Smithland Days

Moving to Smithland

In the year of 1929, my father, Jim Martin, was elected jailer of Livingston County, Ky.
At the time we lived just outside the city limits of Salem across the road from the Davenport Store on Highway 60.
On January 1, 1930, my Dad and Mother loaded up their five kids and what belongings they had and headed for
Smithland, a trip of about eighteen miles.
We went down through Burna and the Salty Point area, crossed the Cumberland River on the ferryboat and landed
at the town that would be our hometown for many years.
Several more Martin children would be added to the family there.

We moved into the house that was provided for the jailer in Smithland. That house is still standing, although I am sure
there has been a lot of remodeling done to it over the years. The old brick jailhouse sat between our new home and
Wilson Avenue which was then 60 Highway, with the back of the Livingston County Courthouse, built in the 1840's
and still in use, facing the jail area. A big yard surrounded the courthouse and an iron fence ran the length of the entire courtyard. I was four years old and thought that courthouse must be the biggest building in the world. I was really
excited about my new home. It was a brand new world for me.

(c) copyright by Melvin "Bubbie" Martin 2001

The Old Livingston County Jail