Welcome Guide to Kentucky

In the east-central part of the United States, is the State of Kentucky – the 37th largest state of the country. Kentucky has 120 counties and Frankfort is the capital city, with Louisville the largest city. Kentucky is the birthplace of President Abraham Lincoln and an important historic monument in Kentucky is the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site in Hodgenville.

Nicknamed as the “Bluegrass State” due to the bluegrass expanses, the grass stretches are a common sight on Kentucky’s landscape. Home to several natural riches, Kentucky has Mammoth Cave National Park, which preserves the 365 miles long cave, the longest in the world and also the most productive coalfield in the nation.

There is one National Park and 52 Kentucky State Parks, each with unique characteristics. They’re located alongside water bodies, mountains, plateaus, forests, and virtually all types of terrain, gives each park an inimitable touch. The trails offered by these parks are the perfect way to soak in the immense beauty of the surroundings. Three major lakes are part of the state, namely, Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley, and Lake Cumberland, while major rivers that cross the terrain include the Mississippi River, Ohio River, Cumberland River, Green River, and Kentucky River. Boating, fishing, hiking, horse-riding, and camping are some of the popular recreational activities.

Agriculture is the prime industry with mining and automobile manufacturing also having a marked presence. Horse-rearing is another industry that thrives in this part of the country. Also, the best quality of Bourbon is produced in Kentucky and is the state’s signature beverage.

The moderate climate of Kentucky makes it appropriate for touring all ’round the year.

History of Kentucky

Kentucky, situated in East Central United States of America, is one of the 4 states in U. S. that are officially known as a commonwealth. Popularly known as the “Bluegrass State”, Kentucky was inhabited by Native Americans in prehistoric times. In the mid-1700s, explorers and settlers arrived in the area and a large portion of the land was bought from the Native Americans in treaties of Sycamore Shoals (1775) and Fort Stanwix (1768). This led to rapid growth in the population of the state. Daniel Boone played a significant role in the development of Kentucky and is traditionally considered to be the founder of the State.

The first settlements were founded west of the Appalachian Mountains with settlers chiefly from North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. Lexington and Washington were the two major settlements in the State, established in the northern part, along the Ohio River. The southern part of Kentucky was settled via the famous Wilderness Trail and extended across the Cumberland Gap. The major turning point in the history of the State was the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783). The last major battle of the Revolution fought in Kentucky was the Battle of Blue Licks. After the American Revolution, Kentucky was made a part of Virginia and the counties beyond the Appalachian Mountains became known as the Kentucky County. At the final Constitutional Convention held in April 1792 at the Constitution Square Courthouse in Danville, Virginia’s terms of separation were accepted and Kentucky was admitted to the Union as the 15th US State, with Isaac Shelby as its first Governor.

On November 20, 1861, a group of Kentucky soldiers posted at Russellville passed an Ordinance of Secession, establishing a Confederate government with its capital in “Bowling Green”. The Confederate Memorial Day is still observed by many on Jefferson Davis’ birthday, June 3. However, Kentucky remained neutral throughout the American Civil War. Another major event in the history of the State was the assassination of Governor William Goebel on January 30, 1900, when he was in the process of contesting the 1899 elections. William S. Taylor was later found to be the co-conspirator in the assassination of Goebel.