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 @

Thursday, September 07, 2006

New Orleans Influence in Maysville Architecture

I know I'm a little late, but it's the thought that counts. As a sort of homage to the victims of Hurricane Katrina around the anniversary of the disaster, I wanted to give a nod to The Big Easy by showing their influence on our own little corner of America known as Maysville Kentucky.

The name of our downtown hotel, The French Quarter Inn, aside, the fact that Maysville really loved New Orleans while they were building the downtown area is easily seen, especially in some of the row houses you'll find down there. The New Orleans influence still shows in the ornate iron grillwork and Steamboat Gothic trim, a style of trim involving soaring gables embellished with ornamentation.

The reason for this influence is the river, like many other things historical around here. These buildings date from the early 1800s when area merchants would take local grown tobacco and bourbon down river via steamboat to sell in New Orleans, where a relatively large population had already congregated. On the return trip, they would bring back the latest fashion and trends from New Orleans and integrate it into the growing city here.

The most direct influence of New Orleans and the construction of buildings in Maysville, however, involves our town's second mayor, William Phillips. Still standing downtown is a building known as Phillips' Folly. It got that name and still keeps it to this day because while building it, William Phillips over extended himself and ran out of money. He ended up running off to New Orleans. Only through a lucky streak while gambling in New Orleans was he able to return in 1828 to finish the building.

Now that's New Orleanian influence!


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