Tolu, Kentucky

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Tolu, Kentucky
USA Kentucky location map.svg
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Coordinates: 37°25′59″N88°14′43″W / 37.43306°N 88.24528°W / 37.43306; -88.24528 Coordinates: 37°25′59″N88°14′43″W / 37.43306°N 88.24528°W / 37.43306; -88.24528
Country United States
State Kentucky
County Crittenden
  Total0.35 sq mi (0.90 km2)
  Land0.35 sq mi (0.90 km2)
  Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
377 ft (115 m)
  Density233.43/sq mi (90.18/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
  Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
Area code 270
GNIS feature ID515965 [2]

Tolu is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Crittenden County, Kentucky, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 88. [3] It is located along Kentucky Route 135 near the Ohio River. It is 14 miles (23 km) northwest of Marion, the county seat.



Historical population
2020 81
U.S. Decennial Census [4]


Tolu was one of many pre-Columbian Native American settlements of the Mississippian culture within the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys. The Cahokia Site on the Mississippi was the largest Mississippian settlement with a population of 20,000 inhabitants. Mississippian sites on Lower Ohio Map HRoe 2010.jpg
Tolu was one of many pre-Columbian Native American settlements of the Mississippian culture within the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys. The Cahokia Site on the Mississippi was the largest Mississippian settlement with a population of 20,000 inhabitants.


The earliest known settlement in what became the future town of Tolu was the Native American prehistoric archeological site of the Mississippian culture, known today as the Tolu Site was built and occupied between 1000 CE-1350 CE. [5] This sophisticated culture flourished in chiefdoms along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, reaching its peak in size and power at Cahokia in present-day Illinois, the largest prehistoric complex north of Mexico. Peoples of the culture had wide trading networks spanning the continent along the Mississippi River, from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.

The Tolu Site is part of the Angel phase of the Mississippian period. Because of similarities among the following sites in their styles of pottery and construction of communities, it is also considered part of the "Kincaid Set", together with Angel Mounds in Indiana and Kincaid Mounds in Illinois, and Wickliffe Mounds in far western Kentucky.

European settlement

By 1800, a small river front settlement developed that would later become Tolu, Kentucky and was for a time known as Kirksville. [6]

From the 1790s-1830s, Tolu was under the control and influence of James Ford who led a double life serving both sides of the law as a justice of the peace, planter, businessman, ferry operator, criminal gang leader, state militia officer, river pirate, slave stealer, and slave trader. The rule of Ford came to an end with his murder in 1833. [7] [8]

Following a devastating windstorm in the 1830s, the town was renamed Hurricane Landing. In 1867, Hurricane Landing had an established post office. In 1884, the current town name was chosen after Tolu, a then popular hair tonic. The Hurricane Camp Meeting Grounds a Presbyterian revival camp was established in 1888-1889 and has its roots in the Hurricane Landing Church founded in 1843. [9]

Points of interest

Notable people

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Crittenden County, Kentucky</span> County in Kentucky, United States

Crittenden County is a county in the U.S. state of Kentucky. At the 2020 census, the population was 8,990. Its county seat is Marion. The county was formed in 1842 and named for John J. Crittenden, senator and future Governor of Kentucky. It is a prohibition or dry county.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Massac County, Illinois</span> County in Illinois, United States

Massac County is a county in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2020 census, it had a population of 14,169. Established in 1843 and named for a French fort founded in the 18th century, its county seat is Metropolis. Massac County is included in the Paducah, KY-IL Micropolitan Statistical Area. It is located along the Ohio River, in the portion of the state known locally as "Little Egypt".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hopewell tradition</span> Ancient North American indigenous civilization

The Hopewell tradition, also called the Hopewell culture and Hopewellian exchange, describes a network of precontact Native American cultures that flourished in settlements along rivers in the northeastern and midwestern Eastern Woodlands from 100 BCE to 500 CE, in the Middle Woodland period. The Hopewell tradition was not a single culture or society but a widely dispersed set of populations connected by a common network of trade routes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fort Ancient</span> Archaeological culture in the Ohio River valley

Fort Ancient is a name for a Native American culture that flourished from Ca. 1000-1750 CE and predominantly inhabited land near the Ohio River valley in the areas of modern-day southern Ohio, northern Kentucky, southeastern Indiana and western West Virginia. Although a contemporary of the Mississippian culture, they are often considered a "sister culture" and distinguished from the Mississippian culture. Although far from agreed upon, there is evidence to suggest that the Fort Ancient Culture were not the direct descendants of the Hopewellian Culture. It is suspected that the Fort Ancient Culture introduced maize agriculture to Ohio. The Fort Ancient Culture were most likely the builders of the Great Serpent Mound. Recent archeological study and carbon dating suggests that Alligator Mound in Granville also dates to the Fort Ancient era, rather than the assumed Hopewell era. It is believed that neither the Serpent or Alligator Mounds are burial locations, but rather served as ceremonial effigy sites.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Angel Mounds</span> United States historic place

Angel Mounds State Historic Site, an expression of the Mississippian culture, is an archaeological site managed by the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites that includes more than 600 acres of land about 8 miles (13 km) southeast of present-day Evansville, in Vanderburgh and Warrick counties in Indiana. The large residential and agricultural community was constructed and inhabited from AD 1100 to AD 1450, and served as the political, cultural, and economic center of the Angel chiefdom. It extended within 120 miles (190 km) of the Ohio River valley to the Green River in present-day Kentucky. The town had as many as 1,000 inhabitants inside the walls at its peak, and included a complex of thirteen earthen mounds, hundreds of home sites, a palisade (stockade), and other structures.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mississippian culture</span> Mound-building Native American culture in the United States

The Mississippian culture was a Native American civilization that flourished in what is now the Midwestern, Eastern, and Southeastern United States from approximately 800 CE to 1600 CE, varying regionally. It was known for building large, earthen platform mounds, and often other shaped mounds as well. It was composed of a series of urban settlements and satellite villages linked together by loose trading networks. The largest city was Cahokia, believed to be a major religious center located in what is present-day southern Illinois.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wickliffe Mounds</span> Archaeological site in Kentucky, US

Wickliffe Mounds is a prehistoric, Mississippian culture archaeological site located in Ballard County, Kentucky, just outside the town of Wickliffe, about 3 miles (4.8 km) from the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Archaeological investigations have linked the site with others along the Ohio River in Illinois and Kentucky as part of the Angel phase of Mississippian culture. Wickliffe Mounds is controlled by the State Parks Service, which operates a museum at the site for interpretation of the ancient community. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is also a Kentucky Archeological Landmark and State Historic Site.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Caborn-Welborn culture</span> Early North American Indigenous culture

Caborn-Welborn was a precontact and proto-historic North American culture defined by archaeologists as a Late Mississippian cultural manifestation that grew out of – or built upon the demise of – the Angel chiefdom located in present-day southern Indiana. Caborn-Welborn developed around 1400 and seems to have disappeared around 1700 CE. The Caborn-Welborn culture was the last Native American occupation of southern Indiana prior to European contact. It remains unclear which post-contact Native group, if any, are their descendants.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">James Ford (pirate)</span> American pirate (1775–1833)

James Ford, born James N. Ford, also known as James N. Ford, Sr., the "N" possibly for Neal, was an American civic leader and business owner in western Kentucky and southern Illinois, from the late 1790s to mid-1830s. Despite his clean public image as a "Pillar of the Community", Ford was secretly a river pirate and the leader of a gang that was later known as the "Ford's Ferry Gang". His men were the river equivalent of highway robbers. They hijacked flatboats and Ford's "own river ferry" for tradable goods from local farms that were coming down the Ohio River.

The Angel phase describes a 300–400-year cultural manifestation of the Mississippian culture of the central portions of the United States of America, as defined in the discipline of archaeology. Angel phase archaeological sites date from c. 1050 - 1350 CE and are located on the northern and southern sides of the Ohio River in southern Indiana, such as National Historic Landmark Angel Mounds near present-day Evansville; northwestern Kentucky, with Wickliffe Mounds and the Tolu Site; and Kincaid Mounds State Historic Site in Illinois. Additional sites range from the mouth of Anderson River in Perry County, Indiana, west to the mouth of the Wabash in Posey County, Indiana.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Golconda Historic District</span> Historic district in Illinois, United States

The Golconda Historic District is a designated historic district in the Pope County, Illinois city of Golconda, along the banks of the Ohio River. The district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, one of only three sites in Pope County to be on the Register. The other sites are Millstone Bluff, a prehistoric Mississippian settlement in the Shawnee National Forest, and the Pope County portion of the Kincaid Mounds, a prehistoric city in the Ohio River floodplain. The historic district located along Illinois Route 146 and was added to the Register in 1976.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kincaid Mounds State Historic Site</span> Archaeological site in Illinois, US

The Kincaid Mounds Historic Site c. 1050–1400 CE, is a Mississippian culture archaeological site located at the southern tip of present-day U.S. state of Illinois, along the Ohio River. Kincaid Mounds has been notable for both its significant role in native North American prehistory and for the central role the site has played in the development of modern archaeological techniques. The site had at least 11 substructure platform mounds, and 8 other monuments.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Plaquemine culture</span> Archaeological culture in the lower Mississippi River Valley, United States

The Plaquemine culture was an archaeological culture centered on the Lower Mississippi River valley. It had a deep history in the area stretching back through the earlier Coles Creek and Troyville cultures to the Marksville culture. The Natchez and related Taensa peoples were their historic period descendants. The type site for the culture is the Medora site in Louisiana; while other examples include the Anna, Emerald, Holly Bluff, and Winterville sites in Mississippi.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tolu Site</span>

The Tolu Site is a prehistoric archeological site of the Mississippian culture near the unincorporated community of Tolu, Crittenden County, Kentucky, United States. It was built and occupied between 1200-1450 CE. No carbon dating has been performed at the site, but analysis of pottery styles suggest its major habitation period was 1200 to 1300 CE. The site originally had three mounds, a burial mound, a substructure platform mound and one other of undetermined function. It was excavated in 1930 by W.S. Webb and William D. Funkhouser.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Twin Mounds Site</span> Archaeological site in Kentucky, US

The Twin Mounds Site, also known as the Nolan Site, is a Mississippian culture archaeological site located near Barlow in Ballard County, Kentucky, just north of the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, and directly across the Ohio River from Mound City, Illinois.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rowlandton Mound Site</span> Archaeological site in Kentucky, US

The Rowlandton Mound Site (15MCN3) is a Mississippian culture archaeological site located in Paducah in McCracken County, Kentucky, on the edge of an old oxbow lake a little south of the Ohio River.

Stone box graves were a method of burial used by Native Americans of the Mississippian culture in the Midwestern United States and the Southeastern United States. Their construction was especially common in the Cumberland River Basin, in settlements found around present-day Nashville, Tennessee.

Tolú is a small town and municipality in Sucre Department, northern Colombia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Annis Mound and Village site</span> Archaeological site in Kentucky, US

The Annis Mound and Village site is a prehistoric Middle Mississippian culture archaeological site located on the bank of the Green River in Butler County, Kentucky, several miles northwest of Morgantown in the Big Bend region. It was occupied from about 800 CE to about 1300 CE.


  1. "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 18, 2022.
  2. "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Tolu CDP, Kentucky". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved August 13, 2014.
  4. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  5. Kevin E. Smith; James V. Miller (2009). Speaking with the Ancestors-Mississippian Stone Statuary of the Tennessee-Cumberland region. University of Alabama Press. pp. 146–148. ISBN   978-0-8173-5465-7.
  6. Bigham, Darrel E. (1998). Towns & Villages of the Lower Ohio. University Press of Kentucky. pp. 57–58. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  7. Sniveley, Jr., William Daniel (1968). "Satan's Ferryman: A True Tale of the Old Frontier". New York, NY: Franklin Prtg. and Publishing Company. p. 211.{{cite web}}: Missing or empty |url= (help)
  8. Rothert, Otto A. (1924). "The Outlaws of Cave-In-Rock". Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press. p. 309.{{cite web}}: Missing or empty |url= (help)
  9. Bigham, Darrel E. (1998). Towns & Villages of the Lower Ohio. University Press of Kentucky. pp. 57–58, 178. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  10. Janine-Rice, Brother (2014). "Hurricane Camp Meeting Grounds, Crittenden County, Kentucky, February 23, 2016".