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Historical Sites and Sightseeing

 

Carrollton and General Butler State Park in Carroll County

turpinButler-Turpin House, State Historic House
This home is located in General Butler State Resort. Philip Turpin purchased 126 acres of land from William O. Butler, his wife Mary Ellen's famous uncle (for whom the Park is named), in 1859. This land was a part of the original family farm, Butler's Grove. Philip and Mary Ellen then began to build their Greek revival home, which was completed that year. The home is furnished in a manner of the day. Many of the furnishings are Butler Family possessions. The outdoor "Summer Kitchen" is also open for tour. The home is seasonally open to the public and available year round for group tours. The recently restored Butler Family Cemetery is located to the east of the Butler-Turpin House.

The Masterson House
mastersonsRichard and Sarah Masterson, two of the region's earlier settlers, built this home in the fall of 1790. It is the first two-story brick house to be built between Louisville and Cincinnati. It is reported to be the oldest two-story brick house still standing on the Ohio River between Pittsburgh and Cairo, Illinois. Slave labor built the house out of native bricks, laid in Flemish Bond style, burned on the site. This was the first meeting-house for the Methodist Church in this area and was the center of the town's activities.

The Old Stone Jail
This 22'x20' structure built in 1880 was used as the Carroll County Jail until 1969. The first floor originally housed men inmates, the second floor housed women and children. The underground level was used for solitary confinement. The prisoners were shackled in by their limbs and sat on the dry laid brick floor. The Old Stone Jail is open to the public.

Carroll County Courthouse
The present Courthouse was built in 1884. A brass plaque on the interior wall marks the high water level mark during the famous 1937 flood. A collection of 1937 flood photographs are on exhibit inside the Courthouse. Coast Guard boats floated through the halls during the flood until the water became so high that they could not get their boats through the doors. In the mid 1970's the courthouse added a third floor, an elevator and two additional wings. Two war memorials sit in the square.

Kentucky River Lock #1 and Dam
Construction of Carrollton's Lock #1 began in the 1830s. The stone was laid by Irish immigrants. Joseph Barbour Company built the lock and dam. The locks are open on weekends & holidays for boat travel.
 

Warsaw in Gallatin County

Markland Dam
Located in Warsaw, Kentucky at river mile 531.5 below Pittsburgh. The navigation locks are on the Kentucky side of the river. The dam was finished in the summer of 1963 complete with roads to connect Indiana and Kentucky. Picnic tables, observation deck with displays.
 

Williamsburg in Grant County

Dry Ridge Presbyterian Church  
15 Warsaw Avenue, Circa 1892 Squire Boone, a relation of Daniel Boone preached here.
 

William Arnold Log House
Located on Main St. in Williamstown
859-823-2051 or 859-824-9202
Circa 1811. Free Admission. Open each Friday 11 - 4 with heritage demonstrations. Also open on first Saturday in December, Memorial Day and Derby Day. Open for tours by appointment.

Hebron, Covington, Burlington, Newport and Rabbit Hash in Boone, Campbell and Kenton Counties

Anderson Ferry
4030 River Rd., Hebron, KY; 859-485-9210 A year-round ferry operating on the Ohio River, between Kentucky and Ohio. $4 per car.

bell towerCarroll Chimes Bell Tower in MainStrasse Village
6th & Philadelphia Sts., Covington, KY 41011; 859-655-4159  A 43-bell Carillon housed in a 100 ft. traditional German Gothic tower. Music and animated figures depict the tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Performing: April-October.

Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption
1140 Madison Ave; Covington, KY 41011-3150; 859-431-2060
French-Gothic replica of the Notre Dame in Paris, featuring 80 stained glass windows (including the world's largest stained glass church window), murals by Covington artist Frank Duveneck, sculpture by Clement J. Barnhorn, and a historic Matthias Schwab organ. An organ concert can be arranged for a nominal fee. Open year-round - 10 am-4 pm.

dismoreDinsmore Homestead
P.O. Box 453, 5656 Burlington Pike (Hwy. 18),
Burlington, KY 41005; 859-586-6117 E-mail: info@dinsmorefarm.org
www.dinsmorefarm.org   
In 1839, James Dinsmore purchased 700 acres of land. Experience the legacy of ownership that has seen five generations of Dinsmore family relatives on the homestead, from 1842-1988. The Dinsmore Homestead is a place where visitors can learn, first-hand, about life in the past. Member of the Historic Homes and Sites of Greater Cincinnati. Open April to mid-December. Hours: Wed., Sat. & Sun. 1 pm-5 pm. Tours are on the hour, with the last tour beginning at 4:00 pm. Admission: $5 adults, $3 seniors, $2 children 7-17. Free for Members. Basilica of the Assumption Cathedral Carroll Chimes Bell Tower Log cabin at Dinsmore Homestead

MainStrasse Village
5th & Main Sts., Covington, KY 41011;
859-491-0458 www.mainstrasse.org A restored German village full of unique shops, restaurants, taverns and site of numerous festivals/events held throughout the year including Mardi Gras, MaiFest and Oktoberfest.

Monte Casino Chapel

333 Thomas Moore Pkwy., Crestview Hills, KY 41017; 859-341-5800 The smallest place of worship in the world, located on the campus of Thomas More College.  

Mother of God Church
119 W. Sixth St; Covington, KY 41011; 859-291-6853 This 1870's church features five large murals by Vatican artist Johann Schmitt, 200 ft. twin renaissance towers, and stained glass windows imported from Munich in 1890. Until fairly recently the Catholic masses were all conducted in German to serve the large local population.

Ride the Ducks
Ride The Ducks
Laugh and learn (and "quack") by land and sea
during 40-minute tours aboard amphibious vehicles (crafted from the WWII DUKWs) that take visitors on a narrated sightseeing ride highlighting some of Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati's most impressive landmarks. Then splash down and cruise the Ohio River exploring the historic waterfronts of Newport, Covington and Cincinnati. Ticket booth locatedoutside the Newport Aquarium.
Phone: 859-815-1439
www.newportducks.com
Newport on the Levee
One Levee Way
Newport, KY 41071

Rabbit Hash General Store
10021 Lower River Rd., Rabbit Hash, KY 41005; 859-586-7744 Explore an authentic working general store since 1831 in the historic river town of Rabbit Hash. The store is a step back in time, with a working blacksmith shop, antiques, specialty candies, handcrafted goods, collectible pottery and lots of other stuff that's been accumulating since 1831.

roeblingRiverside Drive-Licking River Historic Area & Riverwalk Statue Tour
Riverside Dr., Covington, KY 41011; 859-655-4159 A 13-block area which includes Civil War homes, carriage houses and life-size bronze statues of historic figures. The area was naturally one of the first territories to be settled because of the confluence of the Ohio and Licking Rivers. Luckily, many of the old townhouses and mansions remain standing today and earned a listing on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. Tour the Mimosa Mansion, circa 1850, the area's largest single family home and Italianate renaissance masterpiece complete with its original gas lighting system. There are seven life-like bronze figures along the Riverwalk which capture the spirit of those who preceded us on the shores of the rivers: J.A. Roebling who designed the Roebling Suspension bridge and the Brooklyn bridge; Simon Kenton, explorer of the west; Captain Mary B. Greene, a licensed boat master and river pilot; James Bradley, the only exslave who participated in the famous Lane Seminary debates on slavery and abolitionism; Chief Little Turtle, great Miami war chief who fought to protect the Indian hunting grounds; John James Audubon, best known as a painter of birds; Daniel Carter Beard, who formed the Boy Scouts of America.

See the Sights
11286 Loftus Ln., Union, KY 41091; 859-384-4010
e-mail plowdrey@fuse.net www.seethesights.net
Offering 2 hour city tours as a step-on guide of Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati (Covington, Newport, Eden Park, Mt. Adams and downtown Cincinnati). The tour covers the history of the area, the Underground Railroad and several hauntings, plus fascinating trivia! Optional stops at the Eden Park overlook, Krohn Conservatory & Cincinnati Museum Center.

Stratus Helicopters
513-533-HELI (4354)
www.stratushelicopters.com
Tours from 6 minutes to one hour, flying over N KY and downtown Cincinnati from Friday through Sunday or upon reservation.

World Peace Bell
4th & York Sts., Newport, KY 41071; 859-581-2971.  A 66,000 pound bell built in France and brought to the Newport Millennium Center to ring in the new millennium in honor of World Peace Day. Hours: M-F 8 am-4 pm or by appointment.


Wiedemann Hill Mansion
Largest free-swinging bell in the world, weighing 66,000 pounds – originally crafted to be rung on the first International Day of Peace in 2000.
1102 Park Avenue Newport, KY 41071; 859-655-9018
www.whillmansion.com

Augusta and Brooksville in Bracken County

Underground Railroad Sites

Bradford/Payne House
Located at the western end of Riverside Drive, this home was a site of Underground Railroad activity according to oral traditions and newspaper accounts. Its close proximity to the cabins belonging to free people of color lends further speculation that it was a site of coordinated escapes.

White Hall
Built by Arthur Thome in the early 1800's, this is the home where Thomes' son returned from the West Indies to write his manuscript, Slavery In The West Indies. Local traditions point that the involvement of the Thome men aiding slaves to escape was so strong that the family was banished.

Augusta College
The female dorm, constructed in the early years of the college, was the site of a small hidden area where slaves were secreted until moved into skiffs on the Ohio River.

Slave Church
This church site, located on the north side of the hills surrounding Augusta and overlooking the Ohio River, was the site of services where the sounds of the spirituals inspired Stephen Foster to compose his lyrics. Stephen Foster was a regular visitor to Augusta in his younger years staying with his uncle, Dr. Joseph Tomlinson, who was installed as President of the Methodist Augusta College, the first such school in the world.

Slave Quarters
Located at the corner of Bracken and Fourth Streets in Augusta, this building is representative of the brick slave housing structures remaining in Kentucky.

Augusta Underground Railroad Conductors
Doctor Perkins, a free person of color, was arrested for "enticing slaves" and sentenced at the age of seventy to the state penitentiary where he died three years later. Rev. Arthur Thome, built "White Hall" with the help of his slaves before freeing them in the 1830's. Rev. James Armstrong Thome, was the author of Slavery In The West Indies as well as several anti-slavery pamphlets. James Cripps, an Ohio school teacher, was arrested for "enticing slaves" but was bonded out of jail.  James Cooper, tried along with Cripps for "enticing slaves," had to spend several months in the Bracken County jail. John Fairfield, an elusive conductor mentioned in Levi Coffin's Reminisces, was arrested for "enticing slaves" and held in the Bracken County jail one winter.

Augusta's Historic JailAugusta's Historic Jail
In city park on West 2nd St.; 606-756-2183 
Completed in 1811, this National Register of Historic Places building has been preserved by the City of Augusta and the Bracken County Historical Society. Just recently completed was the reconstruction  of the holding pen in the lower section of the jail building. Rebuilt using the description in the original blueprints, this log structure adds an element that had long been missed from the original building. Open for tours by appointment, please call the Bracken County Historical Society at 606-735-3337 to make arrangements.

Bracken County Historical Society
P.O. Box 307, Brooksville, KY 41004, 606-735-3337
www.rootsweb.com/~kybchs/bracken.html
or Email at bchist@ekns.net.
Founded in 1993, the BCHS encourages the preservation of historical resources in Bracken County and the surrounding areas. The BCHS has its offices and museum in the old Bracken County jail located in Brooksville, adjacent to the Bracken County Court House. Here, records can be found dating back to the late 1700's. Genealogical research is at your finger tips because of the work and effort put in by the many members of the historical society. Numerous publications are available from the society including: Bracken County Marriages and Bonds, African-American Records of Bracken County, Bracken County Cemeteries and Burial Sites and many others.
 

Blue Licks State Resort in Robertson County

blue lick

Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort
Throughout history, the salt springs at Blue Licks have attracted pre-historic mastodons and formed a center of Indian life. Salt was also a pioneer necessity. In 1778, Daniel Boone and a party of Boonesborough men were captured here by the Shawnee Indians during a salt-making expedition.

Daniel Boone escaped in time to warn Fort Boonesborough of an impending Shawnee attack. But it was not to be Boone's last encounter with Indians at Blue Licks. In August 1782, Captain William Caldwell and an army of British and Indian troops attacked Bryan's Station, an outpost north of Lexington. To avenge the attack, members of the Kentucky Militia, under the command of Daniel Boone, John Todd and Stephen Trigg, set off in pursuit of Caldwell and his British and Indian army, retreating north along an old buffalo trail. On August 19, 1782, the Kentucky Militia was ambushed on the hill above Licking River by the British and Indian army in the Battle of Blue Licks, the last Revolutionary war battle in Kentucky. The battle ended in bitter defeat for the early Kentucky settlers. Daniel Boone survived the attack, but his son, Israel and many brave Kentucky comrades were casualties of the battle.blue lick

During the 19th century, the mineral springs was a popular health spa for affluent Southerners who flocked to the luxurious Arlington Hotel to escape the summer heat and partake of the springs medicinal qualities. The spring was also the source of bottled water thought to have curative powers. Today, Blue Licks returns to its glory days with a quaint resort on the banks of the Licking River. A place where history, nature and fun await you.

Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort
800-443-7008 www.kystateparks.ky.gov/bluelick.htm Northeast of Lexington on US 68, the park has returned to its glory days as a polished resort with a new lodge, dining room and meeting rooms. The Lodge offers 32 guest rooms with private balcony or patio. The dining room seats up to 250 guests serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. For more privacy, stay in one of two modern two-bedroom cottages located on the Licking River. For the adventurer, camp in one of the 51 campsites with utility hook-ups and a central service building.

Visit the Pioneer Museum located in the park, to learn more about the fascinating history of Blue Licks. Check out the video presentation, mastodon bones, Native American  and Kentucky pioneer artifacts. The Gift Shop features Kentucky handcrafts, books and confectioneries.

blue lickHike through the 15-acre Kentucky Nature Preserve or on one of our five trails, refresh with a swim in the junior-Olympic size pool, or test your skills at 18-hole miniature golf.  Join in planned recreation, scheduled year round. Two picnic shelters are available for rental and children can play at several playgrounds located through the park.

 

Visit Ogden Ridge one-room schoolhouse on Ogden Ridge Rd., made of logs which was heated with a pot-bellied coal stove. The school held its last session on March 24, 1932. 606-724-5615johnson creek

The Johnson Creek Bridge, located off KY 1029 in Robertson County near Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort, is a beautiful historic covered bridge.
 

Robertson County traditionally has been dependent on tobacco and cattle. Blue Licks State Resort and Deming School are the largest employers.  

The county was named for native Kentuckian, George Robertson (1790-1874). As a member of Congress (1817-21), he sponsored the organization of Arkansas. He was in the Kentucky Legislature 8 years, 6 as speaker, and promoted the common school system. He was also a member of the Kentucky Court of Appeals 1829-34 and 1864-71, and a professor of Law at Transylvannia University 1834-57.

 

Maysville and Washington in Mason County

The Floodwall Murals at Limestone Landing
These beautifully painted floodwall murals located at Limestone Landing, illustrate four centuries of history of the county for visitors and lead the visitor to an Ohio River vista featuring the lighted 1931 historic suspension bridge and the award winning 21-century cablestayed Harsha Bridge.

Historic Sites - Washington - Mason County
Eavesdrop on history as you walk down original bumpy flagstone sidewalks on a costumed tour of this 200-year-old village also known as Olde Washington. On the National Register of Historic Places, it features a quiet main street with original 18th century log cabins, frame and brick buildings. Founded in 1785 on land purchased from Simon Kenton, Washington was a popular outpost for pioneers traveling the Buffalo Trace. www.washingtonkentucky.com

The Albert Sidney Johnston House
503 S. Court St., Washington, KY 41096; 606-759-7411

The childhood home of Albert Sydney Johnston, a famous Civil War General. offers an Underground Railroad Tour.

Paxton Inn
2030 Old Main St., Washington, KY 41096; 606-759-7411 
A favorite gathering place for lawyers and citizens served as a station for the underground railroad when owned by James Paxton.

Mefford's Station - Flatboat Cabin (circa 1787)
This cabin contains planks from the flatboat that carried Mr. Mefford and his family down the Ohio River from Pittsburgh. Unadorned Mefford's Fort presents a snapshot of the hardships of family life with 13 children in early Kentucky.

Other area attractions include the Simon Kenton Shrine, the Presbyterian Church (1870), the Old Church Museum (1848), and the Cane Brake Cabin.
 

Flemingsburg and Elizaville in Fleming County

The Franklin Sousley Monument
606-845-1223, located in the Elizaville Cemetery is dedicated to PFC Sousley, one of the soldiers who helped raise the flag at Iwo Jima during WWII.

Flemingsburg Historic District
Nearly 200 homes and commercial buildings are included on the National Historic Register. Union soldiers occupied the Baptist Church and burned pews and fences for heat. Antique shops. A self-guided Walking Tour brochure with information about more than 50 downtown buildings of historic interest is available at the Chamber of Commerce office.
Hwy 32/11and 57 Flemingsburg
606-845-1223
www.flemingkychamber.com

covered bridge museum buildingFleming County Covered Bridge Museum
119 E. Water St., Flemingsburg, KY 41041
606-845-6224 OR 606-845-1223
Open Saturdays 10 AM - 2 PM or other times by appointment. Admission is free!

 

 

Vanceburg, Trinity and Sand Hill in Lewis County

Beautiful river bottoms and country roads embrace the Trinity / Vanceburg area. This peaceful wooded land offers the visitor year round outdoor recreation. Vanceburg, was settled in 1797 by Moses Baird and Joseph Vance, who came to make salt at the natural salt well. Taylor's Store, circa 1800, located at Sand Hill, was used as a toll house for the road to the Trinity-Manchester, Ohio ferry crossing. The Sand Hill Christian Church, built in 1860 has pews facing its double entry.  Built in 1884, The Union Soldier Monument has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places and stands to remind us of the 107 Lewis County Union soldiers who fought and died during the Civil War. This monument is said to be the only one of its kind south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

veterans MemorialThe Veterans Memorial Park honors veterans killed in the Korean War and is home to a beautiful monument picturing Lieutenant Commander Benjamin Thomas Pugh. Visit the Vanceburg Depot Museum by calling 606-796-RAIL for an appointment.