The Confluence History and Archeology Taskforce (CHAT) is a team of semi-professional and student historians, anthropologists and archeologists dedicated to research into the near and distant past near the confluences of the four rivers:

Based in Paducah, Kentucky, the group will begin its work by exploring both the written record and selected sites in and around Paducah and McCracken County producing digests, documents, articles, lists and maps. The field crews will also place markers at points of historical and cultural interest.

Funding and supportEdit

The effort is part of the Paducah2020 Project hosted by Wikia, Inc. and supported by WikiProject Kentucky at Kentuckypedia.

Some members of this project are also members of WikiProject Kentucky at Wikipedia. They help to create, edit and maintain a set of articles including a portal and a main article about Kentucky. They do this work on a volunteer basis under the GNU Free Documentation License. Smallwikipedialogo.png

Rewinding historyEdit

Our libraries are packed with archives of newspapers on microfilm, and volumes of public records in print form. CHAT begins its quest with the earliest records it can find from Antebellum Paducah. With the help of the Purchase Area Watershed Mapping Project the team will augment PAWMP's model with a fourth dimension - time. Archeology expeditions will be organized to verify and mark points of historical and cultural interest throughout the region.

Pilot WorklistEdit

  1. The Sacred Meeting of the Waters • A study of how prehistoric people may have viewed the confluence area.
  2. Cheif Paduke and the Chickasaw • Was the Cheif real or imagined? How did Native Americans use the watershed system?
  3. The Storm Below • An account of the 1811-12 earthquakes.
  4. The story of Pekin • What do we know about the first European and African-American settlers? How did they interact with Native Americans?
  5. Incorporation, steamboats and railroads • Did William Clark and congress violate Wikipedia:Human Rights? ... and what was he thinking when he laid out that hideous grid?
  6. Paducah in the Civil War • Was Grant a military genius or what? Where is Forrest's Bivuac?
  7. Paducah in the Reconstructionplanned
  8. Paducah at the Turn of the Twentieth Centuryplanned
  9. Paducah in the Roaring Twentiesplanned
  10. The 1937 floodSee the section at Wikipedia
  11. The Atomic CitySee the section at Wikipedia

Before HumansEdit

The PAWMP model will include a version of the Purchase Area in a pristine state; that is, a view of what the area looked like before the built environment was forced onto it by Industrial Society. CHAT will assist by "unbuilding" Paducah in the virtual realm. When the model is complete, users will be able to rewind and fast-forward a dynamic map of the region. A digest titled The Sacred Meeting of the Waters will hold a description of the area as it may have appeared to its first Human visitors.

Contests and championsEdit

It is believed that the Chickasaw, used extreme Western Kentucky, particularly a ridge just south of Lone Oak (part of the Greater Paducah Area) for conducting athletic contests. Legend and folklore suggests that the names Contest Road and Champion Creek are derived from an ancient yearly event involving archery, spear throwing, wrestling and other feats of skill. At the conclusion of a spirited winner-take-all contest, the champion was ushered to a highly-decorated boat moored at the headwaters of what is still called Champion Creek. Here the boat was laden with the treasured bows, spears, arrows, shields and many other posessions from the other contestants. With great pomp and ceremony the champion and was floated down the stream toward its confluence with The Tennessee River, the site of the main village and Chief Paduke's lodge. Here he was bestowed with great honor by the chief and the elders. The whole community joined in for a lively celebration that lasted a whole week. It's a charming legend.

One of CHAT's initial tasks is to examine the special collections and other records at the McCracken County Public Library looking for documents that support or disprove the legend. The team expects to uncover facts and follow leads that will help reconstruct a reasonably accurate view of how Native Americans lived on the land that carries Cheif Paduke's name, whether he was historical or fictional. The findings will be published here on Kentuckypedia in a digest titled Cheif Paduke and the Chickasaw.

An expedition to the contest site is being planned.

Whole lotta shakin'Edit

In the winter of 1811-12, just after the very first steamboat paddled down the Ohio by what is now the foot of Broadway on its way to New Orleans, a series of major earthquakes and tremors plagued the area, which lies within the Wikipedia:New Madrid Seismic Zone. CHAT's task is to look into how the people living in the region were affected by the cataclysm. The findings will be published in a digest titled The Storm Below.

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