Rowena History

We're adding to the legend & lore

 

There are many legends of how the former bustling community along the north bank of the Cumberland River in what is now Russell County, Kentucky, got its name. A favorite story is that the daughter of the owner of the closest house to the river was a brave, fiery girl named Ena, who rowed passengers across the river. Their coaxing to “Row Ena!” resulted in the community that grew up there being called “Rowena.” The Rowena post office was established on May 14, 1847, and with its strategic location on the river it soon became a thriving riverside community.

 

Lake Cumberland was constructed in the late 1940s, and the reservoir was filled in 1950-51. The location of a commercial marina at the very spot where Marina@Rowena will be built was envisioned in the Lake Cumberland Master Plan prepared by the Corps of Engineers in 1949. Marina@Rowena is filling the need of providing facilities in the void between Wolf Creek Dam and Halcomb’s Landing.

The Rowena Ferry began operation in 1848 by William Liar, providing a critical link to the land to the north for more than 100 years. The ferry ceased operation in 1951 when the Wolf Creek Dam was completed. The area from which the ferry operated will be the new home of Marina@Rowena.

The Steamboat Rowena, the most notable on the river, was named after the community. For many decades before it sunk on June 20, 1934, it provided transportation between Nashville, Tennessee, and Burnside, Kentucky, hauling goods to and from landings all along the Cumberland River. One stop was at Rowena Landing where Marina@Rowena will serve future generations in a different but equally important way by providing recreational use of beautiful Lake Cumberland.

 

Lake Cumberland was constructed in the late 1940s, and the reservoir was filled in 1950-51. The location of a commercial marina at the very spot where Marina@Rowena will be built was envisioned in the Lake Cumberland Master Plan prepared by the Corps of Engineers in 1949. Marina@Rowena is filling the need of providing facilities in the void between Wolf Creek Dam and Halcomb’s Landing.

After nearly a decade of planning and navigating the permitting process, permits to develop the marina were granted on July 5, 2017, to Tony Sloan and Tom Allen, managing members of Marina at Rowena LLC to begin construction on the historic Rowena Landing South of Lake Cumberland. The partners also own and operate Sunset Marina in Byrdstown, Tennessee.

 

By April 2019 Marina Rowena had 48 completed houseboat slips and 32 open slips and the marina began taking applications for its first slipholders.

The 407 acres of land and water leased from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is being developed in phases with the parking lot and boat launch ramp built during the first year and the main dock with boat slips and a café built during the second year.

Located only four miles upstream from Wolf Creek Dam, Marina@Rowena is accessible from Kentucky State Highway 90 via State Road 558, an asphalt road that ends at the abandoned Rowena Ferry site where a large boat-launching ramp is located. 

Keep in touch with as the marina develops. If you wish to receive email updates about our progress, please join our mailing list. We’ll share our progress on Facebook and Twitter. You’re welcome to contact us with questions or to request inclusion on the waiting list for dockage. Click the buttons below to connect with us!

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