Fact Du Jour – June 22, 2019 – “Corn Island”

Mother Nature eventually makes fools of us all. And that’s exactly what she did with Corn Island, which formerly “existed” as a 43-acre island in the Ohio River near Louisville,  Kentucky. The island is now officially submerged, yet a Louisville family continues to pay its property taxes…EVERY YEAR!


The remains of Corn Island in this undated photo.


Deforestation and erosion as well as mining of its limestone caused the island’s footprint to shrink, threatening it with submersion in the early 19th century. The extraction of rock and the removal of trees from the island contributed to erosion. By 1889, all that remained was its bedrock base. To improve navigation, From 1889-1891, the Army Corps of Engineers blasted and excavated the rock base of the island until it was submerged. The island was flooded by the construction of a dam in the 1920s. It now lies permanently underwater.

According to Jefferson County Clerk, property taxes for land that was Corn Island, are currently paid by the James family of Louisville. The Corn Island “land” has been in their family for generations and they have continued to pay the annual tax bill for it.

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