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 @

Comments: Where the Powder Magazine Was


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The Post:

Where the Powder Magazine Was

Alright, I am nearly blind now thanks to one of our readers who responded to our article yesterday about the Great Maysville Explosion and asked: "Can you tell from the article the exact, present day, location of the explosion?"

Unfortunately, the scan of the Maysville Eagle that we posted, which contains the particulars of the event, is part of an online digital collection that lacked the foresight to make it a high enough resolution where you can zoom in and actually read it, although we do appreciate making it available : ) I ended up running some sharpening filters on it and was able to come up with (as near as I can tell) this:

"Those at a distance not acquainted with the localities about Maysville, will understand that remarkably - although the damage is immense [something about how bad it was] - the destruction was not much greater, when we tell them that the Powder Magazine was blown up, together with three other magazines, [and] is situated in the narrow hollow or gorge along which the Maysville and Lexington Turnpike ascends the hill back and south of the City, at a distance of less than a third of a mile from the Court House and the heart of the City."

It goes on to say that nearly 4,000 people were sleeping within one mile of the explosion that occured around 2 o'clock in the morning. Their point is that it could have been much worse, although the damage was estimated to be around $100,000 (an incredible amount for the times) and that the 800 kegs of powder stored there destroyed 13 homes, did damage to the surrounding buildings, and even damaged parts of Aberdeen, Ohio. Many people were killed or crippled as a result of the blast - I didn't catch how many and the article probably didn't say since it was published the day after the explosion.

I'm thinking that since the damage to the First Presbyterian Church is on the left side of the building (facing the river) that the "narrow hollow" they're speaking of is the winding road heading up the hill past the Hayswood Hospital.