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 @

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The History of Orangeburg Kentucky

Often the history of small towns are overshadowed by larger towns where things have become consolidated over time. Although that is a natural trend that occured all over the place as better transportation, like automobiles, were invented, it doesn't change the fact that these small towns still hold a great place in the historical record. For example, the small town of Orangeburg Kentucky, in southeastern Mason County, is overshadowed by the larger town of Maysville, where much of the region's businesses and schools have consolidated. Still, Orangeburg is steeped in pioneer lore and has a few unsolved mysteries of its own.

Like this one:

By legislative act of February 29, 1836, the town of Williamsburg in Mason County became known thereafter as Orangeburg.

Legend says that the reason behind this name change was to avoid confusion between the town and the Williamsburg in southeastern Kentucky, now the county seat of Whitley County. However, further investigation sheds doubt on the legend, as that community was known as "Whitley Courthouse" until 1882, when it was changed to Williamsburg. This was nearly fifty years after the name change for the Mason County town. The reasons behind the change may be lost to history, but apparently the town was renamed in honor of a prominent local citizen and landowner, Providence Orange Pickering.

The story of Orangeburg is a fascinating tale in the larger story of American exploration and settlement. For the full story, you absolutely must check out this article refered to us by historian Ken Downing:

The Early History of Orangeburg, Mason County, Kentucky


Ken Downing said...

The article comes from the research of James Columbia, of Mason County, who has it included in the genealogy history of the Columbia family

12:33 AM

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