This is the map from the expedition of Captain Charles Lemoyne de Longueil map.  We put the yellow dot on it so you can easily locate what would be Cincinnati. Note down around Big Bone, where it notes "Endroit -- ou` on a` trouve' des os d'Elephant en 1729". In English, that's “Place where one found the bones of Elephant in 1729.”  This is the map that put Big Bone, well, on the map, and made it famous throughout the world. Not America; the world. The map is dated 1729, was published in 1744, and many - not all - believe it was actually from 1739, not 1729.


NKY Mapnew

Cherokee “cessions” of portions of Northern Kentucky. Details.



Maps of Northern Kentucky start with this one, John Filson's (Wikipedia), from 1784


NKY Map NKY Mapnew
by Matthew Carey, 1796 by Elihu Barker, 1793
On both of these maps, notice Cincinnati is still Fort Washington, and the only Kentucky towns noted are Washington, in Mason County, and the now gone Charleston, just down river from Maysville.


map map
Portion of a map from
1797 by Gilbert Imlay
“State of Kentucky from
the best of authorities”
1800, John Scoles, engraver


Stage Route Stage Route
NKY Views is grateful that Frankfort tavern owner Philip Bush (“bed and bedding in the best order”) in 1802 published for the convenience of his customers, a list of stage routes leaving Frankfort. The two above go thru Northern Kentucky, and into the N.W.T. (Northwest Territory - Ohio in 1802 is still not a state). How old is stuff from 1802?


Northern Kentucky Map newNKY Map
by S. Lewis, 1804 by Lucas Fielding, 1817


Mileage Chart Mileage Chart Mileage Chart
These three remarkable lists are the mileage charts, from 1815, for overland routes from Cincinnati to points south. In an era when river transportation ruled, railroads were scarce, canal prospects were exciting, and roads were near non-existent, it's fascinating stuff. Where are all these places? Our thoughts, research, and speculations are here. 1815!!


Northern Kentucky Map map Northern Kentucky Map
by Luke Munsell, 1818
Northern Kentucky,


Stage Routes Stage Routesnew
Lexington to Cincinnati Frankfort to Cincinnati
from Mitchell's Traveller's Guide to the United States, 1838


map Map\
Portion of an 1826 map of Kentucky,
by Anthony Foley.  Note absence of
several counties not yet created at this date.
Portion of a map by David Burr, from 1839
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by Joseph Gest, Kentucky portion of an 1838 map of Cincinnati





Portion of a map from 1845 by
Samuel Breese and Sidney Morse
Portion of a map from 1856
by John Bartholomew and
Adam Black


map map Map\

from an 1862 map of Kentucky
and Tennessee, by O. Lederle

1862 Section of a Map of the
Army of the Cumberland
1863 Lloyd's Map of Kentucky


The Union Army commissioned
 this one, 1865


map map 

You know Fort Wright and Fort Mitchel,
but can you place Northern Kentucky's
Fort Rich?  Fort Perry?


“Map showing the military defenses of Cincinnati, Covington
and Newport Constructed under the direction of Brig. O. M.
Mitchell, by Col. Charles Whittlesey in 1861: repaired and
extended under the direction of Major Genl. H. G. Wright
commanding Department of the Ohio, by Maj. J. H. Simpson,
Chief Topogl. Engr. of the Dept. Bvt. Capt. W. E. Merrill, &
Lieut. J. A. Tardy, Corps of Engs., and Col. Chas. Whittlesey,
in 1862. Complied by order of Maj. Genl. H. G. Wright commanding
Department of the Ohio, chiefly from surveys made under the
direction of Maj. J. H. Simpson by W. H. Searles, G. A. Aschbach,
O. P. Ransom, and J. R. Gillis, in Septr. & Octr. 1862. Published by
authority of the Hon. the Sec. of War, in the office of the Chief of
Engineers, U.S. Army.”
Thanks to Jeannine Kreinbrink for sending
me this chart (pdf) she compiled about all the forts,
their style, and who they were named for.
Here is a site with contemporary pictures of old fort locations.


Northern Kentucky Map Map

from Colton & Co., 1882

1882 Richmond and Louisville
Railroad Co.

1883 Consolidated Southern
Railway Map


Very detailed Sanborn Fire Maps of most Northern Kentucky towns, and D.J. Lake Atlas' of
virtually every town in Northern Kentucky from the late 1880's. Details on both are here.



1891 Kentucky Railroad Commissioner's Map



1896 Boone's Black Diamond Railroad Map


newNKY Map NKY Map
1913 Map showing proposed railroad line portion of a 1913 Rand McNally map showing
streetcar lines. (Trivia: It's one of the very few maps
to ever show the Ludlow Lagoon's islands.)


newIn 1914, the Louisville Auto Club offered helpful routes to get from Louisville to Maysville, to Cincinnati via Georgetown, to Cincinnati via Carrollton (and Indiana), and to Carrollton.


In October of 1926, the Cincinnati Auto Club suggests this route from Cincinnati, through Kenton, Boone, Grant (“not ten acres of level ground in the county”), Pendleton, Campbell and back to Cincinnati.


newNKY Map

Map showing “Automobile Roads”


map   map
Northern Kentucky,
Northern Kentucky Highway Map, 1929


Key to the above map


map map map
The US Geological Survey Published these glacial maps in 1949. 

Remember when the Licking River flowed north to Hamilton, Ohio, and the Kentucky River turned northeast at Carrollton and headed for Cincinnati?  No? That’s because you were born after the last glacier left the area.  Read all about it, here.

Here's a description of where the glaciers came in Boone, Kenton, and Campbell.

And here is one geologist's take on the northern end of the old Kentucky River.



A more contemporary aerial photo, whose scale kinda renders it as a map. North is to the right



unknown year


newChicago's Newberry Library has posted online a complete set of maps of American counties formations. They start with the date of county formation, and trace every little change to the boundaries after that. To see the counties from which the county was formed, you'll have to download the entire Kentucky state pdf. There's also a feature that you can use to import all this data into Google maps. Good stuff!

Dr. Paul Tenkotte writes on the creation of I-71 and I-75 at this site. Another site that has some dynamic overlays of Kentucky Counties and their formations, since 1790.  The site is here.

US 27 was established 1928, more here.

newBut a road from Newport to Falmouth to Cynthiana was created much earlier. Say 1818.

Contemporary maps of all Kentucky Counties can be seen here.
The O. F. Stone Baking Company of Cincinnati, published a map of Kenton County for Centennial Week in 1914.  It's here. Kenton County Library has a nice collection of Northern Kentucky maps here.
For THE really great site for maps of Kentucky and everywhere else, we highly recommend the Mother of All Map Sites, the David Rumsey collection.  Check it out here: Last and not at all least is Old Maps Online.  It covers the entire country, but there's some great stuff here.

newUS 27

US 27