Kentucky January 25, 2017
After Visiting This Small Kentucky Town, You’ll Want To Drop Everything And Move There
Kentucky is chock-full of small towns that are brimming with history and Southern charm. Nestled in the hills of northeastern Kentucky, on the banks of the Ohio River, is the town of Maysville. It may be small, but this historic town is so lovely that one visit will make you want to drop everything and move there.
This Mason County town is located right on the Ohio River, about 62 miles upstream from Cincinnati, and 100 miles downstream from Huntington, West Virginia.
There is a lot of history in Maysville. It was first settled in 1775 by Simon Kenton.
Due to battles in the American Revolution, the town was abandoned until 1784 when Kenton returned. Over the next few years, structures would be built, Daniel Boone would establish a trading post there, and in 1787, Maysville was incorporated. It would go on to be an important port for trading, and a significant stop on the Underground Railroad because the free state of Ohio was just across the river.
In 1998, artist Robert Dafford began painting a series of historical murals on the town's floodwalls.
There are a total of ten murals, but the one pictured above depicts a scene that was common before European settlers came along. The area was rich in salt licks, which attracted herds of buffalo, making a convenient hunting ground for Native Americans.
The Mason County Courthouse is located in Maysville, and is visible in their skyline.
The Russell Theater is a Spanish-Moorish Revival style theater that was built in 1928.
Construction was completed in 1930. In 1953, the world premiere of Rosemary Clooney's first movie, "The Stars Are Singing," showed at the theater. The theater closed in 1983, and has since housed several other businesses such as restaurants and clothing stores. Unfortunately, it was eventually abandoned and damaged in a storm, but is currently in the middle of a restoration project that will turn in back into a theater. Folks leading the restoration effort are hoping to have it show movies and documentaries that are not available at mainstream cinemas.
This historic mansion is called Phillips' Folly. Construction began in 1825 by Maysville's second mayor, William B Phillips.
He eventually stopped construction and disappeared, and people believed he ran out of funds and fled, hence the name Phillips' Folly. However, he eventually returned and finished construction. The mansion is said to be haunted, and in 2011, it was featured on the Travel Channel show "Ghost Adventures." It is said the ghosts of William B. Phillips and his dog sometimes appear on the upstairs porch. A more gruesome ghost story exists in the basement. Later owners of the mansion created a makeshift jail in the basement, and it said that runaway slaves were captured and tortured there.
Maysville has two bridges that span over the Ohio River. The oldest is the Simon Kenton Memorial Bridge, which is a suspension bridge that was built in 1931 and connects Maysville to Aberdeen, Ohio. The newest bridge is the William H. Harsha Bridge, which was completed in 2001.
If you venture slightly outside of Maysville, you'll find the Valley Pike Covered Bridge, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It crosses the Frasure Branch of Lee Creek, and is one of the few remaining covered bridges in Kentucky.
While Maysville does have that small town feel, its picturesque downtown offers plenty to do. From restaurants to shops to historical sites, you're sure to find something entertaining to do in Maysville.
Does anyone live in Maysville or visit frequently? We’d love to hear what locals think of living here!