My mother was from the small town of Betsy Layne, Ky. which is about 18 miles below Pikeville. Pikeville was the head of navigation on the Big Sandy River and the river there is not very wide. In fact it wouldn't take much of an arm to throw a baseball across it.
I asked Jesse P Hughes how in the world they ever turned the CRICKET around there. He explained "you'd back the boat out of the landing straight across the river. When the paddlewheel hit the bank, you'd ring the stopping bell and just wait for the current to swing the head around. When she came around far enough you'd come ahead slow, the wheel would walk off the bank, and down the river you would go."
Since Capt. Jesse's days, the movers and shakers in Pikeville got tired of the floods, so a few years ago they rerouted the river around the other side of the mountain. The river now bypasses Pikeville completely.
(Picture from the Murphy Library)
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