licking river scenes

Licking River

April 14, 1836
A watercolor by David J. Kennedy
That's the Newport Barracks on the left, the Licking River in the center, and Covington's Carneal House on the right.

Licking River Licking River Licking River
The two boats are the Champion #7 and the Champion #8, both of which were owned by the Shinkle family.  That's the Shinkle mansion in the background of the pic on the right.  It was the original home of Booth Hospital, and was later torn down to erect a newer Booth.  Note the Carneal House in the right-hand pic, and the Newport Barracks in the center and left images.  All are old stereoview images, c. 1875-1885.


Licking River

View up the Licking River, Newport, Kentucky, 1908 
“to Mabel Burnwell, Linden Heights, Ohio,
 Have been in Covington since Sunday and am not married yet.
 It doesn't effect all people the same.  Clara.”

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What does the Licking River have to do with the naming
 of the City of Cincinnati?  We're so glad you asked.  Click here.

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icking River Licking River Licking River
from a Facebook post by Dale Ashcraft, of a photo by
his Grandmother Emma Hahn Ashcraft
Looking North   Boats and wharf boat on the Licking



Beached Ferries. Why?
Those are Newport Barracks buildings in the background.


Licking River Licking River Licking River
Aerials of the Licking Valley Licking River


January 4, 1918, Mouth of the Licking

Ice, 1917-1918 Ice Ice, 1917-18
February 7,1918
That's the steamer Julius Fleischmann tied up in the Licking
Devastation was rampant in the ice in the winter of 1917-1918.


Wessels Wessels Wessels
Licking River scenes by artist H. H. Wessel, c. 1930's  


Licking Overlook   Licking River
  1861. Looking south from the Larz Anderson Civil War Defense Battery,
roughly up the hill from Madison at 26th.
  Moonlight on the Licking


new Licking River Licking River
Cows, somewhere in the
Licking, c. 1880
An early Licking River, 1851
lithograph by Otto Onken

In July, 1853, the New American
ran a story that went with the above pic.  Read it here.

Civil War Soldiers Fording the Licking.
Harpers ran two other pictures and an
article with  the above lithograph. You
can read the article, here.  The bridge
was placed on August 8, 1864, “just below
Cole's Garden.”  Cincinnati Enquirer, August 9, 1864.

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Licking River

This early (c. 1795) map of Kentucky reflects the earlier name of the
 Licking - The Salt Spring River, since it flowed at Kentucky's Blue Licks [Wikipedia].
Earlier, Dr. Thomas Walker [Wikipedia] called it Frederick's River.
Still earlier, Native Americans called it the Nepernine.

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Licking 1937 Flood
Mouth of the Licking, 1937 Flood


Licking River

The 1937 Flood on the Licking, looking northeast toward Newport.  This pic is from
January 23, 1937, which is to say, three days before the crest.

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“The Licking River has its source in Floyd County, Ky., 180 miles from its mouth.  It empties into the Ohio, between the cities of Newport and Covington, opposite the foot of Broadway, Cincinnati.  It is navigable for steamers as far as the falls at Cole's Gardens, four miles from its mouth.  At that point, in dry summers, it has but little water; but in winter and spring flat-boats descend it for 70 or 80 miles.  An effort was once made to improve the channel by means of dams and locks, but the enterprise was abandoned.”
  King's Pocket Book of Cincinnati, 1880

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Licking River Licking River Licking River
On the Picturesque
Licking River, 1909
On the Picturesque
Licking River, 1909
Licking River at
Banklick Creek



from The Grit, of March 8, 1884.

Three articles at the Kentucky Tribune's site, on the Licking River:

Dr. Paul Tenkotte writes on why there are no locks and dams on the Licking, here;

Dr. Paul Tenkotte on the impact of the geology of the Licking, here.

Steve Preston writes on why “The Point” at the mouth of the Licking was important in the Revolutionary War, here.

Hercules Carrell

The Hercules Carrell, at the mouth of the Licking, 1912


Licking River Licking River Licking River
Licking River at Banklick Creek Licking River, at Newport Licking River, at Newport


Licking River Licking River Licking River
The Mouth of
 the Licking, 1951
A Poem and a Licking River
 Scene Poem by Henry
Sorrell of Covington

Looking from the bridge toward
Newport in the 1937 Flood. Whether
this is the Licking or the Ohio is
what they call “moot.”


Licking River Licking River Licking River
Licking River Scenes, 1870's Mouth of Licking
An 1899 engraving by J. L. Trout

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“A rapid rise in the Licking River in late February 1856 brought out a great mass of ice which made directly for the Cincinnati shore where many steamboats were moored. Within a few moments four steamboats were sunk and within a few hours a total of eleven had gone to the bottom while many others were seriously damaged (Cincinnati Gazette, February 25, 1856). When the ice again broke up in the Ohio River a year later six steamboats were sunk at the Cincinnati wharf and many others damaged (ibid. February 6, 1857).” Steamboats on the Wester Rivers: An Economic and Technological History, Louis C. Hunter. More on the 1856 ice here, and details here.
“Something on the Licking River is causing big and little fishes to turn up their toes. They are floating around dead. Some of them are as big as a small hog.” Inland Waterways Journal. May 23, 1896 “There is a paper published in Newport, Ky., called The Newport and Covington Daily News and Licking Bridge Advocate. The extent of the name will ultimately prove the destruction of the paper, sure.” Evansville (Ind.) Daily Journal, August 13, 1850
Citizens petitioned to make the Licking navigable in 1899.  The government declined it.  Details and maps are here. Wikipedia has a page on the Licking River, here.
“A petrified buffalo head was found in the bottom of the Licking River about one hundred yards above the Dead Man Ripple in Kenton County in 1858.  The petrification was somewhat worn by the current, but the eyes, ears, teeth, mouth horns, hair and mane were well developed.  It was sold to a Cincinnati museum for one dollar.” - from a Bill Wall item in the Louisville Courier Journal in the 1930's.
“On Thursday night last, the steamer Enterprise, lying in Licking was destroyed by fire.  The fire is supposed to have been work of an incendiary.  The boat was insured to its full value.”  Covington Journal,  May 25, 1850
Newport's “Hanging Tree” was on the banks of the Licking.  Story here. The schedule of the Licking River Packet, from 1849, is here

For Sale

March, 1997


For Sale

from the Centinel of the North-Western Territory, November 30, 1793

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