Skip to content


Located in the Pennyroyal Region of southwestern Kentucky, Hopkinsville and Christian County are proud of it’s rich history, agricultural heritage and diverse culture. Founded in 1797 and settled primarily by Revolutionary War veterans, this fertile land produces wheat, corn, and dark-fired tobacco as its major crops.

Only grown in this region, dark-fired tobacco brought money, improvements, and conflict to the community when Night Riders fought big business for a fair price on the cash crop in the early 1900s.

In 1942, the community welcomed a U.S. Army installation – known today as Fort Campbell – into its backyard, changing the landscape of the region forever.

World-renowned psychic Edgar Cayce, feminist writer bell hooks, African-American journalist Ted Poston, and college football coach Jerry Claiborne, to name just a few, are some of the famous folks who were born and reared in this small, tightly-knit community.

Today, with a county-wide population of just over 70,000, this community is still one deeply rooted in agriculture and takes great pride in its adaptability and hospitable nature. The people are friendly, the land is breathtaking and the barbecue is served with a side of burgoo.

bell hooks

Born Gloria Jean Watkins in Hopkinsville, KY, in 1952, bell hooks took her pen name from her maternal great-grandmother. The uncapitalized styling was an act of humility, an attempt to “focus on my ideas rather than my personality,” she once explained. She expressed those ideas in poetry and dozens of books exploring race, sexuality, class, and gender – and changed the face of feminism and fueled the quest for social justice.

Hooks was the child of a postal worker and a homemaker. Her education began in a segregated classroom and continued at Stanford University. In 1978 she published her first book, a collection of poems, but it was 1981’s Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism and Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center that helped Black and working-class women gain footing within the feminist movement.

Trail of Tears

The 1828 discovery of gold on Cherokee Indian land in Georgia, and demands from land-hungry settlers, led to the forced removal of 16,000 Cherokees by the U.S. Government’s cruel and inhumane Indian Removal Policy. Cherokees from Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama traveling the Northern route made a stop in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, to camp and receive provisions for the journey west. Thousands died on this forced march. Two notables, Chief Whitepath and Fly Smith, died and are buried at the Hopkinsville site. Called the “Trail where they cried,” the Trail of Tears has come to symbolize not only the Cherokee Removal but the sad plight of all American Indians who suffered under the government’s Indian Removal Policy. The Trail of Tears Commemorative Park and Heritage Center in Hopkinsville, situated on a portion of the campground used by the Cherokees, pays tribute to all American Indians whose lives and cultures were devastated by this infamous chapter in American history.

Celebrate Pow Wow with Native American culture through dance and drum competitions, Native American crafts, food, and gifts. Throughout the year, guests can visit the heritage cabin and see artifacts that were carried on the trail. This stop will also earn you a stamp in your National Park Passport. Don’t have a passport? Pick one up in the Trail of Tears gift shop.