2015-02-11 / Features

When Cumberland was only two hours’ away

This 1912 photos shows the town of Poor Fork, near the Letcher-Harlan county line. Nearly 13 years later, in February 1925, the town had paved its streets and formed the Poor Fork Chamber of Commerce, an organization that drew the praises of the Harlan Enterprise and Mountain Eagle, which boasted in its February 12, 1925 edition that better roads would soon leave Poor Fork only a two-hour drive from Whitesburg. The town is now known as Cumberland. According to the book “Kentucky Place Names” by Robert M. Rennick, Poor Fork was settled in 1837 and named for its location on a fork of the Cumberland River known for its poor soil. Its name was changed to Cumberland in 1926.

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