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Paducah, Kentucky

McCRACKEN COUNTY

Paducah is a Kentucky peninsula, a curved finger stretching into the confluence of rivers flowing west towards the powerful Mississippi. Its heritage goes back to the Native Americans, the Western adventurers, the Civil War notables, the shipping and railroad magnates and laborers, and the African-American musicians, and artists of all stripes. “A resonating energy comes from the waters,” says Nathan Lynn, musician and archivist at McCracken County Public Library. Lynn lives with his wife and children on land his family began farming in 1867. “Paducah feels very alive to me,” he says. Here, in a place known as "another name for Paradise" from a song in the 1943 musical "The Gang's all Here," more than 70 visual journalists from across the country trained their lenses on the people and this place, telling the stories of this Western Kentucky river city.