Richmond, Kentucky is located in the stunning Bluegrass region of the state. It is the county seat of Madison County. Coming in as the third largest city in the Bluegrass area and the sixth largest in the state. It boasts a population of 33,533 at the time of the last US Census.
Richmond is the center for work and shopping in the south-central area. It is the principal city of the statistical area of Richmond-Berea Micropolitan. All of Rockcastle and Madison counties are included in the area.
Colonel John Miller of Virginia founded the city in 1798. He was an American from Britain who served in the Revolutionary War alongside the rebels. Miller loved the area, wooed by its friendly Native Americans and abundant spring waters.
In the same year the city was established, the state approved legislation for the county seat to be moved from Milford to Richmond. The residents of Richmond didn’t take the news so well. The fought, took and nail. Eventually, a fist fight broke out between a man named Dave Kennedy who represented Milford and Richmond’s representative, William Kearly.
On July 4, 1798, the official approval came for the move to be made. The town was then named, Richmond, after the birthplace of Miller. In 1809, Richmond was incorporated.
During the Civil War, Kentucky was considered a border state. It elected to stick with the Union. During the war, on August 30, 1862, the Confederate Army and the Union troops collided in the Battle of Richmond. Confederate General, Edmund Kirby Smith, led the soldiers to route the Union soldiers who were under the command of General William Nelson. There were on 1,200 or 6,500 Union soldiers who escaped. It was considered a monumental military accomplishment.
The Eastern Kentucky State Normal School was birthed in Richmond in 1906 with the purpose of teaching teachers. The first graduating class of 1909 had eleven student teachers. The curriculum was a four-year program by 1922 and thus, the school was officially established as a college. Additional graduate-degree programs were in place by 1935. It was renamed “Eastern Kentucky University” in 1965 and remains today as such.
Daniel Boone played an important part in Richmond’s history. He was chosen by Richard Henderson, Transylvania Company founder, to head a crew to clear a pathway through the Cumberland Gap in 1775. The Gap ran from Long Island all the way to the Holston River in Tennessee to Otter Creek which is off of the Kentucky River.
Although the blazing of the trail presented tremendous challenges, Daniel Boone was victorious. The area was considered to be one of the roughest in the entire land. Boone and his men built a fort of log structures. In 1974, a reconstructed site for the Fort Boonesborough site was opened to the public. It is also called “Fort Boone” for short and is a favorite tourist attraction in the area.
The Battle of Richmond is another popular historical site. Embracing the battle that was fought on the turf, visitors can get a feel of what the war of old was really like when it was fought on August 29 through the 30th of 1862 when the Confederacy tried desperately to take the Commonwealth of Kentucky into capture. The site boasts the slogan “Where every day is Memorial Day.”
Horses have been in Richmond for its entire existence. They are truly celebrated throughout the town. Baldwin Farms is one family friendly spot where visitors can enjoy a taste of life on the farm. From festive Christmas celebrations to pumpkin patches in the fall, the farm is full of fun and education for all ages. Pony rides are available for the children, homemade jams and jellies are sold and there are even mazes and hayrides. Events can be scheduled as well like birthdays and weddings.
Deer Run Stable is another horse attraction in Richmond. There are lessons, guided trails and even a class on healing with horses. The farm is right in the heart of Daniel Boone land with two outdoor riding arenas, seven miles of trails and a twelve thousand square feet indoor arena. It is a horse lover’s paradise.
The Kentucky Foothills Therapeutic Horsemanship Center is a place where individuals can go to experience the powerful medicinal effects that horses can bring both mentally and physically. The horse and human interaction is healing to those with disabilities or conditions of many kinds.
The Historic White Hall Mansion is a major spot for tourists to flock and locals enjoy it as well. Nestled in the rolling Bluegrass farmland, the home was constructed in the 1860’s. It is designed in Italianate and Georgian styles, popular for the era. It has almost ten thousand square feet and is available for touring, events and offers tea on Tuesdays.
There are many outdoor activities to enjoy in the breathtaking, gorgeous town. Some opt simple to drive around and breathe all the beauty in. From green rolling hills to vintage homes and horse farms, there is something to take in around each and every corner.
The downtown Richmond area is full of Victorian style homes. Tourists come from near and far to see them as well as to see the beautiful scenery surrounding them. Many are in the exact state they were when they were constructed.
There was a massive residential and commercial boom during the late 1990’s in Richmond. It has 19.2 total square miles with 19.1 being land and the other 0.1 being of water. It is hot and humid during the summer and cool or mild during the winters.
Lake Reba is one of the beloved bodies of water in the city. There are fishing docks and boats and swimming are popular as well.
Daniel Boone was just one of many notable people who hailed from Richmond. Kit Carson, the pioneer frontiersman was born in Madison County near Richmond. The abolitionist and politician, Cassius Clay was from the town too.
The town of Richmond is said to be full of opportunity, history and friendly people. There are those who call it home and those who wish they did.