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Frankfort: History

Frankfort: History

Easterners Hear of Garden of Eden in Kentucky

Before Europeans first began to explore the area where Frankfort now stands, the land was heavily forested and teeming with wild game. Shawnee, Delaware, and Cherokee hunting parties followed migrating herds of buffalo, deer, and elk across the Kentucky River near present-day Frankfort. The tribes frequently fought among themselves to control the hunting grounds of Kentucky. In the mid-eighteenth century, backwoodsmen in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the Carolinas began to feel overcrowded; they complained of land shortages, falling supplies of wild game, and depleted soil, and they cast their eyes on the lush land of Kentucky. In 1751, North Carolina backwoodsman Christopher Gist may have been the first white man to set eyes on the beautiful valley in which Frankfort now lies, but he was forced to leave after learning that Frenchmen and their Indian allies occupied the area (then claimed by France). Frontiersman John Finlay built a log cabin in the area in about 1752, but his hunting and tradingand any further white settlementwere interrupted by the outbreak of the French and Indian War in 1754. The British won that war, but King George's Proclamation of 1763 then prohibited white settlement of the area. It was not until 1769 that Finley was able to return; he brought with him legendary frontiersman Daniel Boone and four other men intent on hunting and exploration.

Boone, Finley, and other so-called Long Hunters (named for the long periods of time they spent hunting) inflamed the public back East with their stories about the rich land of Kentucky and the opportunities it offered to get rich quick. In 1773, Governor John Murray of Virginia, better known as Lord Dunmore, sent survey parties to Kentucky (then a Virginia county), including one led by Robert McAfee. McAfee and his group surveyed and laid claim to 600 acres of land in and around Frankfort. More settlers poured westward, the Natives reacted with hostility, and in 1774 Lord Dunmore's War erupted. The war ended with the defeat of the Indians and the signing of a peace treaty in the spring of 1775, at about the same time the battle of Lexington and Concord ushered in the American Revolution.

Town Rises, Prospers on Banks of Kentucky River

Land speculators took advantage of the distractions of wartime and laid claim to vast areas of Kentucky. Meanwhile, McAfee's doubtful claim to the area around Frankfort lapsed, lawsuits were filed, and in 1786, General James Wilkinson, a fellow soldier and friend of George Washington, found himself in possession, at a very cheap price, of most of what is now the downtown district of Frankfort (north of the Kentucky River). Wilkinson set to work organizing a town. He chose the name Frankfort to honor the memory of a man named Stephen Frank, a Jewish pioneer who had been shot by Indians, possibly near a river crossing known as "Frank's Ford." Streets were laid out and named in honor of Wilkinson, his wife (Ann), his friends from the Revolutionary War, and even for some Spanish friends (Wilkinson was said to be a secret agent of the Spanish government, and it was rumored that he planned to make Kentucky a Spanish colony). Wilkinson built the second house in Frankfort, a log cabin, but his wife refused to live in the crude structure. The house became a tavern that over the years hosted such celebrities as Aaron Burr, the Marquis de Lafayette, and Henry Clay.

Land speculators and pioneers flocked to Frankfort; they cleared land for farms and built houses. By the late 1780s, a church and schoolhouse had been built, and large quantities of tobacco were growing on farms around Frankfort. While the town did not grow as quickly as Wilkinson had envisioned and he decided not to live there himself, he saw that there was money to be made, and in 1791 he built a tobacco warehouse on his Frankfort land. In 1792 Frankfort was named the capitol of the recently admitted state of Kentucky. Up until the last raid took place in 1794, Frankfort settlers were kept busy fending off hostile Indians; thereafter, the tobacco business thrived and salt pork, animal skins, and hemp joined the economic mix, followed by livestock and lumbering. By 1800, Frankfort was the second largest town in Kentucky after Lexington, with a population of 628. A library opened in 1814; several beautiful and elegant homes and churches were built, some of which are still standing; and the central business district began to expand.

The Lexington and Ohio railroad came to town in 1835 and soon Frankfort began to prosper as a manufacturing center. The population grew from 4,755 people in 1860 to 5,396 people in 1874; by 1900, the population was 9,487 people. Residents processed wood from the huge timberlands of Kentucky and produced cotton goods, carriages, paper, lumber, and distilled liquors, including the "corn liquor" for which the state became famous.

Politics, War, and the Modern City

Lexington and Louisville had vied to be Kentucky's capital, and when Frankfort's capitol building burned twice, in 1815 and 1824, the two cities challenged the rebuilding in Frankfort. Each time, the structure was rebuilt. The presence of government has flavored the social life and affected the economy of the town. National political figures such as Henry Clay, U.S. Senators John J. Crittenden and John G. Carlisle, and Supreme Court Justice John M. Harlan trained in Frankfort. Nineteenth-century visitors to Frankfort, expecting to encounter backwoodsmen in the legislature, reported astonishment at the eloquence of Kentucky orators.

Kentucky was officially a part of the Union during America's Civil War but many of its citizens were slave owners and Southern sympathizers. The peace of Frankfort was disturbed in 1862 when General Bragg's Confederate Forces seized the city and set up a Confederate State Government. Before the first session met, Yankee guns began firing on the town and the Southerners withdrew. The years following the Civil War saw the development of a modern city on the Kentucky. A school system developed, and by 1900, a movement began urging legislators to fund and construct a modern Capitol. In June 1910 citizens throughout Kentucky gathered to witness the formal dedication of architect Frank Mills Andrews's masterpiece, the Beaux Arts design Kentucky State Capitol.

The early twentieth century brought more disturbances to the peace of Frankfort, punctuated by some periods of prosperity. The city dealt with the assassination of Governor William Goebel during a hotly contested election in 1900, as well as outbreaks of racial violence, a legacy of Civil War days, when more than a third of the town's residents were slaves. The Prohibition era brought a decline in the distilling industry and thus in agricultural production. The Great Depression and a severe drought in the 1930s led to hardship and a decline in population. Further misery came when the Ohio River flooded in 1937, engulfing basements and lifting small homes and businesses off their foundations. Estimated damage was $5 million. But beginning in 1935, the New Deal stimulated a growth in government employment and the beginning of a housing boom. By the time World War II ended, the city, which had changed little since the turn of the century, stood poised to enter its greatest era of growth.

Frankfort experienced a population explosion between 1940 and 1970, from 11,492 residents to 21,356 residents. Demand for housing skyrocketed and farmland rapidly disappeared to make way for subdivisions. Frankfort tripled in size as suburbs were annexed by the city. Realizing the need for a more formal style of government to suit its larger size, in 1956 Frankfort voters approved the manager-commission form of government. Frankfort's infrastructure was modernized and roads were improved, resulting in the move of manufacturing industries to the suburbs, leaving a concentration of government workers downtown. Gradually, the small and compact city, with its charming blend of architectural styles developed over more than a century, expanded into a sprawling city characterized by a more uniform, less ornamental style of construction. Commercial strips grew up where homes once stood; shopping centers sprang up on the outskirts of town, further reducing the importance of downtown Frankfort as a retail center.

The 1960s and 1970s saw considerable downtown building activity, with modern high rises replacing slums but also displacing many African American residents. Capital Plaza, a convention center (which became the home of Kentucky State University Thoroughbreds basketball), and the Federal Building created a new skyline for Frankfort. The city experienced a severe tornado in 1974 that caused millions of dollars in damage. Four years later, in December 1978, the Kentucky River rose to 48.5 feet, breaking the 1937 record by almost a foot. This time the damage exceeded $14.5 million and brought home the need for flood control, a challenge that Frankfort leaders were still grappling with when another disastrous flood occurred in 1997.

Today, Frankfort residents and visitors enjoy the history and quaint charm of small-town living with modern conveniences and larger cities nearby. Frankfort's business climate is cost-effective and has attracted new manufacturing and technology companies. The historic downtown is enjoying revitalization as new businesses move in and become successful.

Historical Information: Kentucky Historical Society at the Kentucky History Center, 100 West Broadway, Frankfort, KY 40601; telephone (502)564-1792

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Frankfort: Recreation

Frankfort: Recreation

Sightseeing

The Frankfort/Franklin County Tourist and Convention Commission's Visitors Center, located five blocks from the Kentucky statehouse, offers maps and information about local sites. Two good places to get a feeling for the personalities that formed Frankfort's history are the Corner of Celebrities, which is actually one square block behind Wilkinson Street in the north part of town, and the Frankfort Cemetery, located on a high cliff overlooking the city. Dozens of famous Kentuckians have lived on and near the Corner. Historic residences there that are open to the public include Orlando Brown House, a Greek Revival home designed by architect Gideon Shryock; and the adjacent Liberty Hall, built in 1796 in the Federalist style for John Brown, Orlando Brown's brother and Kentucky's first U.S. Senator. The Frankfort Cemetery is dominated by the marble marker over the graves of Daniel and Rebecca Boone; it is carved with scenes from the lives of the pioneer couple. In addition to the graves of at least 16 Kentucky governors, the cemetery features the Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial, a 65-foot-tall monument that acts as a giant sundial.

The 1910 Kentucky State Capitol's Beaux Arts design features 70 Ionic columns, decorative murals, and sculptures of Kentucky dignitaries, as well as the First Lady Doll Collection. Tourists throw coins for good luck at the floral clock that is located on the West Lawn of the Capitol Grounds. Next to the Capitol and overlooking the Kentucky River, the Executive Mansion, built of native limestone, was modeled after France's Petit Trianon, Marie Antoinette's Summer villa. The Greek Revival Old State Capitol, which served as the seat of state government from 18301910, features a self-supporting staircase held together by precision and pressure. These state buildings are open for touring. Another outstanding local site is the 1910 Prairie-style Ziegler-Brockman House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Nature lovers will find native flora and fauna at the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Game Farm and Salato Wildlife Education Center in Frankfort. Bird watchers will be particularly interested in the Clyde F. Buckley Wildlife Sanctuary-Trust; a 374-acre haven with hiking trails, a bird blind, and a nature center operated by the National Audubon Society.

Kentucky is famous for its whiskey, and visitors may tour the Woodford Reserve Distillery, which dates back to 1812, to see how it is produced. Guides lead tourists to see the bulb-shaped stills, huge fermenting vats, and a warehouse where the charred white oak barrels are stored. Bottling into the distillery's unique-shaped bottles still is accomplished by hand. The Buffalo Trace Distillery, first to ever ship bourbon down the Mississippi River and a worldwide winner of more than 40 awards for it's whiskey, offers tours each weekday.

Arts and Culture

The site of many major cultural, musical, and sporting events is the Farnham Dudgeon Civic Center, which seats 5,365 people. The RiverPark Center in nearby Owensboro is another multi-purpose cultural and events facility that hosts touring productions as well as community theater, recitals, children's theater, and ensemble concerts. The Bluegrass Theatre Guild offers musicals, workshops, and touring productions of its shows. The Capital Art Guild promotes public knowledge of the visual arts by educational activities by way of art exhibits, technique demonstrations, art classes, and community art projects.

The new Kentucky History Center displays the survey notes penned by Daniel Boone as he helped to map the new frontier. Also on display are early civil rights documents. Visitors may take a journey along Kentucky's time line, from the rustic life of early pioneer times through modern life. The Center, which houses a gift shop as well as the state museum and research library, presents educational programs and special events. It features the Hall of Governors of Kentucky, and a permanent exhibit gallery showcasing "A Kentucky Journey," which tells the state's story, and a changing exhibit gallery spotlighting the artifacts of the Kentucky Historical Society.

Displays of weapons, uniforms, flags, and other memorabilia at the Kentucky Military History Museum honor the service of the state militia, state guard, and other volunteer military organizations. The museum is located in the 1850 Old State Arsenal, a brick Gothic Revival "castle" on a cliff overlooking the Kentucky River.

Festivals and Holidays

The festival season begins with May's Governor's Derby Breakfast, featuring guided tours of the Capitol building and gardens. The first full weekend in June brings the Capital Expo Arts & Crafts Festival, three days of arts and crafts, live entertainment, an antique car show, hot air balloon rides, and fireworks; June also brings Boone Day, the Kentucky Historical Society's annual symposium to commemorate Daniel Boone's first observance of Kentucky. The Kentucky Herb Festival takes place on the second Saturday in June; it offers lectures on gardening, music, and an outdoor herbal luncheon. July's Franklin County Fair & Horse Show features antiques, a flower and doll show, a demolition derby, a gospel sing, a beauty contest, and childrens' events. Also in July, Frankfort teams with other central Kentucky cities to host the week-long Central Kentucky Civil War Heritage Trail.

In September, the state's diverse job, ethnic, and family traditions are celebrated at the Kentucky Folklife Festival downtown. The Great Pumpkin Festival features the Black Cat 5K run, a haunted house, hayrides, and a costume parade down Main Street. The Candlelight Tour of the downtown takes place in November. An evening of food, music, and shopping kicks off the holiday season. Also in November, the Kentucky Book Fair at the KSU draws more than 100 authors of national and worldwide renown. The city rings in December with a parade, tree lighting ceremony, caroling and viewing the wares of more than 100 craft exhibitors.

The Center of Excellence for Study of Kentucky African Americans at Kentucky State University sponsors a number of exhibits and displays throughout the year. They include an annual "Many Cultures, One Art" quilt exhibit, a Civil War symposium, a forum on the Great Black Jockeys, and other special events. Dates vary from year to year.

Sports for the Spectator

Kentucky State University is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). At present, all sports are classified in Division II. KSU is affiliated with the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) and competes for conference championships in all sports. Men's Thorobreds teams include basketball, football, baseball, cross country & track, golf, and tennis. Football games are played at the university's Alumni Stadium. Many of the indoor sports, including basketball, are played at the William Exum Center on campus. The Thorobrettes women's teams include basketball, softball, cross country and track, volleyball, and tennis.

Sports for the Participant

When urban planners first noticed, back in the 1950s, that Frankfort was one of the few cities in the country with no public parks or recreational areas, city officials went to work to create a parks system. Beginning with the creation of Juniper Hills Park, the system expanded into six large public parks offering picnic areas, courts for basketball, tennis, and volleyball, plus baseball, softball, and soccer fields. Riverview Park offers trails along the Kentucky River. Headquartered in Peaks Mill, 8 miles north of Frankfort, Canoe Kentucky offers canoeing, kayaking, innertubing, and guided or self-guided canoe and kayak trips over whitewater Class 1 and 2 waters.

Shopping and Dining

On downtown Frankfort's tree-lined streets, shops offer such items as art pieces, gifts, clothing, books, antiques, and model trains. Shaded under flowering trees, the St. Clair Mall features an old-fashioned general store as well as boutiques. Visitors flock to Rebecca-Ruth Candy shop on the East Side of town to buy bourbon-flavored sweets made on the same curved marble bar top where the secret recipe was developed more than 60 years ago. The city's major mall is Franklin Square, which features a department store, music, clothing, and gift shops, as well as cinemas and restaurants.

Dining choices in Frankfort run the gamut from homestyle and barbecue, to ethnic varieties including Thai, Chinese, Mexican, Irish, and Italian, to seafood and steak. Gabriel's Chop House in the Holiday Inn Capital Plaza has Kentucky Bourbon ribs and steak. Visit Tink's on St. Clair Street for barbecue in an outdoor setting. Cajun cooking is the draw at Rick's White Light Diner, while Jim's Seafood specializes in catfish, trout, and fried banana peppers. At Daniel's Restaurant patrons may enjoy a bourbon-tasting experience.

Visitor Information: Frankfort/Franklin County Tourist & Convention Commission, 100 Capitol Ave., Frankfort, KY 40601; telephone (502)875-8687; toll-free (800)866-7925; fax (502)227-2604

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Frankfort: Economy

Frankfort: Economy

Major Industries and Commercial Activity

As the home of Kentucky's state government, Frankfort has long been a regional employment center. State government employment and private professional service firms doing business with the state have had a stabilizing effect on the area's economy. Nearly half of the local citizens are employed by state or local government.

Major local manufacturers produce automotive wheels and stamped automotive parts, automotive wire products, as well as air brake components, pipes, and oil valves for the heating industry. Other local industries make tool and die products, pallets and wood furniture, and fabrics. World-famous Kentucky whiskey is also produced locally.

Frankfort serves as a trading center for mid-Kentucky. The Capital Community Economic/Industrial Authority (CCE/IDA) assists existing companies in expanding their local operations and helps recruit new manufacturers to Frankfort. The result has been 1,774 new jobs, $120 million in new investment, and more than $32 million in new payroll in recent years. Through the creation of two industrial parks and several business/office parks, the CCE/IDA claims to be a "one stop shop" for businesses seeking a base of operations; the group has provided such infrastructure as double-loop-fed electricity, high-speed bandwidth telecommunications cable, water, and county maintained roads. They also provide financial assistance through low-rate loans for capital investment.

A comprehensive industrial survey conducted by the Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce showed that industrial employers had a very positive perspective on doing business in the Frankfort area. Ninety-four percent indicated that the Frankfort area was "a very good" or "good" place to do business. This indicator of the business climate was better than that for the state as a whole.

Items and goods produced: corn, bourbon whiskey, candy, tobacco, furniture, electronic parts, automotive parts and stampings, plastics, construction products, machinery, textiles, thoroughbred horses.

Incentive ProgramsNew and Existing Companies

Several programs help city areas in their efforts to revitalize and attract new businesses to their downtown.

Local programs

Downtown Frankfort's Facade Grant Program offers a 50-50 owner match reimbursement for revitalization of downtown buildings. Renaissance Kentucky is formed by an alliance of four state agencies and three private entities, and works with communities to plan and locate resources for restoration and revitalization projects. The Main Street Program is based on a four-point approach and addresses organization, promotion, design, and economic restructuring. The program's goal is "to encourage downtown revitalization within the context of historic preservation." The Capital Community Economic/Industrial Development Authority offers assistance to new and existing businesses with site and investment matters. Downtown Frankfort, Inc. offers assistance with retail and office location information in the city's historic downtown.

State programs

The state of Kentucky offers an extensive array of incentives for business start-up and expansion. The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development oversees a wide array of programs and services available to businesses including existing businesses, newly locating companies, start-ups, small and minority businesses, and many others. Kentucky has the lowest overall cost of doing business east of the Mississippi River and ranks fourth nationally as the most favorable state for the cost of doing business. Kentucky's variety of incentives include corporate tax credits, loan financing, training grants, and opportunities for foreign trade zone operations. Local Kentucky sales taxes are taboo, and property taxes are among the lowest in the nation. Kentucky prides itself as an industry-friendly state; only property tax on manufacturing equipment is figured at $1.50 per $1,000. Local jurisdictions may offer inventory tax reduction or exemption options.

Development Projects

Frankfort's Grand Theater on St. Clair Street was purchased in January 2005 by a nonprofit group with plans to raise $3.7 million for renovations. Currently used for arts programming, once renovated the theater will be an arts center for the city.

Economic Development Information: Downtown Frankfort, Inc., 100 Capital Ave., Frankfort, KY 40601; telephone (502)227-2261, fax (502)227-2604; email downtown@dcr.net

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

Low unemployment rates relative to state and national averages attest to the industriousness and desirability of Franklin County workers, contributing to an overall Kentucky work-force that measures over 5 percent more productive than the national average and 13th among the 50 states in Gross State Product per wage. Additionally, one in every five adults residing in Franklin County has a college degree.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Franklin County labor force, 2003 annual averages.

Size of nonagricultural labor force: 18,457

Number of workers employed in . . .

construction and mining: 811

manufacturing: 3,886

trade, transportation, and utilities: 5,098

information: 291

financial activities: 1,032

professional and business services: 5,643

educational and health services: 649

leisure and hospitality: 399

other services: 466

government: 1,642

Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $15.44

Unemployment rate: 4.2% (December 2004, statewide)

Largest manufacturing employers Number of employees
Topy Corp. 531
Fruit of the Loom 426
Allied/Bendix Corp. 336
Ohi-America 318
Jim Beam Brands Co. 309
American Wire Products, Inc. 227
Frankfort Habilitation 181

Cost of Living

Within an easy drive of big city amenities in Louisville and Lexington, Frankfort retains a small-town feel with small-town living expenses. Housing in Frankfort is more affordable than in most other parts of the country. The median home price in 2002 was 98,000.

The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors for the area.

2004 ACCRA Average House Price: Not reported

2004 ACCRA Cost of Living Index: Not reported

State income tax rate: 2% to 6% (2004)

State sales tax rate: 6% (2005)

Local income tax rate: 1.75% occupational tax

Local sales tax rate: None

Property tax rate: .201/$100 assessed value of real estate (2005)

Economic Information: Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce, 100 Capitol Ave., Frankfort, KY 40601; telephone (502)223-8261, fax (502)223-5942

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Frankfort: Education and Research

Frankfort: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

Frankfort Independent Schools operates its elementary (Second Street School), high school (Frankfort High School), and alternative schools (Wilkingson Street School for troubled middle and high schoolers; EXCEL for skills enrichment; and the Panther Enrichment Program for additional learning opportunities) as a joint venture with the greater Franklin County Public School system. Frankfort schools open in early August, continue for nine weeks, then break for a three-week intersession. The combination continues through the year until summertime, when the students take a six- to seven-week break.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Frankfort public school system as of the 20042005 school year.

Total enrollment: 939

Number of facilities

elementary schools: 1

junior high/middle schools: 1

senior high schools: 1

Student/teacher ratio: 13.3: 1 (2005)

Teacher salaries (20032004 school year)

minimum: $27,500

maximum: $48,000

Funding per pupil: $7,665 (2005)

Frankfort and Franklin County are also home to a number of private and religious primary and middle schools, including Capital Day School (K-8), which focuses on accelerated learning with a traditional approach, along with Good Shepherd School (K-8) and the Montessori School of Frankfort (K-5). Millville Baptist Academy is a small school that covers grades 1-12.

Public Schools Information: Franklin County Public Schools, 315 Steele St., Frankfort, KY, 40601; telephone (502)875-8661; fax (502)875-8663.

Colleges and Universities

Kentucky State University, smallest of the state's public institutions, is a 2,300-student school consisting of the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Applied Sciences, the School of Business, the School of Public Affairs, and the Whitney M. Young, Jr. College of Leadership Studies. It also offers community college degrees. From the 1980s through 2004 more than 30 new structures or major building expansions have enhanced the University's 511-acre campus, which includes a 203 acre agricultural research farm. The school's close proximity to the Kentucky state government affords students a unique opportunity to participate in government administration internships and earn from 3 to 12 credit hours per semester. Pre-law students can also earn credits as interns in the State Office of the Attorney General. Once strictly an African American institution, the student body of about 2,500 is now racially blended.

Libraries and Research Centers

With one building and one bookmobile, the Paul Sawyier Public Library serves both Frankfort and Franklin County. The library's book collection numbers more than 98,000 and its audio-visual collection is more than 10,000. The library has a strong program for children from one year to adolescence.

The Thomas D. Clark Research Library of the Kentucky Historical Society offers rare books, maps, and manuscripts on the state's past. It houses more than 90,000 books, more than 6,000 oral history interviews, and 12,000 reels of microfilm, including some of nineteenth-century newspapers, as well as more than 10,000 historic photographs. The Kentucky Department of Library & Archives provides state research facilities and governmental records. The Kentucky Military Records and Research Branch houses archives of the Kentucky Department of Military Affairs going back to 1791. The Archives of CESKAA at Kentucky State University include images, manuscript collections, and oral histories of African American Kentuckians, as well as the Fletcher collection on African American theater. The Aqua-culture Program at Kentucky State University seeks to meet future world food demands through research on more than 15 varieties of farmed fish.

Public Library Information: Sawyier Paul Public Library, 305 Wrapping St., Frankfort, KY 40601; telephone (502)223-1658, fax (502)227-2250

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Frankfort: Population Profile

Frankfort: Population Profile

Franklin County Residents

1980: 41,830

1990: 44,143

2000: 47,687

2003 estimate: 48,051

Percent change, 19902000: 8.9%

U.S. rank in 2000: 957th

City Residents

1980: 25,973

1990: 25,968

2000: 27,741

2003 estimate: 27,408

Percent change, 19902000: 6.8%

Density: 1,883.2 people per square mile (2000)

Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)

White: 23,078

Black or African American: 4,351

American Indian and Alaska Native: 149

Asian: 348

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 22

Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 411

Other: 279

Percent of residents born in state: 77.6% (2000)

Age characteristics (2000)

Population under 5 years old: 1,719

Population 5 to 9 years old: 1,688

Population 10 to 14 years old: 1,636

Population 15 to 19 years old: 1,884

Population 20 to 24 years old: 2,321

Population 25 to 34 years old: 4,235

Population 35 to 44 years old: 4,164

Population 45 to 54 years old: 3,776

Population 55 to 59 years old: 1,362

Population 60 to 64 years old: 1,086

Population 65 to 74 years old: 1,950

Population 75 to 84 years old: 1,412

Population 85 years and over: 508

Median age: 35.9 years

Births (2003)

Total number: 511

Deaths (2003)

Total number: 397

Money income (1999)

Per capita income: $20,512

Median household income: $34,980

Total households: 12,250

Number of households with income of . . .

less than $10,000: 1,613

$10,000 to $14,999: 1,025

$15,000 to $24,999: 1,784

$25,000 to $34,999: 1,706

$35,000 to $49,999: 2,112

$50,000 to $74,999: 2,060

$75,000 to $99,999: 1,163

$100,000 to $149,999: 568

$150,000 to $199,999: 109

$200,000 or more: 110

Percent of families below poverty level: 9.5% (54.0% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: Not reported

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Frankfort: Communications

Frankfort: Communications

Newspapers and Magazines

The State Journal is Frankfort's daily newspaper. Magazines published in Frankfort include Kentucky Bench & Bar Magazine, and Kentucky Afield.

Television and Radio

Frankfort's four radio stations feature news, nostalgia, country, oldies, and contemporary music. NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox affiliates broadcast from Lexington and Louisville. Cable television service is provided by the Frankfort Plant Board.

Media Information: The State Journal, 321 West Main St., PO Box 368, Frankfort, KY 40203; telephone (502)227-4556; fax (502)227-2831

Frankfort Online

City of Frankfort home page. Available www.cityoffrankfortky.com

Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce. Available www.frankfortky.org

Frankfort Convention Center. Available www.frankfortconventioncenter.com

Frankfort/Franklin County Tourist and Convention Commission. Available www.franklin.k12.ky.us

Frankfort Regional Medical Center. Available www.frankfortregional.com

Franklin County Public Schools. Available www.frankfort.k12.ky.us

Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. Available history.ky.gov

Kentucky Historical Society. Available history.ky.gov

Kentucky State Government and Tourism Information. Available www.state.ky.us

Kentucky State University. Available www.kysu.edu

Paul Sawyier Public Library. Available www.pspl.org

Selected Bibliography

Kramer, Carl E., Capital on the Kentucky: A Two Hundred Year History of Frankfort & Franklin County (Frankfort: Historic Frankfort, Inc., 1986)

Wallace, James C. and Gene Burch, Frankfort: Capital of Kentucky. (Louisville, KY: Merrick Printing Co., 1994)

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Frankfort

Frankfort

Frankfort: Introduction
Frankfort: Geography and Climate
Frankfort: History
Frankfort: Population Profile
Frankfort: Municipal Government
Frankfort: Economy
Frankfort: Education and Research
Frankfort: Health Care
Frankfort: Recreation
Frankfort: Convention Facilities
Frankfort: Transportation
Frankfort: Communications

The City in Brief

Founded: 1786 (chartered 1786)

Head Official: Mayor William I. May, Jr. (D) (since 1995)

City Population

1980: 25,973

1990: 25,968

2000: 27,741

2003 estimate: 27,408

Percent change, 19902000: 6.8%

Franklin County Population

1980: 41,830

1990: 44,143

2000: 47,687

2003 estimate: 48,051

Percent change, 19902000: 8.9%

U.S. rank in 2000: 957th

Area: 15 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 510 feet above sea level

Average Annual Temperature: 54.9° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 44.55 inches

Major Economic Sectors: Government, services, trade, manufacturing

Unemployment rate: 2.8% (November2004)

Per Capita Income: $21,229 (2000)

2004 ACCRA Average House Price: Not reported

2004 ACCRA Cost of Living Index: Not reported

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: Not reported

Major Colleges and Universities: Kentucky State University

Daily Newspaper: Frankfort State Journal

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Frankfort: Geography and Climate

Frankfort: Geography and Climate

Frankfort, county seat of Franklin county, is located in a beautiful valley in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky. The city lies within an hour's drive of the major metropolitan areas of Louisville (to the west) and Lexington (to the east). Cincinnati is less than two hours drive to the north. The city sits on an alluvial plain between the Kentucky River and 150-foot-high steep bluffs, on an S-loop in the river 60 miles above its mouth. The river divides the city into north and south sides, which are connected by bridges. The Bluegrass terrain is rocky and gently rolling, and the land is well suited to agriculture. Disastrous flooding of the Kentucky River at Frankfort occurred in 1937, 1974, and 1997.

Area: 15 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 510 feet above sea level

Average Temperatures: January, 30° F; July, 75° F; annual average, 54.90° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 44.55 inches

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Frankfort: Transportation

Frankfort: Transportation

Approaching the City

Air travelers to Frankfort usually arrive at Lexington's Blue Grass Airport, 25 miles east of downtown Frankfort (a trip of about 35 minutes), then take a taxi to the city (fare about $42). Greyhound offers bus service into Frankfort.

Traveling in the City

Frankfort is laid out in grid patterns in sections north and south of the Kentucky River. The north side includes the older residential section, the Old Capitol, and the downtown business section; its major north-south thoroughfare is Wilkinson Boulevard, named for the city's founder. The Kentucky State Capitol is located in the mostly residential south section. Mass transport is offered by the Frankfort Transit System, which runs three fixed routes covering all major shopping centers, hospital, senior centers, and most state office buildings. Fares are $.50 each way ($.25 for seniors) with free transfers.

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Frankfort

Frankfort, city (1990 pop. 25,968), state capital and seat of Franklin co., N central Ky., on both sides of the Kentucky River, in the heart of the bluegrass country; inc. 1796. It is the trade and shipping center for an area yielding tobacco, livestock, and limestone. Among its manufacturers are wire, wood, and plastic products; automotive parts; apparel; liquor; asphalt; and thermostats. Thoroughbred horses are also raised there. Daniel Boone reached the site in 1770. The city was organized (1786) by the Virginia legislature and was selected as the state capital in 1792. Many old homes and buildings have been preserved. Of interest are the capitol (1909–10), with a giant floral clock in its plaza; the old state house (1827–30), which houses the state historical society; Liberty Hall (1796); and the old cemetery with the graves of Rebecca and Daniel Boone. Kentucky State Univ. is there.

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Frankfort: Health Care

Frankfort: Health Care

Frankfort Regional Medical Center, a 173-bed acute care facility, features a team approach and offers emergency care, maternity services, diagnostic imaging, and intensive care. The medical center provides outpatient service and treatment programs for substance abuse, as well as psychiatric care. The Medical Center's Center for Women's Health provides medical care for all phases of a woman's life, and the Breast Center provides diagnostic and biopsy services for early detection of cancers and other breast diseases. Medical facilities within 20 miles of Frankfort include Blue-grass Community Hospital in Versailles, KY; New Horizons Health Systems in Owenton, KY; and the Georgetown Community Hospital in Georgetown, KY.

Health Care Information: Frankfort Regional Medical Center, 299 King's Daughters Dr., Frankfort, KY 40601; telephone (502)875-5240, fax (502)226-7936.

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Frankfort: Convention Facilities

Frankfort: Convention Facilities

Nestled along the Kentucky River within short walking distance of downtown's shops and restaurants, The Farnham Dudgeon Civic Center Complex adjoining Capital Plaza seats 5,365 people in arena seating, 5,047 people for concerts, and 800 people for banquets. The adjacent Holiday Inn Capital Plaza is equipped with an additional 8,000 square feet of meeting/convention space offered in 10 flexible meeting rooms. In addition to extensive audio-visual equipment, the hotel offers expert catering services and award-winning banquet menus.

Convention Information: Frankfort Convention Center, 405 Mero St., Frankfort, KY 40601; telephone (502)564-5335; fax (502)564-3310.

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Frankfort: Municipal Government

Frankfort: Municipal Government

Frankfort is governed through the commission-manager form of government. The members of the city commission are elected to two-year terms and the mayor is elected to a four-year term. The city manager is responsible for the dayto-day operations of the city, while the mayor and commissioners make policy decisions and enact ordinances.

Head Official: Mayor William I. May, Jr. (D) (since 1995; current term expires 2007)

Total Number of City Employees: 300 (2004)

City Information: Mayor's Office, City of Frankfort, PO Box 697, Frankfort, KY 40602; telephone (502)875-8500, fax (502)875-8502

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Frankfort: Introduction

Frankfort: Introduction

Frankfort, capital city of Kentucky, is one of the country's oldest and smallest state capitals. It is a quaint little town cut through by the Kentucky River. Bluegrass country residents boast of Frankfort's quality of life, the natural beauty of the Kentucky River and its palisades, the graciousness of the local people, and the area's wealth of cultural offerings. Often rated highly in polls measuring top small metropolitan cities in which to live, Frankfort offers the charm of small-town living with both big-city amenities and rolling countryside only a stone's throw away.

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Frankfort

Frankfort State capital of Kentucky, USA, on the Kentucky River, n central Kentucky. First settled in 1779, it was made the state capital in 1792. Notable buildings include Kentucky State College (1886), ‘Liberty Hall’ (1796) – reportedly designed by Thomas Jefferson, and the Old Capitol (1827–30). Industries: tobacco, whisky distilling, textiles, electronic parts, furniture. Pop. (2000) 27,741.

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Frankfort

Frankfort •peart •immediate, intermediate •idiot •collegiate, intercollegiate •orgeat • Eliot • affiliate •foliate, trifoliate •aculeate, Juliet •Uniate • opiate •chariot, Harriet, Judas Iscariot, lariat, Marryat •compatriot, expatriate, patriot •heriot, Herriot •commissariat, lumpenproletariat, proletariat, salariat, secretariat, vicariate •inebriate • Cypriot •baccalaureate, laureate, professoriate •appropriate • licentiate • satiate •initiate, novitiate, patriciate •associate • cruciate • Cheviot • soviet •roseate •Byatt, diet, quiet, riot, ryot, Wyatt •inchoate •Ewart, Stewart •Verwoerd •graduate, undergraduate •attenuate • situate •abbot, Cabot •Albert • lambert • Egbert • Delbert •filbert, Gilbert •halibut • celibate • Robert • Osbert •Norbert •Hubert, Schubert •Humbert • Cuthbert •burbot, Herbert, sherbet, turbot •Frankfort • effort • comfort

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