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 @ http://masoncountyky.blogspot.com

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Difference 40 Years Makes

Want to see the difference 40 years makes in the history of a town that happened to be in the right place, at the right time in history? Maysville Kentucky was once a boom town. That's right, Maysville used to be where it's at, the place to be if you wanted to be somebody, and it grew accordingly. Between the the years of 1821 and 1861 everyone flocked to the little town of Maysville Kentucky and had Rip Van Winkle fallen asleep here, he wouldn't have recognized the place when he woke up. Check out the two sketches below, dated 1821 and 1861.

The sketch above, dated 1821, shows a small town with dozens of small buildings packed into a carpet of trees. Notice that there are only a few roads, no houses creeping up the hill, and no tall buildings. Most noticeable is that there aren't any of the church steeples Maysville is famous for.

Flash forward forty years to this sketch, dated 1861. If you squint closely, you'll notice Maysville has at least tripled in size. Along the waterfront there's an almost floodwall of buildings, obviously taller than the short stacked buildings in the first sketch. The town has also filled out to the very edge of the crescent hillsides. And there, in the middle of the town, are two tall steeples, anchoring the burgeoning progress that surrounds them.

4 Comments:

Jeremy said...

If you're talking about city taxes, I think it was said that they get a great deal from the hotel tax, which they probably didn't have so much back then. I can't imagine them getting that much from the shops downtown today.

11:50 AM
said...

Lewis Collins 1847 History of Kentucky says the 1840 census of Mason County was 15,719 with Maysville being near 5,000.
Compare this with the following census figures:
1960 = 18,454
1970 = 17,273
1980 = 17.765
1990 = 16,666
2000 = 16,800
Not much growth for 160 years.
What has changed is the growth of retail business. Maysville is the retail center of a 7 county radius. Lack of retail growth in those counties has contributed greatly to Mason County.
Wonder how much the tax base has increased over the years ?


9:54 AM
Jeremy said...

Caleb Atwater put the population at around 3,000 in Maysville in 1833. What a great leap in, what, 14 years? Definitely a boom town.

1:04 PM
said...

And during that period in time, tens of thousands of pioneers passed thru the area. In 1847 Mason County had a population of over 15,000 people. Not far from where it is today.

2:49 PM

Post a Comment

« Home