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City of Ashland, Kentucky
—  City  —
Downtown Ashland, Kentucky
Motto: A proud past. A bright future.
Location of Ashland, Kentucky
Coordinates: 38°27′50″N 082°38′30″W / 38.46389°N 82.64167°W / 38.46389; -82.64167Coordinates: 38°27′50″N 082°38′30″W / 38.46389°N 82.64167°W / 38.46389; -82.64167
Country United States
State Kentucky
County Boyd
Settled Poage's Landing, 1786
Incorporated Ashland, 1854
 - Mayor Tom Kelley
 - City Manager Steve Corbitt
 - City 12.2 sq mi (31.6 km2)
 - Land 11.1 sq mi (28.7 km2)
 - Water 1.1 sq mi (2.9 km2)  9.18%
Elevation 551 ft (168 m)
Population (2000)
 - City 21,981
 Density 1,984.4/sq mi (766/km2)
 Metro 288,649
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 41101, 41102, 41105
Area code(s) 606
FIPS code 21-02368
GNIS feature ID 0486092
Logo and motto of the city

Ashland is a city in Boyd County, Kentucky, United States, nestled along the banks of the Ohio River. The population was 21,981 at the 2000 census. Ashland is a part of the Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). As of the 2000 census, the MSA had a population of 288,649. Ashland is the second largest city within the MSA, after Huntington. Ashland serves as an important economic and medical center for northeast Kentucky.



Ashland dates back to the migration of the Poage family from the Shenandoah Valley via the famed Cumberland Gap in 1786. They settled upon a homestead along the Ohio River and named it Poage's Landing. It remained an extended-family settlement until the mid-1800s.[1] In 1854, the city name was changed to Ashland, after Henry Clay's Lexington estate, and to reflect the city's growing industrial base.

The city's early industrial growth was a result of Ohio's pig iron industry. It was not until 1854, that growth began to occur with the charter of the Kentucky Iron, Coal and Manufacturing Company by the Kentucky General Assembly.[1] Major industrial employers in the first half of the 20th century included Armco, Ashland Oil and Refining Company, C&O Railroad, Allied Chemical and Dye Company's Semet Solvay and Mansbach Steel.


Ashland is located at 38°27′50″N 82°38′30″W / 38.464017°N 82.641571°W / 38.464017; -82.641571 (38.464017, -82.641571).[2]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 31.6 km2 (12.2 mi2). 28.7 km2 (11.1 mi2) of it is land and 2.9 km2 (1.1 mi2) of it (9.18%) is water.



Ashland distinctly experiences all four seasons, with vivid fall foliage and snow in the winter. Average high is 88 °F in July, the warmest month, with the average lows of 19 °F occurring in January, the coolest month. The highest recorded temperature was 105 °F in July 1954. The lowest recorded temperature was -25 °F in January 1994. Average annual precipitation is 42.8 inches (1,090 mm), with the wettest month being July, averaging 4.7 inches (120 mm).

Climate data for Ashland, Kentucky
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Record high °F (°C) 80
Average high °F (°C) 42
Average low °F (°C) 19
Record low °F (°C) -25
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.23
Source: The Weather Channel.[3] May 2009


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1870 1,459
1880 3,280 124.8%
1890 4,195 27.9%
1900 6,800 62.1%
1910 8,688 27.8%
1920 14,729 69.5%
1930 29,074 97.4%
1940 29,537 1.6%
1950 31,131 5.4%
1960 31,283 0.5%
1970 29,245 −6.5%
1980 27,064 −7.5%
1990 23,622 −12.7%
2000 21,981 −6.9%
Est. 2007 21,352 [4] −2.9%

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 21,981 people, 9,675 households, and 6,192 families residing in the city. The population density was 766.0/km2 (1,984.4/mi2). There were 10,763 housing units at an average density of 375.1/km2 (971.7/mi2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.84% White, 2.30% African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.39% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.22% from other races, and 1.12% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.59% of the population.

There were 9,675 households out of which 26.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.4% were married couples living together, 13.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.0% were non-families. 33.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.82.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.9% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 23.7% from 45 to 64, and 19.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 83.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,309, and the median income for a family was $40,131. Males had a median income of $35,362 versus $23,994 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,218. About 14.0% of families and 18.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.3% of those under age 18 and 12.3% of those age 65 or over.


Ashland is governed by a City Manager form of government.[6] The government switched from a council-manager to a city commissioner-manager form of government in 1950.[7] The City Manager is the chief administrative officer for the city who reports to a Board of Commissioners. Department heads ranging from the Police to Public works report to the City Manager. The City Manager is currently Steve Corbitt.

The Mayor of Ashland is elected for a four year term and is not term limited. The mayor presides over City Commission meetings, is a voting member of the City Commission and represents the city at major functions. The current mayor is Tom Kelley. Kelley is a former member of the Ashland Police Department, where he retired as Chief of Police.

Ashland's current City Commissioners are retired chief of police and current Mayor Tom Kelley, injured in the line of police duty, Officer Kevin Gunderson(Ret.) , Larry Brown,Rev. Marty Gute and Cheryl Spriggs.

In 1925, a new city hall was erected at the corner of 17th Street and Greenup Avenue.[7]

Law enforcement

In the late-1800s, what is now the Ashland Police Department was organized when the town was still known as Poage's Landing.[6] The first executive officer was a town Marshall and was soon eclipsed by a professional police department.

The city of Ashland currently has 49 sworn officers, three civilian employees that function as administrative support and six parapolice that handle tasks that do not require the services of a sworn officer.[6]


The Camayo Arcade

AK Steel

Formed from the merger between Armco and Kawasaki in 1994. A major steel producer.

King's Daughters Medical Center

The fourth largest hospital in the state of Kentucky, the 465-bed not-for-profit institution is the city's largest employer at over 4,000 employees.[8] It offers numerous inpatient and outpatient services for the region.

Another hospital, the Ashland Tuberculosis Hospital, was located on a hill above U.S. Route 60 in the Western Hills section of the city and opened in 1950.[7] It featured 100 beds and served 18 eastern Kentucky counties. It has long since been closed due to the invention of the Tuberculosis vaccine that eliminated It's necessity. The facility has been used as the Kentucky State Police Crime Lab for many years.


Ashland's central business district extends from 12th Street to 18th Street, and from Carter Avenue to Greenup Avenue. It includes many historically preserved and notable buildings, such as the Paramount Arts Center and the Ashland Bank Building, which is built to Manhattan height and style standards and serves as a reminder of what Ashland leaders hoped it would become.


There are eight public schools and two private schools in Ashland. All public schools within city limits are operated by the Ashland Independent School District.

Ashland has six public elementary schools, those being Hager Elementary, Oakview Elementary, Crabbe Elementary School, Poage Elementary, Hatcher Elementary, and Charles Russell Elementary.

There is one public middle school, George M. Verity Middle School, formerly known as Putnam Junior High School. The campus is home to Putnam Stadium which serves as the home field for both the Verity Patriots football and soccer teams, and Ashland Tomcats football. The Ashland Tomcats football program has achieved 11 state championships. The Ashland Tomcats (boys') basketball program have accomplished 1 national championship, 4 state championships, 32 regional championships, and 55 district championships. The Ashland Tomcats and Kittens (girls') soccer teams play at the Ashland Soccer Complex at the high school.

One public high school serves the city of Ashland; Paul G. Blazer High School, named after philanthropist and founder of Ashland Inc., Paul G. Blazer. The high school is home to the Ashland Tomcats and Kittens athletic teams. The school's marching band competes in the AAA class of the Kentucky Music Educators Association(KMEA). The marching band is commonly called "The Pride of Blazer" for its excellent performance in many KMEA marching band competitions.

The two private schools serving the Ashland area are the Holy Family School and the Rose Hill Christian School. Holy Family is affiliated with Holy Family Catholic Church and currently offers K-8 education. Rose Hill is affiliated with the Rose Hill Baptist Church and offers K-12. Post-secondary educational opportunities include Ashland Community and Technical College which has multiple campuses within the city. Morehead State University also has a satellite campus located in Ashland.


Annual cultural events and fairs

Historical structures and museums

The Paramount Arts Center, an art-deco converted movie theater built in 1930, is located on Winchester Avenue. The theater serves as an important venue for the arts in eastern Kentucky and the surrounding states of Ohio and West Virginia. It is well noted for its Festival of Trees event during the winter season. In addition, the Paramount was the setting where Billy Ray Cyrus' music video "Achy Breaky Heart" was taped. The Paramount is also devoted to teaching children the importance of the arts. Summer classes are offered for school age children.

Also along Winchester Avenue is the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center. Among its numerous exhibits, includes one about Country Music Heritage that pays tribute to the local music artists that line U.S. Route 23 in Kentucky. Two local artists, The Judds from Ashland, and Billy Ray Cyrus from nearby Flatwoods, are included.

The Pendleton Art Center is also located within the downtown, formed in 2005. Among the art produced there include paintings, stained glass, carved gourds, and wood carvings produced by local artists. They are presented at the Pendleton the first Friday and Saturday of every month and other times by appointment.

The Jesse Stuart Foundation, an organization dedicated to the preservation of the literary legacy of Jesse Stuart and other Appalachian writers, is located within an earshot of the Pendleton Arts Center. Jesse Stuart, a well-known 20th century author, was from nearby Greenup, Kentucky.



Ashland is home to The Independent, a seven-day morning daily newspaper that covers the city and the surrounding metropolitan area. The newspaper is often called "The Daily Independent" by locals, as this was its former name. One of the paper's claims to fame is the first printing of a supposed image of Jesus in the clouds of Korea in 1951.[9]


Call sign Frequency Format Description / Notes
W216AT 91.1 FM Owned by the American Family Association.
WDGG 93.7 FM Owned by Kindred Communications. Licensed to Ashland with studios located in Huntington, West Virginia
WLGC-FM 105.7 FM Country Music Owned by Greenup County Broadcasting, Inc. Licensed to nearby Greenup, Kentucky with studios located in downtown Ashland.
WLGC-AM 1520 AM Classic Rock (specifically music from the 1980s) Owned by Greenup County Broadcasting, Inc. Licensed to nearby Greenup, Kentucky with studios located in downtown Ashland.
WCMI 1340 AM The owner is Kindred Communications. It was founded by the Ashland Broadcasting Station whose owners were the Daily Independent on April 29, 1935.[7] It was sold to Nunn Enterprises in 1939.
WYHY 1080 AM Located in adjacent Cannonsburg, it is owned by Big River Radio Inc.
WWKO Operated by the States Broadcasting Company, it went live on July 31, 1954.


Ashland residents receive their network television primarily from stations in Huntington and Charleston, West Virginia. In addition, WKYT, the CBS affiliate in Lexington, Kentucky is shown on cable in Ashland when its programming is different from the CBS affiliate in Huntington, WOWK. There are also two television stations licensed to Ashland itself. Those are:

Call sign Channel Description
WKAS Digital 25 Owned by the Kentucky Authority for Educational Television. PBS/Kentucky Educational Television affiliate
Daystar/WTSF Digital 44 Owned by Daystar Television Network

Parks and outdoor attractions

Central Park in the fall

Ashland boasts a 47-acre (190,000 m2) wooded Central Park, founded in 1854,[1] playgrounds and other amusements. It was bounded between Lexington and Central Avenue, and 17th and 22nd Streets. In 1936, the Works Progress Administration constructed a central road through the park; one year later, a pond was constructed in the southeast quadrant. Twenty years later, after complaints of mosquito problems, the pond was filled in with five feet of dirt and it became a softball practice field.

In the spring of 1995, the pond was excavated and was filled with water by September.[1] The original water lilies that were planned in 1937 had come back in full bloom. A fountain was added in the center and numerous fish species were added. The park today features three separate children playgrounds, several baseball diamonds, a volleyball court and a traditional bandstand. Central Park also hosts an annual holiday light show, the Winter Wonderland of Lights.

In July 1976, a new 10-acre (40,000 m2) park at the former Clyffeside Park was envisioned.[1] Named after Commissioner Johnny Oliverio, it features several baseball diamonds, and is located along Winchester Avenue near 39th Street.

In 2004, the AK Steel Sports Park was constructed along Blackburn Avenue in South Ashland. The sports-oriented park features several baseball diamonds, soccer fields and a skate park.[1]


Map of Ashland and the surrounding vicinity


Located just north of the city in Worthington is the Ashland Regional Airport. This airport is used for general aviation and charter services. The then-named Ashland-Boyd County Airport opened in 1953 and featured a 5,600 ft (1,700 m). runway with a 3,000 ft (910 m). clearance.[7]

Tri-State Airport, located in nearby Ceredo, West Virginia, provides commercial aviation services for the city.


Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service to Ashland. The major and only line that Amtrak offers in Ashland is the Cardinal. Amtrak Service is offered at the Ashland Transportation Center, formerly the Chesapeake and Ohio freight depot located at 15th Street near the Ohio River, but it does not have an Amtrak Ticket Counter or QuikTrak Ticket Machine. The former freight depot, constructed in 1906 on the former Aldine Hotel site,[10] was an abandoned derelict before being renovated in the late 1990s to serve as a unified transportation hub for the city.

The former Chesapeake and Ohio Railway passenger depot at 11th Street and Carter Avenue, was completed in 1925 but abandoned in the 1970s in favor of a downsized depot in Catlettsburg.[7] The rail lines to the building have since been removed and the building itself now serves as the downtown Ashland branch of National City Bank. Passenger rail service was moved from Catlettsburg to the Ashland Transportation Center in the early 2000s.


Greyhound Lines is the sole provider of intercity bus transportation out of Ashland. It operates out of the Ashland Transportation Center.

The Ashland Bus System provides five local bus routes out of the Ashland Transportation Center.


Ashland is served by US 23 and US 60, several state routes, and is in close proximity to US 52 and Interstate 64.

Notable natives

See also


  1. Historical populations from, "A history of Ashland, Kentucky, 1786-1954". Ashland Centennial Committee. 1954., and "Ashland City Directory." 1985.
  1. ^ a b c d e f "A history of Ashland, Kentucky, 1854-2004." Ashland Bicentennial Committee. 2004. 2 Jan., 2007.
  2. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "Monthly Averages for Ashland, KY". The Weather Channel. Retrieved May 23, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Population for Incorporated Places in Kentucky". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2007-06-28. 
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ a b c "Ashland Police Department." Ashland Police Department. 30 Dec. 2006 [1].
  7. ^ a b c d e f "A history of Ashland, Kentucky, 1786-1954." Ashland Centennial Committee. 1954. 2 Jan., 2007.
  8. ^ "About KDMC." King's Daughters Medical Center. 31 Dec. 2006 [2].
  9. ^ [3]
  10. ^ Chappell, Edward A. "A historic preservation plan for Ashland, Kentucky." City of Ashland, Apr. 1978. 2 Jan. 2006.

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ASHLAND, a city of Boyd county, Kentucky, U.S.A., on the Ohio river, about 130 m. E. by N. of Frankfort. Pop. (1890) 4 1 95; (1900) 6800, of whom 489 were negroes. It is served by the Chesapeake & Ohio (being a terminal of the Lexington and Big Sandy Divisions) and the Norfolk & Western railways, and is connected with Huntington, West Virginia, by an electric line. The city has a fine natural park (Central Park) of about 30 acres; and Clyffeside Park (maintained by a private corporation), of about 75 acres, just east of the city, is a pleasure resort and a meeting-ground (with a casino seating 3000 people) for the Tri-State "Chautauqua" (for certain parts of Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia). The surrounding country abounds in coal, iron ore, oil, clay, stone and timber, for which the city is a distributing centre. Ashland has considerable river traffic, and various manufactures, including pig iron, nails, wire rods,, steel billets, sheet steel, dressed lumber (especially poplar), furniture, fire brick and leather. Ashland was settled in 1854, and was chartered as a city in 1870.

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Simple English

Ashland is a city of Kentucky in the United States. It is in Boyd County and in 2000 21,981 people were living in Ashland [1].

WWE Diva Jillian Hall was born in Ashland.




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