Thousands of years ago, the land that would become Northern Kentucky emerged above sea level when a large portion of the continental plate bulged upward. Today, the region rests on the crest of that uplift, known as the Cincinnati Arch. And just like the fascinating geology of this region, Northern Kentucky continues to grow and develop. From the arrival of the Native Americans, to the first European settlers in the late 1700s, to the building of Ark Encounter at Williamstown in 2016, Northern Kentucky's landscape and population have changed dramatically. This encompassing study delves into the region's unique past and considers its ever-evolving future.
Provided is a wide-ranging overview of Northern Kentucky's rich history, including details about its early pioneers such as James Taylor Jr., Simon Kenton, and Daniel Boone, who knew the potential of the incredibly beautiful territory they had discovered at the mouth of the Licking River. The collection also chronicles significant historic moments, like the Battle of Blue Licks, the building of the Roebling Bridge, and tragedies such as the Ohio River Flood of 1937 and the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire of 1977. Famous Northern Kentuckians, such as singer and actress Rosemary Clooney, artist Frank Duveneck, and performer Kenny Price, are also featured. This well-rounded study also addresses the revitalization of the region—including the recent multi-billion-dollar riverside developments in Covington, Newport, and Bellevue—and how Northern Kentucky has evolved into one of the most desirable places in the country.
Foreword by Paul A. Tenkotte Preface 1. Northern Kentucky's Prehistory 2. Ancient Civilizations and Historic Peoples 3. Early Northern Kentucky Explorers 4. Christopher Gist: Separating Fact from Fiction 5. The French and Indian War, and Daniel Boone Visits Kentucky 6. James Harrod, Richard Henderson, and the Revolutionary War 7. Kentucky under Siege 8. The Battle of Blue Licks 9. Permanent Northern Kentucky Settlers 10. Northwest Territory and Fort Washington 11. Kentucky Becomes a State 12. Newport Established 13. Northern Kentucky in the Early 1800s 14. Earthquakes and the War of 1812 15. Covington Is Established, and Roads Become Turnpikes 16. Northern Kentucky Welcomes Industry 17. German and Irish Immigration, and Another War 18. Northern Kentucky in the Mid-1800s 19. Slavery and the Underground Railroad 20. The American Civil War in Northern Kentucky 21. Northern Kentucky after the Civil War 22. Northern Kentucky in the Late 1800s 23. Lagoon Amusement Park and the Start of the Twentieth Century 24. The Basilica, World War I, and Prohibition 25. Northern Kentucky in the 1920s and 1930s 26. The 1937 Flood and World War II 27. The Gourmet Strip, Civil Rights, and Urban Flight 28. Interstates and Higher Education 29. Inner-City Decay, Poverty, and the Region's Worst Disaster 30. Local Sports Figures, and Hollywood Comes to the Midwest 31. Revitalization Explodes in Covington and Newport 32. Some River-Town Charm Remains Appendix A: Northern Kentucky Civil War Fortifications Appendix B: Population of Selected Northern Kentucky Cities, 1950–2017 Notes Selected Bibliography Index
Robert D. Webster is a Northern Kentucky native and has written numerous articles and books on the region's history. His most popular is TheBeverly Hills Supper Club: The Untold Story Behind Kentucky's Worst Tragedy (2012), for which he received the Kentucky History Award. His previous books The Balcony Is Closed: A History of Northern Kentucky's Long-Forgotten Neighborhood Movie Theaters and Northern Kentucky Fires: A Summary of the Most Memorable Fires of the Region also won the award.
This work is quite remarkable because Webster is the only historian/author to tackle the history of Northern Kentucky so fully. The author's scholarship is sound. His sources are good, and his research is very thorough. A Brief History of Northern Kentucky is, and will be long into the future, a great reference book for the region.
~Brian Hackett, Northern Kentucky University
A Brief History of Northern Kentucky fills a gap in the history of the region. This well-researched and well-written narrative tells the rich story of one of the Commonwealth's most populous and diverse areas. Webster provides an excellent overview of the history of Northern Kentucky, including its immigrant past, political intrigues, religious diversity, educational excellence, and complex role as a Kentucky city on the Ohio border. Often overlooked, Northern Kentucky has for more than two centuries been an economic and political powerhouse in Kentucky. This volume reminds us of the importance of the region and the rich heritage we share.
~Dave Schroeder, Kenton County Public Library