Maysville Kentucky Blog

The Maysville Kentucky Blog is your guide to the beautiful and historic small town of Maysville Kentucky, snuggled into the rolling hills along the Ohio River. Though this blog has been discontinued, you can get your Maysville Kentucky fix over at Ken Downing's Mason County Kentucky Blog @

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Kentucky's Gateway to the South

There's a saying in the airline industry that roughly states that if you're traveling anywhere in the South, you have to pass through Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. That's probably true in most of today's plane-filled travel itineraries. In the olden days if you wanted to travel south, you had to pass through Maysville Kentucky. Maysville was the hub of travel by riverboat, train, and roadway throughout much of America's early years. In this way, Maysville was truly the original Gateway to the South.

In a recent meeting of the board of directors for the Museum Center, a motion was approved to change the name from the Maysville Museum Center to the Kentucky Gateway Museum Center (news story). While I would have personally liked "Maysville" to have been in the name somewhere, the addition of the word "Gateway" is entirely appropriate. Maysville truly was a gateway city historically.

It's no surprise that a museum that deals with history in a historical town has a history of its own. The museum was chartered as the Maysville and Mason County Library, Historical, and Scientific Association in 1878 and is said to be the oldest state historical organization in continuous existence. In 1975 the association changed focus and continued as the Mason County Museum. In 2003, the name simply became, Museum Center. A spokesperson for the now-named Kentucky Gateway Museum Center said the new name change helps to define the importance of the entire region and give it more depth. The Museum Center's coverage area is more than Mason County, after all, including five counties in Kentucky and two in Ohio.


Jeremy said...

Unfortunately I think St. Louis has "Gateway to the West" patented : )

But, yes, you're absolutely right. There's several ways of looking at it. As a pioneer hub, Mason County was a gateway for explorers heading west. Since Ohio was an important industrial region throughout the 1800s, Mason County was a gateway to the north for merchants from the south. Since much of the weapons that were used to defeat the south came through Maysville, it could be considered the "Gateway to Conquering the South".

In any case, Maysville's situation as a "gateway" city is pretty solidly established. As for Kentucky being a neutral border state... I've got a post coming up soon about that ; )

4:17 PM

I'm not sure that describing Maysville as the Gateway To The South has ever been totally accurate. Most early pioneers came down the Ohio River and landed at Limestone. From there thousands and thousands migrated westward to Iowa, Kansas and Missouri. When the area north of the river was opened up, many went to Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Although Maysville is south of the Mason-dixon line, it has never been known as a " southern " state mainly because it was neutral during THE WAR.
Maybe its a good thing they all didn't stay in Mason County otherwise Maysville would be the largest city in the commonwealth.

1:15 PM

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