Hey there! Feels like I haven’t seen you in forever. That drive down here took longer than I thought. But we’ve arrived, so let’s pick up where we left off and talk about our next stop on this county road trip … Fulton County!
Sitting at our westernmost point, Fulton County was established in 1845. Fulton County was named after famous inventor, Robert Fulton. Fulton is widely regarded as the developer of the first commercial/practical steamboat. In addition, he was hired by Napoleon Bonaparte to design the world’s first practical submarine, the ‘Nautilus’ in 1800. Given their large amount of shoreline on the Mississippi, Robert Fulton seems to be an appropriate namesake for the county.
Formed from Hickman County, Fulton’s county seat is the city of Hickman. However, Fulton County’s largest city is actually Fulton. So Fulton County is below Hickman County, but has a county seat named Hickman even though their largest city is Fulton. Hold on, this geography lesson gets weirder. Fulton County is home to an exclave known as Kentucky Bend. An exclave is a part of a state that is separated from the main part of said state by surrounding foreign land. Essentially Kentucky Bend is a portion of Kentucky completely surrounded by Missouri on the top, and Tennessee on the bottom. Residents of Kentucky Bend have to enter Tennessee in order to get back to the Kentucky. More of Kentucky Bend’s rich history can be perused over at KSR’s sister site, MentalFloss.com.
Speaking of food, let’s check out ‘The Banana Capital of the World’ (yep, you read that right), the city of Fulton! To elaborate, around 1880, South America was shipping all of their bananas to New Orleans, where they were loaded into railroad cars and sent north to Chicago. The only problem was that about halfway along their journey, the bananas would start becoming too hot, and spoiling. So in order to keep them cool, these trains would stop in, you guessed it, the city of Fulton so they could ice up their bananas from the Fulton Ice Plant. With about 70% of the country’s bananas rolling through Fulton, it was deemed the Banana Capital of the World. With all of this banana history, doesn’t a big banana celebration sound appealing? Every September, Fulton and her twin city of South Fulton, Tennessee hold their annual International Banana Festival. For 7 potassium filled days, visitors can enjoy numerous fantastic events including the Banana 5k, the Banana Ball, The Miss Banana Pageant and of course, the Banana Bake Off. However the highlight of the festival is always the 1-ton Banana Pudding, considered the world’s largest. These residents will be pudding in a lot of work so visitors can have the time of their lives. Before splitting from Fulton, make sure to check out the details of this amazing yearly event HERE.
Well folks, I hope you enjoyed our triumphant return to the tour of Kentucky counties. We’ll keep this tour steaming forward as after all those bananas, there’s no chance of cramping. Let’s head back east and go hang out with my good friends Mila Kunis and Jim Beam, in Bullitt County!
Remember, if you want your county’s favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant, or cool town event featured, hit me up at [email protected] and we’ll get it on here!