Ohio and Kentucky fighting over rock





An eight-ton rock rested for generations at the bottom of the Ohio River, minding its own business as time and currents passed. It favored neither Ohio to the north nor Kentucky to the south. It just — was.

Occasionally, when water levels dropped, the boulder would break the surface long enough to receive the chiseled tattoos of mildly daring people seeking remembrance. But it stopped playing peek-a-boo nearly a century ago, leaving only ephemera in its wake, including a sepia photograph of a well-dressed woman in a frilly hat, standing in the middle of the Ohio, on this rock.

Now, because of one man’s obsessive good intention, the fabled rock sits on old tires in the municipal garage of this river city, awaiting the outcome of a border dispute that goes something like this:

Some Ohioans say the rock is an important piece of Portsmouth history and should be put on display. Some Kentuckians say the rock is an important piece of Kentucky, period, and should be returned. And some in both states say: I’ve been distracted by war, recession and a presidential campaign, so forgive me. But are we fighting over a rock?


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