Introduction to Richmond, Kentucky
The Kentucky city of Richmond, county seat of Madison County, is located 26 miles south of Lexington and 110 miles southeast of Louisville. The metropolitan area of Cincinnati, Ohio, sits about 112 miles north of the city. Richmond is serviced by Interstate Highways I-64 and I-75 in conjunction with U.S. Route 25 and Kentucky State Highway 52. The city is home to Eastern Kentucky University.
Shortly after its founding in 1798 by Colonel John Miller, a soldier in the Revolutionary War, Richmond replaced nearby Milford as the county seat. The city was named in honor of Miller's birthplace (Richmond, Virginia). In 1906, the state General Assembly enacted legislation to establish the Eastern Kentucky State Normal School, which would undergo several name changes in subsequent years; starting with Eastern Kentucky State Normal School, then Eastern Kentucky State Teachers College, and then Eastern Kentucky State College, before finally settling in as Eastern Kentucky University. While continuing to recognize its historic function of preparing quality teachers for Kentucky's elementary and secondary schools, the University today offers a strong liberal arts curriculum leading to a wide variety of degrees.
Things to do in Richmond
One of Kentucky's fastest-growing cities, Richmond boasts a wide variety of theaters, live entertainment, cultural activities, and many areas of scenic and historic interest. Historic Downtown Richmond is one of the finest restored 19th century commercial districts in the Southeast. The Irvinton House Museum is an opulent 1820 mansion complete with its original furnishings. White Hall State Historic Site is the former home of emancipationist and publisher Cassius Marcellus Clay, who was also U. S. minister to Russia and a close friend of Abraham Lincoln. Twelve miles to the north of the city is Fort Boonesborough State Park, the site of a famous Kentucky settlement established by Daniel Boone in 1775. The site has been reconstructed as a working fort which also houses The Kentucky River Museum, depicting life on the river as it was circa-1900. Other area attractions include the following:
- Bybee Pottery: In business since 1809
- The Hummel Planetarium and Space Theater at Eastern Kentucky University
- Daniel Boone Monument
- Lake Reba Recreational Complex
- Madison County Courthouse
- Richmond Area Arts Center
- Richmond Cemetery
- Richmond Raceway
- Jolly Time Arcade
The Eastern Kentucky University athletic program is responsible for some top-notch collegiate sports action in Richmond. The University's sports teams, known as the Colonels, compete in the NCAA's Division I (I-AA for football) as members of the Ohio Valley Conference. The Colonels have a tradition of success. The football team has claimed 16 conference titles and two Division I-AA National Championships (1979, 1982). More recently, the University's men's and women's basketball teams both won their respective Ohio Valley Conference tournament championships in 2005.
Minor League Baseball can be found a half-hour north of the city in nearby Lexington. The Lexington Legends, who play in the South Atlantic League, are a Class-A affiliate of Major League Baseball's Houston Astros. Major League action is about two hours away in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio. There, fans can watch Major League Baseball's Cincinnati Reds or the National Football League's Cincinnati Bengals. Minor-league teams in Cincinnati include the Kings, a soccer team in the 2nd division of the United Soccer League (USL); the Cyclones, a hockey team competing in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL); and the Excite, a team in the American Indoor Soccer League (AISL).
A two-hour drive in the westerly direction brings thoroughbred racing fans to Louisville, home of Churchill Downs. This legendary racetrack is home to the world-famous Kentucky Derby, the first leg of racing's Triple Crown, held on the first Saturday in May every year.