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Paris, Kentucky
—  City  —
Downtown Paris
Location of Paris, Kentucky
Coordinates: 38°12′23″N 84°15′28″W / 38.20639°N 84.25778°W / 38.20639; -84.25778Coordinates: 38°12′23″N 84°15′28″W / 38.20639°N 84.25778°W / 38.20639; -84.25778
Country United States
State Kentucky
County Bourbon
 - Total 6.8 sq mi (17.6 km2)
 - Land 6.8 sq mi (17.6 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 843 ft (257 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 9,183
 Density 1,351.2/sq mi (521.7/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 40361-40362
Area code(s) 859
FIPS code 21-59196
GNIS feature ID 0500172

Paris is a city in and the county seat of Bourbon County, Kentucky, United States.[1] It is part of the Lexington-Fayette, KY Metropolitan Statistical Area. Settled in 1775, it lies 113 miles (182 km) east of Louisville, on the Stoner Fork of the Licking River. The town was originally known as Hopewell, Virginia when it was chartered in 1789. The name was changed in 1790 to reflect appreciation for French assistance during the Revolutionary War. Its tourism motto is "Horses, history and hospitality".

Paris was first chartered as a city in 1862. In 1900, 4,603 people lived here; in 1910, 5,859; and in 1940, 6,697. The population was 9,183 at the 2000 census. Its ZIP code is 40361.



The Main Street stretch of Paris, Kentucky, is a product of much time, effort, and money put into the preservation and revitalization of historic buildings downtown. With a handful of new restaurants garnering attention from the Central Kentucky region and beyond, a variety of downtown Paris businesses are reaping the benefits.

The Main Street Program in Paris has been active since 1992, and has seen the renovation of 15 buildings in the past two years, with more renovations currently underway. Many projects have utilized façade grants administered through GOLD, a state-funded program that works with Renaissance on Main to reward communities that "take steps to revitalize and maintain vibrant, economically sound development in Kentucky's downtown areas", said Paris Main Street manager and tourism director Linda Stubblefield in a Chevy Chaser Magazine article (October 2008). [2]

Downtown Paris ARTWALK, sponsored by The Paris Main Street Program, and founded by Miranda Reynolds and Steve Walton, has become a major social and artistic event in the heart of downtown Paris.[3][4][5][6]

The Nannine Clay Wallis Arboretum, located at 616 Pleasant Street, is a 4-acre (16,000 m2) arboretum that is home to The Garden Club of Kentucky. Many of the trees on the grounds were planted in the 1850 when the house was built. Nannine Clay Wallis continued the tradition of planting the latest trees introductions when her father bought the property in 1900. New trees are always being added to the collection. Her daylilies and those hybridized by a former GCKY president, roses and other flowers are featured, also. Admission is free.

Duncan Tavern

The Hopewell Museum, located at 800 Pleasant Street, is free and open to the public on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoons. The museum is closed the month of January. The Beaux Arts structure was built in 1909 and served as the area's first Post Office.

Duncan Tavern, located in the Courthouse Square, is home to the Kentucky Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The stone structure was built in 1788 by Major Joseph Duncan and now houses an extensive genealogical collection. It is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday for tours, which are given at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $2 for children 6-12 and free for 5 and younger.

  • The Vardens Building, located at 509 Main Street, is a great example of Victorian architecture and interior design. Remodeled in 1891 the building housed Vardens and Son Druggists from 1888 to 1953. The "new" façade features pressed metal Corinthian columns embellished with rosettes. For the inside, Varden had South African mahogany apothecary cabinets made to show his wares, and to accent the cabinetry he ordered Tiffany Glass Company stained glass windows. The three story building once had a surgeon and dentist office on the second floor, and The Vardens Building still has a ballroom on its top floor. The Grand Ballroom hosted many dances and parties, serving as the ballroom to the Fordham Hotel, formerly located next door. The building was recently bought and incorporated into "The Vardens Complex", housing retail, office, and restaurant space.
The world's tallest three story structure.

The Shinner Building, located on the corner of 8th and Main Streets, is listed by Ripley's Believe it or Not as the world's tallest three story structure. Built in 1891, it is currently home to the Paradise Cafe.

Six miles east of Paris, is the Cane Ridge Meeting House. Built in 1791, it is said to be the largest one-room log structure in the country. The log building is now housed inside a large stone structure, which protects it from the elements. The Cane Ridge Meeting House is one of the sites of the Great Revival of 1801, where an estimated 25,000 worshippers gathered. From that revival, the Christian Church, Churches of Christ, and the Disciples of Christ (DOC) were founded, seeking to restore Christianity to its non-denominational beginnings.


Paris is located at 38°12′23″N 84°15′28″W / 38.20639°N 84.25778°W / 38.20639; -84.25778 (38.206476, -84.257670)[7].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.8 square miles (18 km2), essentially all of which is land.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1850 384
1860 1,440 275.0%
1870 2,655 84.4%
1880 3,204 20.7%
1890 4,218 31.6%
1900 4,603 9.1%
1910 5,859 27.3%
1920 6,310 7.7%
1930 6,204 −1.7%
1940 6,697 7.9%
1950 6,912 3.2%
1960 7,791 12.7%
1970 7,823 0.4%
1980 7,935 1.4%
1990 8,730 10.0%
2000 9,183 5.2%
Est. 2008 9,286 [8] 1.1%
U.S. Census Bureau[9]

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 9,183 people, 3,857 households, and 2,487 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,351.2 per square mile (521.7 /km2). There were 4,222 housing units at an average density of 621.2 per square mile (239.8 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 84.23% White, 12.71% African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.16% Asian, 1.35% from other races, and 1.38% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.62% of the population.

There were 3,857 households out of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.8% were married couples living together, 16.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.5% were non-families. 31.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.3% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 15.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 88.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,872, and the median income for a family was $37,358. Males had a median income of $29,275 versus $21,285 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,645. About 17.5% of families and 17.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.2% of those under age 18 and 15.9% of those age 65 or over.

Notable residents

Paris is home to Xalapa and Claiborne Farms, prominent thoroughbred race horse breeding operations. Triple Crown winner Secretariat retired to Claiborne Farm and is buried there, as is the immortal Buckpasser.

Several Paris natives have made their name as inventors. Garrett Morgan invented the tri-color traffic signal and the gas mask, while George Snyder invented the first fishing reel made in the United States.

John Fox, Jr., author of The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come and Trail of the Lonesome Pine was born in Paris.


External links



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