'An Evening Between the Rivers' discussion scheduled for Saturday

Rowena Payne's grocery store was a popular gathering place in Sardis, Between the Rivers. Residents who lived here prior to the area's relocation will share their memories in a special event planned for Saturday in Grand Rivers.

Contributed photo

Almost half a century has passed since the last residents left their ancestral homes Between the Rivers. With each passing year, there are fewer voices who can speak to what life was like on the historic peninsula between the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers.

The public is invited to a roundtable discussion Saturday at the Grand Rivers Community Center. Doors open at 5 p.m. for a potluck dinner. The program begins at 6:30 p.m.

Panelists Mary Forsythe, Johnny Wall, Leon Forsythe, Johnie Calhoun and Jimmy Rowland will share their personal memories of this lost world, followed by an audience discussion.

Archivist, historian and lawyer Christian Greco, originally of Boston, will host and moderate the panel. The discussion will be supplemented by a display of rare, historic photographs Greco has recovered and preserved, many of which will be revealed in public for the first time. Greco became intrigued with the fate of old Lyon County through the family of the late Marshall and Paula Turner.

His girlfriend, Beth TeVault, is the granddaughter of the Turners, and a university professor and scholar working toward her doctorate. The couple frequently visits her aunt, Chris Wood, in Old Eddyville.

Wood resides in one of the few, historic buildings left above the shoreline of Lake Barkley. The lake was impounded in 1966 by the completion of Barkley Dam at Grand Rivers.

In addition to his other activities, Greco is a former assistant archivist at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston. His archival preservation and digital restoration of historic photographs has engendered great interest and appreciation from many of Old Eddyville's natives and descendants. He and former Old Eddyville resident Richard Willett are planning a book on the history of Lyon County that will include hundreds of never-before-seen photographs.

This event is part of the annual "Lyon County Evenings" summer series that launched two years ago.

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