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MARKER DATABASE
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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Kentucky Facts and Figures

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database

 

on February 6, 2023

 
1876 artwork by Henry Mitchell, via Wikipedia Commons

 Kentucky ranks 15th 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 all of them have entries in this database. In Kentucky we have discovered historical markers in 435 cities and towns lying in 391 different ZIP Codes.

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There are at least 3,871 historical markers in Kentucky, by our count. We have cataloged 3,568 historical markers and 273 war memorials—each individually presented on 3,785 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. Pages for historical markers from this state make up 1.9% of our total. In addition, we are reasonably certain of another 303 historical markers in Kentucky that we don’t 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.

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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 January 29, 2023, and titled Revolutionary Soldiers. It is in Stanford in Lincoln County. 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 1862. It was this one: The 32nd Indiana Infantry Monument, and one of our correspondents found it in Louisville in Jefferson County on June 8, 2021.

Kentucky Historical Topics
870 • Civil War
659 • Settlements and Settlers
465 • Industry and Commerce
367 • Churches and Religion
329 • Education
320 • Architecture
283 • African Americans
258 • Government and Politics
243 • Cemeteries and Burial Sites
181 • Revolutionary War
    ... and others ...

Kentuckians don’t 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 War—870 of them—than about any other historical topic. It is followed by Settlements and Settlers with 659 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the Civil War topic 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 January 27, 2023, and titled Address by President Lincoln. It had been erected in Louisville in Jefferson County. The earliest marker erected with the Civil War topic that we have listed was erected in 1862. It is The 32nd Indiana Infantry Monument, found in Louisville in Jefferson County on June 8, 2021.

What is the most interesting historical marker in Kentucky? What we know is that The Masterson House is the most viewed entry in the database from Kentucky since it was added in 2009. It is located near Carrollton in Carroll County. This year so far, the most viewed Kentuckian entry is located near Laura in Martin County. It is Moses Stepp.

Counties, Cities and Towns

The Kentucky county with the most historical markers listed in this database is Jefferson County, with 353 of them. It is followed by Fayette County with 267 markers. The Louisville area of Jefferson County has the highest number of markers within its limits, 307. In Fayette County the area with the most markers, 267, is Lexington.

Historical Markers in These
Kentucky Counties
353 • Jefferson County
267 • Fayette County
170 • Franklin County
149 • McCracken County
126 • Boyle County
106 • Madison County
100 • Warren County
94 • Kenton County
92 • Hardin County
91 • Mercer County
    ... and others ...

Checking the database for the city or town in Kentucky with the most markers we again find Louisville at the top of the list with 307 markers in or near it. And Lexington also shows up again in next place, with 270 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers it’s 40601 at the top of the list with 171 markers in its delivery area. (ZIP Code 40601 is assigned to Frankfort KY including the Hatton delivery area.) It is followed by ZIP Code 40508 with 118 markers. (40508 is assigned to Lexington KY.)

Historical Markers Near These
Kentucky Cities and Towns
307 • Louisville
270 • Lexington
170 • Frankfort
148 • Paducah
100 • Bowling Green
86 • Harrodsburg
86 • Richmond
76 • Perryville
73 • Covington
51 • Nancy
    ... and others ...

Getting back to Jefferson County, the first marker added to the database from there, Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, was added August 5, 2009. in Louisville. The last one submitted was uploaded on January 27, 2023, and is titled First Marine Division Memorial, in Louisville. The earliest marker erected in Jefferson County that we have listed was erected in 1862. It was The 32nd Indiana Infantry Monument, found in Louisville on June 8, 2021.

Latest entry from Kentucky. Click to go there
By Dave W, June 30, 2022
Latest Entry from Kentucky
“Revolutionary Soldiers”

And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from Lexington. The first: Man o' War, was added January 15, 2008. It had been erected in 1968. The last: Secretariat added on July 30, 2022. The earliest marker erected was erected in 1874: Ladies' Confederate Memorial, added on February 2, 2021.

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 1,962 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 James Hulse, August 17, 2022
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

You’ll find that even the smallest, least populated, or most rural areas of Kentucky have been marked with history. Check out Gallatin County, Jackson County and Carlisle County. We've only found, respectively, 3, 2, and 2 historical markers there. Visiting one or more of these parts of Kentucky might make for a pleasant road trip, and maybe you’ll discover more historical markers while you’re there. If you do, perhaps you’ll 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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Feb. 6, 2023