links
Because lots of  Northern Kentucky information doesn't fit neatly into a single county.

 

Northern Kentucky

The Lexington-Cincinnati Bus

James McBride describes his travels down what is now US 25, in 1810.  Read it here.

frill

Northern Kentucky  Northern Kentucky Northern Kentucky
You could buy a fine Reo truck
at dealers in Covington, Newport,
Sanders, Falmouth and
Maysville in Kentucky

The origin of the name “3L
Highway?” Discovered at last.

A map of the 3L from 1922.
The 3L is better known today as Kentucky Route 17 , from Covington, south, to just north of Falmouth.

frill

The Kenton County Public Library's  Places and Faces: Northern Kentucky Photographic Archive  is on line here.  They count 90,000+ photo's here. It covers most of the counties of Northern Kentucky Views.

frill

The Sponsors of the 1907 Tri-County (Carroll, Gallatin, Owen) Fair in Sanders are listed here. (pdf) 60 Pages of ads from merchants of these three counties, plus Vevay. “In 1796, part of the cargo of Colonel James Hillman, an experienced trader on the Ohio, consisted of whiskey which was sold to the Indians for $1.00 a quart, the currency of the country, a deer skin being legal tender for a dollar, and a doe skin for half a dollar.”  From Gould’s History of River Navigation
Charles Kerr’s History of Kentucky, 1922 published a list of all the early  settlements in Kentucky.  His Northern Kentucky settlements are listed here. Phone Numbers used to have alpha-prefixes. We grew up in Walton, where our number was Hudson 5-4984.  You dialed the first two digits of the exchange (HU) and then the five digits.  Other exchange names we've found in Northern Kentucky are here, but there's a bunch we don't have.  If we've not listed yours, feel free - please - to Contact Us with it. And our area code? 859? It's for UKY.

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.

The source of the name of the Mary Draper Ingles Highway? If you've
not familiar with her story, by all means start here. (pdf)

frill

Northern Kentucky Northern Kentucky Northern Kentucky Northern Kentucky
These are represented to us as being somewhere in Northern Kentucky.  We don't know for sure, but
they are nice shots, and are typical of farming in the area and the period, so here they are.

frill

We have here comprehensive lists of every passenger stop on every train that ever went thru Northern Kentucky:

Kentucky Central Kentucky Central Southern (C. N. O. & T. P.)

L&N (Short Line)

C&O Brooksville
Cincinnati south, thru Falmouth to Cynthiana Lexington to Maysville Cincinnati-Ludlow-Walton-Williasmtown-Georgetown Latonia-Walton-Glencoe-Worthville-LaGrange Vanceburg-Maysville-Augusta-Newport-Cincinnati Brooksville to Wellsburg
now CSX now CSX now Norfolk Southern now CSX now CSX now defunct

A key to some of the abbreviations is here.

A railroad is proposed to run from Brooksville, thru Falmouth and Owenton, to Eminence. Here.

After the Civil War, Cincinnati merchants wanted urgently to be able to sell goods in the south, but could not match prices from Louisville merchants. Louisville simply had to put things on the L&N, and ship. Cincinnati merchants had to load cargo on a steamer, ship it to Louisville, unload it, and then load it on the L&N. Transportation costs gave Louisville a price break in the South. Long story short: Cincinnati built a railroad; the Southern. The law said the city couldn't buy stock in a railroad, but it didn't say they could own one. The political battle in Kentucky was fierce. The Courier-Journal didn't exactly feel sorry for Cincinnati. They editorialized “Grass will certainly not grow in the streets of Cincinnati in our day. The merchants of Cincinnati, the railroad men of Cincinnati, are a thoroughly live and ingenious set of Yankee plotters, who propose to swarm upon the Southern country like ducks upon June bugs.” But the Kentucky authorities eventually relented, and various lengths of the railroad, offering a variety of passenger and freight services opened from 1887 to 1880. In 1881, the city leased it's holdings to an English corporation controlled by German-born Parisian banker Frédéric Émile d'Erlanger (Wikipedia). The city of Erlanger is named for him. d'Erlanger's CNO&TP holdings eventually end up, in 1894, joining a number if railroads under the name Southern Railway. The City of Cincinnati still owns a 99-year lease on the Southern. Look for it to be in the news in 2026, when it expires.

frill

Covington's Mary Ann Mongan Library has one of those “Wow!” features online.  If, after going here, and entering Milford, Worthville, Petersburg, Dover, Foster, or whatever, you sometimes - not always - get back actual links to high quality images of Northern Kentucky Newspapers from the 1800's.  I find it more helpful to sort them by the oldest article first. They're pdf images.  There's a feature in your Adobe pdf viewer that lets you magnify the images.  Play with it - I think you'll find it a great feature, and you'll be surprised at how much information from "outside I-275" is in the early Covington and Newport papers.  Of course, the "inside 275" stuff is there as well.

“Beauties of Slavery - a Few days ago, we are told, a man was passing down the Ohio river in a steam boat, having with whom a young, stout, healthy black man whom he called his slave.  The black man repeated against being separated from his wife and children and sent to the lower country - the human owner heeded him not, but increased his fetters and threatened him with the lash.  The black man, finding entreaties fruit less, threw himself into the river, between Aurora and Rising Sun, and was drowned. We have not heard the name of the white wretch, who is thus guilty of causing the death of this black man.”  from the Western Statesman, July 27, 1832.
Cincinnati Magazine runs a hatchet job on Northern Kentucky, (“not so much Cincinnati's neighbor as its economic dependent”), here. (pdf)
Daniel Drake (Wikipedia) gives us this description of Northern Kentucky from 1815. There was an 1870 proposal to make a new county out of parts of Boone, Kenton and Gallatin.
A list of country officials from 1801-1804 is here (pdf). Keep in mind at this time, only Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Gallatin, and Pendleton had been established; other counties would be carved from these in time. German Catholics versus Irish Catholics, a critical distinction in 19th century America, discussed here.
A nifty little tool at the web site of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve will
convert old prices (1913 and later) into current prices. Try it here.
In 1856-1857, the Kentucky Geologic Survey equivalent published surveys of various Kentucky counties.  The one covering Kenton, Campbell and Pendleton is here (pdf).  The one covering Owen, Gallatin, Grant, and Boone is here. (pdf)  Three counties had separate documents - BrackenMason, and Trimble. (all pdf's)

frill

Northern Kentucky high schools which have won the state boys basketball championship:
Corinth, 1930;  Brooksville, 1939; Maysville, 1947; Simon Kenton, 1981

More recent winners include teams from Mason County and Covington Catholic.

frill

In 1877, the two boxers vying for the Heavyweight Championship of the World fought in Independence (first seven rounds), Walton (final rounds), and some seedier spectators were deliberately sent to Worthville, Sanders, and Sparta on purpose, where they wreaked havoc on the populace. More here.

frill

Northern Kentucky Northern Kentucky Northern Kentucky
Somewhere on the
Falmouth-Covington Road
East Dixie Highway,
Boone or Kenton County
East Dixie Highway,
Boone or Kenton County.
 Is that a railroad on the right?

Circa 1920, The Kentucky Highway Department published some photo's that showed all the new and fancy roads they were building.  The above three photo's are from them, but they weren't further identified as to exact location.

frill

Arcaro Arcaro arcaro
Arcaro and Citation, after
 winning the Kentucky Derby
Arcaro and Citation on
 the home stretch
 at the Derby
Arcaro on Whirlaway

Arcaro won the Triple Crown in 1941 on Whirlaway and again in 1948 on Citation.
He's the only man to win the Triple Crown twice.

 

Arcaro

Arcaro Arcaro Arcaro

 

 

Arcaro

Eddie Arcaro (February 19, 1916 – November 14, 1997) was one of America's greatest jockeys. 
He was born in Cincinnati, but raised in Covington and Newport, rode at Latonia, and later
owned a bar in Erlanger (110 Dixie Highway).  You can read his Wikipedia entry here.

frill

“From general observation, when we consider the natural feeling of a white man that is born and reared in the State of Ohio, regarding the rights and privileges due our race, especially if he is engaged in business in Kentucky, or an employee, his greatest aim is to stir animosity and impede the Negro.  But the Kentuckian will assist the Negro, and you can find him what he professes to be.  A hint should be sufficient.”
from Indianapolis' The Freeman, A National Illustrated Colored Newspaper, August 9, 1890

frill

The August 17, 1837 Kentucky Gazette listed a number of postal routes in the state, including this one: "3232.  From Maysville by Dover, Minerva, Germantown, Power's X Roads, Falmouth, Grassy Creek, and Fishburg [likely a typo (Fiskburg)], to Gaines X Roads [Walton], 69 miles and back, twice a week."

frill

A reporter traveled the newly opened railroad from Louisville to Covington in 1867, and describes the territory from Worthville to Covington, here. Dr. Alvin Poweleit compiled some information he called Our Northern Kentucky Negro Doctors.  You can read it here (pdf) Eugene Druley's Early Telephone History of Northern Kentucky can be found here (pdf)
Krysta Wilham writes on the Spanish Flue epidemic of 1918-1919 - it killed over 8,000 people locally - at this site.

Daniel Boone State Park, 15 miles south of Covington.  Huh?  Everything we know about it is here.

Ulysses S. Grant passed from Louisville to Cincinnati in 1879,  His train schedule, showing every little town he came through, is here.  It's 2 years after his Presidency, and they still call him General Grant.

A Warsaw man shoots a Williamstown man in a Falmouth disorderly house, here.

“Within the past few days a number of slaves, from this State, have escaped into Ohio, and are now on their way to Canada, via the underground railroad. Four of the slaves belonged to Harvey Williamson, of Union County; five belonged to Joseph Harris, of Bracken county, and two owned in Boone county. They came to Cincinnati, by taking passage on a float down the Licking river, and thence to a point half a mile below Sedamsville [across from Ludlow], where, by the aid of friends, they got off to Canada.” From the Louisville Daily Courier, April 20, 1855

There's a site where you can look up who in your county is putting the most noxious pollutants into your air, here.

George F. Roth Jr. wrote  about Early Architecture in the Covington-Newport Area of Kentucky, and you can read it here (pdf)

Lafayette came through Northern Kentucky.  Read about it, here.

Contemporary pictures of the equipment of Northern Kentucky Fire Departments, are at this site. “The Cassopolis Outrage” occurred in Michigan in 1847, when 30 heavily armed men tried to take a number escaped slaves.  It occurred in Cassopolis, Michigan, and you can read more about it at this site. See also this interview (pdf), with Perry Sandford, a slave from Boone and later Kenton Counties, who escaped to Michigan, and spoke of the Cassopolis affair.

Hog Cholera an issue at distilleries in Carroll, Gallatin and Mason in 1857, here.

Civil war solder A. C. Dicken, C.S.A., kept a diary in his service days, the Northern Kentucky portion of which you can read here (pdf) Wm. Lytle travels from Maysville to Louisville in 1780. Encounters Indians.  Story's here.
Col. Richard Johnson (Wikipedia) calls his militia from Henry, Gallatin, Boone, Campbell, Pendleton, Bracken and Mason. Since Grant, Carroll, Trimble, and Kenton didn't yet exist, it's essentially all of Northern Kentucky, to join him in the War of 1812. Read it here. Early, c. 1816, description of Covington and Newport, here.
William O'Neal's The Stagecoach Comes to Northern Kentucky is here. (pdf) Mr. Ellis Cummins Crawford's paper on Notes and Diaries of Early Kentucky Settlers is here. (pdf) William Strategier's History of Railroads in Kentucky, here (pdf)
The word “Methodist” comes from John and Charles Wesley following their own methods for worship, and not those of the then Catholic establishment. They were also called “Supererogation-men,” “Enthusiasts,” “The Holy Club,” and “Bible Moths.” “Methodists” is just the name that stuck. The Kentucky Post takes a stab at predicting the future in 1928. Nail it. Here.

A description of the mail route, in 1833, that ran from Washington, in Mason County, to Big Bone Lick, in Boone, here.

A site that has posted a lot of older high school yearbooks  of Kentucky schools is here.  They invite your scans.

In 1882, Karl Kron rode his bicycle from Covington to Lexington.  Read about his adventure here.

frill

 

Northern Kentucky

         

Northern Kentucky

Vannie Monson ran his huckster truck
in Bracken, Mason and Pendleton
Counties.  He also ran  in Harrison and
Robertson County.  Huckster's were
rolling grocery and dry good stores,
and most rural counties had several such businesses.
  The Vogelman.  These orange panel trucks
roamed Northern Kentucky, selling baked
goods from wooden trays that slid out of the back.

frill

Read about the Kentucky Tobacco Wars here.
The New York Times version is here.

frill

Dr. Joseph Gastright's History of the Kentucky
Central Railroad is in three parts: (pdf's)
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

frill

Monterey State Bank

Why has the bank name on this check has been crossed out? You'll find it hard to believe

frill

Excepting only the 1937 flood, there hasn't been a natural disaster to affect Northern Kentucky to match the tornados of July 7, 1915.   See the stories and pictures here.

frill

There's a 312 page book called Biographical Memoirs of the Covington & Newport Commanderies,
which lists biographies of Masonic Knight's Templars in those cities, from 1878.  All 312 pages are
on line at the Kentuckiana Digital Library, here; search for it by its title.

frill

Speaking of bicycles, the League of American Wheelman, a bike club, in 1912 published guide books of routes
where its members could ride.  The had several from Northern Kentucky, and you can read them here:

from Newport to Alexandria and Fort Thomas, here. an alternate route from Newport to Alexandria, here. from Covington to Falmouth is here. from Covington to Burlington is here.

from Cincinnati to Lawrenceburg, thru Kentucky, is here.

frill

Post Office

This is a post office. When you read of post offices in the 19th and early 20th centuries, don't think of buildings; think of furniture. Post offices used to be highly politicized, and could move from location to location based on who supported whom in the last election. This example, from Pleasant Hill's Shakertown, is typical, if not a little larger than, most PO's of the day.

frill

On September 23, 1905, Covington's Henry Gadker, of 499 Pike Street, was arrested for manufacturing . . . oleomargarine?  Yup.  In those days, making margarine was illegal.  It was  considered a form of fraud to add yellow coloring to the naturally white-ish margarine. You can read more at Wikipedia's page on margarine here. (In other news, Wikipedia has a page about margarine?!?!?  Talk  about  information  Age  overload . . .)

Lustron houses (Wikipedia) are prefabricated enameled steel houses developed in the post-World War II era United States in response to the shortage of houses for returning GIs.   You can find one in Alexandria, two in Edgewood, one in Fort Wright, and three in Owenton.  Several more have been torn down.  We're intentionally not posting the addresses - these are, after all, still peoples' homes - but if you nose around a little on Google . . .
"A fugitive from Kentucky declared years later, that his own master had been captain of a reserve corps of men over forty-five years of age, organized after the outbreak of the War of 1812 to aid in slave police duty, and that 'at that time there were many colored people joined in a conspiracy to get their freedom, and wore as a mark a plait in the hair over the left eye.  This was discovered - many were whipped, and had the plait cut off. The conspiracy extended over three hundred miles, from Maysville to Henderson.'"from American Negro Slave Revolts, by Herbert Aptheker, 1943.  As always, take all slave revolt stories with a grain of salt; they frequently contain more paranoia than fact.

frill

Richard Sears and Alvah C. Roebuck founded the company, but it was Julius Rosenwald who made it a national powerhouse. Like Andrew Carnegie, he gave away huge amounts of his fortune, most notably by building schools for Afro-American children. There were six Rosenwald schools in Northern Kentucky: (all links Wikipedia)

a two-teacher school in Carrollton (1926);
a one teacher school on Park Ridge in Gallatin Co. (1923);
a one-teacher school in Dry Ridge (1924);
a four-teacher school in Mayslick (1920);
a one-teacher school in Washington (1926), and;
a one-teacher school in Owen Co.'s New Liberty (1923).

frill

Thomas Campbell Alexander Campbell Barton Stone
  Thomas Campbell Alexander Hamilton Barton Stone
The Rev. Thomas Campbell had a seminary in Burlington in 1808, but otherwise these men never lived in Northern Kentucky. Rather, they started the Protestant Restoration (Wikipedia). In an era when people had theological reasons for which church they attended, the teachings of these men would cause upheaval in many Northern Kentucky Churches. Read more about Thomas Campbell, the church he founded, and the movement he began, here. Read about his Burlington experience here.

frill

Every now and then you can come across some idiot who wants to talk about how slavery wasn't
really the evil that it's portrayed as. To those folks, we dedicate this document.(pdf)

frill

"It is quit the fashion for persons who belong to older generations to sing the praises of “the good old days.” And to bemoan the customs, manners and morals of the present.  Such persons are particularly fond of describing the joys of their youth and of insisting that young people of today are most unfortunate because they miss a great many of the delightful experiences of childhood which were enjoyed by earlier generations.  Most of this is sentimental nonsense.

But when older persons describe the experiences which have lingered so pleasantly in their memories – when they relate the joys of trudging miles down a country road to school, of chopping wood in the barn lot, of thawing out the pump, of taking their baths in a wash-tub in the kitchen, of old-fashioned toilet facilities, of filling kerosene lamps, of putting hot flat-irons in their beds to keep their feet warm, and of “hitching old Dobbin to the shay” – when they tell of these experiences and then insist that life in those days was more enjoyable than it is now with all our modern conveniences; that simply does not make sense.”  W. D. Funkhauser, in The Days That Are Gone.

frill