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, December 29, 2005

1854 Explosion Brings History Full Circle

On August 13, 1854, the Maysville Express reported the following:

"Last night at 2:15 a.m. the magazine situated on the Maysville & Lexington turnpike road at the lower end of the city was fired by miscreants unknown, and its contents, eight hundred kegs of blasting and rifle powder, were burned, causing a terrific explosion and great destruction of property. Not a house in the city of Maysville. East Maysville, or Aberdeen escaped injury. A stone weighing 43 pounds was found in Aberdeen 1 1/3 miles from the spot. The explosion was heard at Popular Plains, 22 miles distance; on a steamboat 42 miles up the river; at Hillsboro, Ohio, 40 miles away; the whole body of water in the Ohio River surged toward the Ohio shore, rising suddenly and deep on that shoreline; in the Maysville Cotton Mill, 1200 lights of glass shattered. Damage was in excess of $200,000. No one was killed and very few injuries."

This particular story is pretty cool because if you have a look at the buildings downtown, some of them still have craters in the side of the building from this blast. They say that the scars on a man are the record of his history. These scars on the buildings from the 1854 explosion are the direct experience of Maysville history that you won't find by simply reading a book. If you know the story of why there's a crater in the side of the building, and you take the time to go and look at it, you are connected to history like this:

Crater in side of building in 2006 = Evidence of an explosion in 1854 of a weapons magazine = Same weapons magazine that could have housed weapons for the Union during Civil War = When Civil War breaks out weapons have to be transported through Maysville because of the loss of weapons less than ten years earlier = More transportation through area creates a boom = More interest in surrounding area because of its strategic Ohio River location = Greater commerce and stability = Growth = Present day population and economic status = Why there's a Super Walmart located here

It's amazing how a simple chance of fate or accident in 1854 leads to a Super Walmart. But that's history for you. It's an ever evolving dramatic unfolding of events more interesting than any movie or novel ever released. So please, everyone when they get a chance, head downtown, touch a crater in the side of a building, and become a part of history.


Post a Comment

« Home