We started this road trip because we’ve lived in Kentucky our whole lives and have barely scratched the surface of all there is to see and do. The same holds true for the city we grew up in. Cameron and I were born and raised in Lexington and while we personally consider ourselves experts on the town, that is probably not in the least bit true.
So this weekend we’re going to explore some of the more historical points of our home town. We won’t hit every spot, but we’re hoping to traipse around the old neighborhoods of downtown and discover where some of the earliest Lexington settlers called home.
Until then, here are a few cool facts about Lexington to satisfy your growing appetite for our road trip recaps:
• Lexington was founded in June 1775 in what was then Virginia, 17 years before Kentucky became a state in 1792.
• The first American performance of a Beethoven symphony was in Lexington in 1817.
• The brass plate embedded in the sidewalk at the corner of Limestone and Main Street in downtown Lexington is a memorial marker honoring Smiley Pete. The animal was known as the town dog in Lexington. He died in 1957.
• The Jif plant in Lexington is the largest peanut butter producing facility in the world. And on warm summer days, you can smell the roasting peanuts several miles away from the factory.
• The great Man o’ War racehorse — who was born on Lexington’s Nursery Stud farm on March 29, 1917 — won all of his horse races except one, which he lost to a horse named Upset.
And don’t forget to keep up with our adventures both on and off the road by following us on Twitter! You can send us suggestions of places you’d like us to visit or offer us some good road tripping advice that you’ve learned on your own trips this summer.
If you’re still traveling, plan a trip to Lexington. Whether you’re interested in beautiful Thoroughbred horse farms (with barns bigger and more luxurious than your homes, no joke), history (you can visit the homes of Henry Clay, Mary Todd Lincoln, John Wesley Hunt, and Confederate President Jefferson Davis who attended Lexington’s Transylvania University), or outdoor adventures (visit the University of Kentucky’s Arboretum or McConnell Springs), there’s alway something going on in Lexington. Even when it isn’t UK basketball season.
If you’re in Lexington this weekend, Gallery B is hosting a Paint-Out downtown on Saturday, July 30th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Artists will be set up throughout the downtown area painting Lexington cityscapes. A reception will follow that night. To learn more, visit Lexington’s Gallery B website.
3 thoughts on “A (Road) Trip Home to Lexington, Kentucky”
I have a question. I’m doing research for American Profile magazine for tidbits on local geography in various states about which they publish features. I chose the Smiley Pete marker for my tidbit on KY this time and have seen some internet research that indicates the marker may no longer be there. Can you check it out for me and let me know if it is still there? (Corner of Limestone and Main Streets)? Thanks so much, Local Experts!
Researching and Writing Lisa
Virginia Beach, Virginia
It is still there. Here’s a photo from our friend over at the Kaintuckeean: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kaintuckeean/5840668789/