If you are looking to raise a family, start a business or train horses, Lexington, Kentucky might just be the perfect spot for you. Deemed the “Horse Capital of the World,” 318,449 people call the town home.
The city is located in the center of Bluegrass Country. Bluegrass thrives on the limestone underlay of the land. During the Great Depression, the pack horse library headquarters was set up in Lexington. With its endless rolling pastures and lush bluegrass, the area was an obvious great fit so, a legend was born.
The city of Lexington is merged with Fayette County and is sometimes referred to as “Lexington-Fayette”. It the next to the largest city in Kentucky and is number twenty-eight when it comes to the largest cities in the United States, as far as actual land mass is concerned. In population, it is the sixtieth though at around 318,449 residents.
The Kentucky Horse Park is one of the town’s main (and mane) attractions. In affiliation with the Smithsonian Institute, the horse-themed park includes the International Museum of the Horse. The park boats a dedicated 1,224 acres for interactive fun and equine education as well. Two times per day, the horse from around the world are showcased.
The city has many things to do within its boundaries. There are over 100 parks and museums and monuments as well. From opera to the Mayfest Outdoor Arts Fair, you can usually find something of interest going on in Lexington. There is a thriving profession orchestra, a theatre, choral organizations and two ballet companies in the town.
The Red Mile is a point of special interest for many. The horse racing track features harness racing where the horses pull two-wheeled carts while competing. Just a few years ago, the track pooled with the Keeneland horse raceway to construct a $30 million dollar racing facility.
If you are looking to get schooled, Lexington is a good place to do so. Number ten in US education ranking, the town has two main universities, Kentucky State and the historical Transylvania University. There are a number of other higher learning facilities as well including the Bluegrass Community and Technical College.
Lexington was once coined “the Athens of the West” due to the fact that it was the most cultured and wealthiest town west of the Allegheny Mountains. It still has a great economic reputation with a cost of living score of 90. The US National average is 100.
A good number of large corporation are located in Lexington. Lockheed-Martin, Xerox, Lexmark International and IBM are four Fortune 500 businesses that add to the flourishing economy. The University of Kentucky is the largest employer in the town with over 14,000 on the payroll. Jif (peanut butter) holds the worldwide record for the location producing the most peanut butter.
The rich soil and abundant wildlife are attractions that are seen throughout history in Lexington. Native Americans dwelled in the area and settlers came to trade with them in the late 18th century. The settlement of Lexington was founded by American Europeans. It was chartered in 1782 after Colonists defended it in the American Revolutionary War.
Tobacco plantations were plentiful in the town after the war. In the mid 1850’s era, the slave population was one-fifth of the town’s population. Lexington had the most free-blacks too who worked as merchants, shippers and as domestic helpers. Many of the free blacks were actually of mixed descent.
During the Great Depression, a drug and alcohol research center came to the town, Addiction Research Center (ARC). It was later expanded and became the first drug and alcohol rehab in the nation.
Lexington was also home to the Federal Medical Center which provided for the needs of prisoners during this time. It was the headquarters for the pack horse library too. It was discovered that horses and Lexington were a perfect match. The rich history of horse racing thoroughbred horse breeding became synonymous with the town from that point on.
Lexington is known for hot summers and fairly frigid winters. It is located in the humid subtropical zone of climates. The mean temperature is 55.5 degrees.
The town is comprised of five counties. The rolling bluegrass hills and plateaus add to the beauty of Lexington. Small creeks flow through the town to the Kentucky River.
The city scape is diverse and attractive and the air is noted for being some of the best in the nation. The traffic, however, is a downside. The population is ever growing and the highway system struggles to keep up.
While Lexington is experiencing growth by leaps and bounds, there are strict enforcements to keep the equine farms protected. The forerunner of the measures was the Urban Growth Boundary which was adopted in 1958, the first of its kind in the nation. Large-lot zoning and traffic control are among the regulations that help keep Lexington’s horse and horse-owners safe despite the town’s growth.
Lexington is a city that is notorious for its interest in horses. It is also appreciated for its education and thriving economy. Its diversity and beauty make it an attractive place for many to call home.
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