Images of America: Fulton

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Author: Elizabeth R. Jones

Located in the southwestern part of the state, Fulton Kentucky was first known as Pontotoc by the native Chickasaw Indians. The town was founded in 1828, along with its sister city, South Fulton, Tennessee, when Benjamin Franklin Carr purchased 160 acres from the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The town was labeled the “end of the line” by the federal government due to its pivotal position at the termination point of the Paducah-Memphis rail---all mail sent to the region was addressed as such. When the refrigerated rail cars of the Illinois Central began shipping bananas from the Deep South to Canada in 1890, Fulton was a central stop along the route. Until the 1960s, Fulton handled over 70 percent of all the bananas brought to the United States, resulting in the popular International Banna Festival. Fulton has played host to many illustrious visitors, including Charles Lindbergh and former president Bill Clinton.