The rural community of Creelsboro, located on the north bank of the Cumberland River in Russell County, Kentucky, was established in the early 1800s. For over a century, it was the center of community life for people living in the nearby Cumberland River bottoms. With the advent of the steamboat, the community thrived and was a bustling town.

This documentary project features four integrated components: Creelsboro and the Cumberland: A Living History, a one-hour public television documentary distributed by Kentucky Educational Television (KET) that can be viewed here; Voyageur Media Group’s companion website with information, images, and short videos about the original paintings and music composed for the documentary; educational materials developed by the Kentucky Archaeological Survey linked to the documentary and the paintings; and a Digital Media Archive that preserves all of the archival materials used in the project.


Creelsboro and the Cumberland: A Living History presents the history and culture of the farming community of Creelsboro. Interviews with scholars and residents bring the valley’s rich cultural heritage to life, from the first American Indians to occupy the area, through early settlement by Euro-American pioneers to the golden age of steamboats and changes from the construction of Wolf Creek Dam. The documentary also presents beautiful aerial video, rare archival photographs, original artworks, and an original soundtrack for compelling look at the valley’s history, and the community’s intimate connection to the Cumberland River.

The documentary is the seventh episode in The Kentucky Archaeology & Heritage Series, which is produced by Voyageur Media Group for the Kentucky Archaeological Survey.

Companion Website

Voyageur Media Group’s companion website presents additional information about the Creelsboro Documentary Project, including educational materials that complement those found on this website and resource links for viewers, teachers, and students. Learn more about Creelsboro, the documentary, and project participants. Access documents, images, short videos, and audio files related to the original artworks and music commissioned for the documentary.

Educational Materials

The educational materials on this website – Exploring Rural Kentucky Through Documentary Art – were developed to support the documentary. They are an integrated set of essays, short videos, activities, and resources created for middle and high school (grades 6-12) teachers and their students. These materials are aligned to Kentucky Academic Standards in Social Studies, Reading and Writing, and Visual and Performing Arts as well as to the National Core Arts Standards and the Social Studies Standards established by the National Council for the Social Studies.

All elements are designed to be used in visual arts or social studies classes. Some activities are equally appropriate for reading and writing, media arts, theatre, or music classes. Each Teaching Tips and Activities section provides teachers with an overview of curricular connections.

These materials may be used and copied for educational purposes, free without special permission. However, re-publication or reproduction of any part of them by any other publishing service, whether in a book or any other resource, is strictly prohibited. Please contact the Kentucky Archaeological Survey regarding questions you may have regarding additional uses of materials from the Creelsboro Documentary Project.


This public education project is made possible with support from The Federal Highway Administration, The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the Kentucky Archaeological Survey, and Voyageur Media Group, Inc.