Within Madison County is the home rule-class city of Richmond, KY. In 2015, 33,533 citizens resided in the city. The large number of residents has made it the sixth-largest city in Kentucky, and the third-largest within the Bluegrass Region, after Lexington and Louisville. While Richmond is largely residential, it does also function as a center for shopping and employment for the south-central section of the state.
In 1798, Colonel John Miller of Virginia founded Richmond. He decided to settle in the area due to the access to clean spring water and the close proximity to friendly Native Americans that lived nearby. The name was chosen out of respect to Miller’s birthplace of Richmond, Virginia. Within the year it was founded, Kentucky legislature elected to move the county seat from Milford to Richmond. This choice generated a heated debate between the citizens of both cities, but ultimately the decision was approved. It was not until 1809 that the city became officially incorporated.
In 1862, the city served as the setting for the Battle of Richmond during the Civil War. The fight came to an end after the Confederate Armies captured nearly 5,300 Union soldiers. Richmond established the Eastern Kentucky State Normal School in 1906, as an institution to instruct teachers. In 1922, the school decided to expand their curriculum by offering a four-year program and began to function as a college. Following the expansion, the school felt that the original name was not an accurate reflection of the new academic departments or the research being performed. In 1922, the name was officially changed to Eastern Kentucky University.
Due to the rich history the city possesses, Richmond has acted like a magnet to bring people to the area. As there are numerous historic sites and trails, the city offers tours to allow people to see and experience the past in person. There are also a number of interesting venues to visit including the Valley View Ferry, the Hummel Planetarium, and Historic Downtown Richmond. The mansion that was previously owned by Muhammed Ali, the White Hall State Historic House, can be toured as well. Richmond has the ability to act as a time machine and take people back to simpler times. However, there are plenty of modern amenities, too. In addition to the countless shopping destinations, there are entertainment options for everyone to enjoy.
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