and Thanksgiving Day, of 1931, over 50,000 visitors came to see Page 14 — The Times-Tribune • Community Guide 2019 Cumberland Falls. In 1933 the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) had 136 young men working at the Falls to improve the park. According to the Falls website, they constructed DuPont Lodge and 15 cabins for visitors, along with campsites, picnic areas, roads and trails. The lodge had 26 rooms with a lounge two- stories high replete with a huge stone fire- place. A fire destroyed DuPont Lodge on April 5, 1940, the website says. Park authorities constructed a new lodge in 1941. Fires destroyed the old Cumberland Fall Hotel in 1947 and in 1949 the Moonbow Inn also burned. MOONBOW The moonbow at Cumberland Falls only occurs once a month, during the full moon. The light from the full moon reflects off of the mist from the Falls, creating the white arc of light known as the moonbow. Thousands of visitors from around the world come to the state park to experience this amazing phenomenon. The moonbow is said to only be duplicated at Victoria Falls in Africa. LODGING The Cumberland Falls State Resort Park offers many different lodging options including the DuPont Lodge, cabins, cot- tages and campsites. EVENTS HALLOWEEN MURDER MYSTERY Guests to the Falls can join in a fun evening Continued on 16 >>>