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Kentucky Facts and Figures

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database

 

on February 22, 2020

 
1876 artwork by Henry Mitchell, via Wikipedia Commons

 Kentucky ranks 18th among states and provinces with markers in this database. The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state in the United States of America located in the American South. It is also in the East South-Central region. Kentucky is some 40 thousand square miles in size with a population of around 4.5 million people. The state is divided into 120 counties and 119 of them have entries in this database. In Kentucky we have discovered historical markers in 318 cities and towns lying in 292 different ZIP Codes.

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How many historical markers are there in Kentucky? There are least 3,122 of them, by our count. We have cataloged 2,141 historical markers and 119 war memorialsóeach individually presented on 2,228 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. Pages for historical markers from this state make up 1.7% of our total. In addition, we are reasonably certain of another 981 historical markers in Kentucky that we donít yet have, and instead show on our Want List. Our correspondents have been finding and adding hundreds of markers a month to the database from all over the world, so next time you visit this page you will probably find that the numbers here have changed.

The first Kentucky marker in the database, Renowned Congressman, was added April 29, 2006. It was photographed near Lawrenceburg in Anderson County and was erected in 1965. The last one added was submitted on February 17, 2020, and titled Vancouverís Fort. It is in Louisa in Lawrence County and had been erected in 1946. Keeping in mind that the erection date of many markers in the database is not known, the earliest historical marker we know of in Kentucky was erected in 1876. It was this one: Confederate Monument of Bowling Green, and one of our correspondents found it in Bowling Green in Warren County on September 8, 2018.

Kentucky Historical Categories
630 • Civil War
421 • Settlements and Settlers
270 • Industry and Commerce
173 • Churches and Religion
172 • Education
171 • Government and Politics
125 • Cemeteries and Burial Sites
120 • Revolutionary War
115 • African Americans
104 • Waterways and Vessels
    ... and more ...

Kentuckians donít want to forget their Civil War history. How do we know? Because there are more historical markers in the database from Kentucky about the Civil Waró630 of themóthan about any other historical category. It is followed by Settlements and Settlers with 421 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the Civil War category was Cave City Raid, added April 30, 2006. It had been erected in 1974 in Cave City in Barren County. The last one submitted was submitted on February 12, 2020, and titled A Masterful Retreat. It had been erected in 1963 near Grayson in Carter County. The earliest marker erected with the Civil War category that we have listed was erected in 1876. It was Confederate Monument of Bowling Green, found in Bowling Green in Warren County on September 8, 2018.

Counties, Cities and Towns

The Kentucky county with the most historical markers listed in this database is Fayette County, with 140 of them. It is followed by Boyle County with 113 markers. The Lexington area of Fayette County has the highest number of markers within its limits, 140. In Boyle County the area with the most markers, 68, is Perryville.

Historical Markers in These
Kentucky Counties
140 • Fayette County
113 • Boyle County
95 • Jefferson County
85 • Warren County
80 • McCracken County
76 • Franklin County
69 • Madison County
53 • Pulaski County
50 • Hardin County
48 • Hart County
    ... and more ...

Checking the database for the city or town in Kentucky with the most markers we again find Lexington at the top of the list with 140 markers in or near it. It is followed by Louisville in Jefferson County with 92 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers itís a tie for first: 40601 (assigned to Frankfort KY including the Hatton delivery area), each with 76 markers in their delivery areas. It is followed closely by ZIP Code 40508 with 76 markers. (40508 is assigned to Lexington KY.)

Historical Markers Near These
Kentucky Cities and Towns
140 • Lexington
92 • Louisville
83 • Bowling Green
80 • Paducah
75 • Frankfort
68 • Perryville
59 • Richmond
44 • Nancy
43 • Danville
39 • Munfordville
    ... and more ...

Getting back to Fayette County, the first marker added to the database from there, Man o' War, was added January 15, 2008. It was erected in 1968 in Lexington. The last one submitted was uploaded on September 5, 2019, and is titled Address by President Lincoln, in Lexington. The earliest marker erected in Fayette County that we have listed was erected in 1887. It was John Cabell Breckinridge, found in Lexington on June 22, 2018.

Latest entry from Kentucky. Click to go there
By J. J. Prats, October 18, 2019
Latest Entry from Kentucky
“Vancouverís Fort”

And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from Louisville. The first: Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, was added August 5, 2009. The last: Thomas Merton - (1915-68) / A Revelation added on January 14, 2020. It had been erected in 1998. The earliest marker erected was erected in 1900: Thomas Jefferson Memorial, added on June 21, 2017.

Who Puts Up Historical Markers?

The Kentucky Historical Society is currently in charge of the familiar dull green official historical markers found all over the state and the Kentucky Department of Highways typically installs and maintains those that are roadside. We have 1,161 of their markers in the database. Also, a number of counties have erected historical markers on their streets and roads and within their public areas, as have some cities and towns.

Latest entry from Kentucky. Click to go there
By Don Morfe, October 9, 1994
A Kentucky Historical Society Historical Marker

Then there are federal government agencies that put up historical markers, especially in national parks and other areas under their jurisdiction. And finally, there are the numerous public and private organizations and individuals that erect markers. Some do this as a continual endeavor, and others once in a while, to mark something, someone, or someplace they find important or interesting. When one of our correspondents comes across one that satisfies our criteria, we add it to the database.

Off the Beaten Path

Youíll find that even the smallest, least populated, or most rural areas of Kentucky have been marked with history. Check out Ohio County, Johnson County and Carlisle County. We've only found one historical marker in each. Visiting one or more of these parts of Kentucky might make for a pleasant road trip, and maybe youíll discover more historical markers while youíre there. If you do, perhaps youíll take the time to photograph them and, when you get home, become an HMdb correspondent by adding them to the database. Happy Hunting!

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