I'm guessing that when most people think of Nevada, it's like, "Okay, Vegas, Reno, and then what?" I get it. But enormous Lake Mead and Hoover Dam--about 35 miles southeast of Sin City--draw quite the crowd as well.

And within the last few years, those crowds have been able to see something few people living today have ever seen. Due to severe drought conditions, Lake Mead has receded so much, a ghost town called St. Thomas has become visible. It was once, however, far from "ghostly." In fact, it was an important outpost:

Within the park boundaries lies a ghost town that was inundated when Lake Mead first filled up in the 1930’s. Once a Mormon settlement, St. Thomas thrived as a stopping point between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City along the Arrowhead Trail.

I've been fascinated ever since this discovery came to light. So you can imagine my delight when I learned of a similar "reveal" very close to home. And now, as I've said so many times in this space, I need to plan a road trip, this time to Kentucky Lake.

Kentucky Lake Dam Creates Underwater Ghost Town

Relatively speaking, it wasn't THAT long ago that Birmingham KY was a thriving small town. I say "relatively" because we're talking about a period during my parents' lifetime. But yes, it began growing after the Civil War and reached a population of about 600 by 1929, according to Dave's Garden:

There were two schools, two hotels, four dry goods and general stores, two wagon and blacksmith shops, five churches, three grocers, two millinery shops, and a drug store.

In 1938, however, residents were told they needed to leave because the Tennessee Valley Authority needed to build Kentucky Dam in order to create Kentucky Lake. Later, some of the same folks needed to move again because of the creation of Lake Barkley.

Remnants of Birmingham KY Can Still Be Seen When the Water Is Low

Eerily, keen eyes can still spot glimpses of this forgotten town when water levels are low enough. And you usually need to be at appropriately-named Birmingham Point.

I've actually visited many ghost towns, but they're all out west. Obviously, I can't visit this one, but if I ever get lucky enough to be at Kentucky Lake's Birmingham Point when the water gets low enough to see some of its namesake town, I'll probably wear my iPhone out taking pictures. I mean, how often can you get THAT kind of opportunity?

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