Introduction to Lexington Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky is the second-largest city in Kentucky next to Louisville, and is located in the heart of the Bluegrass region. In 2005, the population estimate given by the U.S. Census Bureau was 268,080. Lexington is known as the "Horse Capital of the World," since it is home to the Kentucky Horse Park, Keeneland race course and the Red Mile race course. The area is noted for its beautiful fertile soil; bluegrass (known as poa pratensis) is plentiful in the limestone rich soils. As a result, the city has an amazing natural beauty and excellent pastures with wonderful horse and stock farms. Numerous small creeks rise and flow into the Kentucky River. Since one of the biggest industries in Lexington is tourism, there are strict zoning regulations to protect the fertile farmlands. Lexington is a fine city for education. There are three public universities and five private colleges. The University of Kentucky is known for its diverse range of courses, including its cooperative extension service for Agricultural Studies, and its Department of Medicine. In addition, Lexington is a huge center of corporations, including two Fortune 500 companies. Amazon.com, Lexmark and Toyota are just a few of the major corporations located in this area. And, for peanut butter fans, Lexington's JIF peanut butter plant produces more peanut butter than any factory in the world!
The history of Lexington Kentucky is an interesting one. Lexington was founded in June 1775 in Virginia, seventeen years before Kentucky became a state. Daniel Boone was one of the first white men to explore the area and helped establish Kentucky's first forts. William McConnell, a leader of a group of frontiersmen, stopped at a campsite at what is now known as McConnell Springs, on the middle fork of Elkhorn Creek. Lexington was actually named after Lexington Massachusetts because the group was so inspired by the colonists' victory in the battle of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. A blockhouse was built, cabins and houses soon followed.
The town of Lexington was established on May 6, 1782, by an act of the Virginia General Assembly. By 1820, Kentucky was one of the largest and wealthiest towns west of the Allegheny Mountains, and was named the "Athens of the West" because of its culture and rich lifestyle. John Wesley Hunt, an entrepreneur, became the first millionaire west of the Alleghenies. Also because of its wealth, Lexington had the highest number of slaves in the state. By 1850, so many slaves were being used as laborers, field hands and domestic servants in Kentucky that one fifth of the state's population were slaves. In spite of that, the state attempted to remain neutral during the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky, spent time in Lexington and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln was born and raised in Lexington. In addition, Confederate President Jefferson Davis was also born in Kentucky (less than one year and 100 miles apart from Lincoln), and attended Transylvania University in 1823 and 1824.
Lexington Points of Interest
Lexington is known for its gentle rolling hills, lush scenery, strong economy and diverse workforce, but most of all for its beautiful thoroughbred horses. The Kentucky Derby is held in Louisville, but Lexington is where the thoroughbred horses are bred, foaled, trained, bought, sold, raced and retired. It is also where the Derby Eve parties are held. There are many horse farms to tour and explore. The Kentucky horse park is a 1,200-acre farm complex which includes a museum with films and interactive exhibits. It is actually a working farm which offers tours and includes a daily parade of breeds. You can also take a horse drawn carriage tour or saddle up yourself. Families can watch the thoroughbreds train at the Thoroughbred Center or visit past Kentucky Derby winners at private tours of the many horse farms in the area. Lexington has been selected to be the site of the 2010 World Equestrian Games.
In addition, Lexington is home to the University of Kentucky Wildcats, a basketball team that has made its mark as a leader in the nation. This team has the distinction of winning more games than any other team in college basketball history. In March of 2007, Lexington hosted the NCAA basketball tournament and attracted thousands of visitors throughout the country. The Kentucky Basketball Academy, located in Lexington, is one of the largest and most important sports facilities in the country, boasting five regulation basketball and volleyball courts. It is the home of all the AAU State Tournaments and provides basketball camps, leagues and tournaments for all ages. Lexington is proud of its basketball heritage and it continues to entertain the region with award winning games and top notch players in its premier facilities. Even the area code of Lexington (859) spells out UKY, University of Kentucky