Main Births etc
Paris, Kentucky
—  City  —
Downtown Paris
Motto: "Thoroughbred Capital of the World"[1]
Location of Paris, Kentucky
Coordinates: 38°12′23″N 84°15′28″W / 38.20639, -84.25778Coordinates: 38°12′23″N 84°15′28″W / 38.20639, -84.25778
Country United States
State Kentucky
County Bourbon
Established 1789[2]
Incorporated 1839[2]
Reincorporated 1890[2]
Named for Paris, France
 • Mayor Mike Thornton [3]
 • Total 6.0 sq mi (15.5 km2)
 • Land 5.9 sq mi (15.4 km2)
 • Water 0.04 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation 843 ft (257 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 8,553
 • Density 1,439/sq mi (555.7/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[4]

Paris is a city in Bourbon County, Kentucky, in the United States. It lies 18 miles (29 km) northeast of Lexington on the Stoner Fork of the Licking River. It is the seat of its county[5] and forms part of the Lexington–Fayette Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 8,553.[6]


Joseph Houston settled a station in the area in 1776, but was forced to relocate due to prior land grants. In 1786, Lawrence Protzman purchased the area of present-day Paris from its owners, platted 250 acres (101 ha) for a town, and offered land for public buildings in exchange for the Virginia legislature making the settlement the seat of the newly formed Bourbon County. In 1789, the town was formally established as Hopewell after Hopewell, New Jersey, his hometown. The next year, though, it was renamed Paris after the French capital to match its county and honor the French assistance during the American Revolution. The post office was briefly known as Bourbontown or Bourbonton in the early 19th century, but there is no evidence it was ever formally applied to the town itself.[7] It was incorporated as Paris in 1839 and again in 1890.[2]


The Main Street stretch of Paris 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 fifteen 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).[8]

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.[9][10][11][12]

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 tree 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 also featured. 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 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.

  • The Vardens Building, located at 509 Main Street, is an 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 dental 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 worshipers 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 in central Bourbon County at 38°12′23″N 84°15′28″W / 38.20639, -84.25778 (38.206476, -84.257670).[13]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.0 square miles (15.5 km2), of which 5.9 square miles (15.4 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.52%, is water.[6]


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%
2010 8,553 −6.9%
U.S. Census Bureau[14]

As of the census[15] 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 people[]

  • William Patterson Alexander (1805-1884), missionary in Hawaii
  • Bill Arnsparger, football coach
  • David Dick (1930-2010), CBS News correspondent retired to Bourbon County c. 1985, where he taught at the University of Kentucky, farmed, and was an author and publisher[16]
  • Joseph Duncan, sixth governor of Illinois[17]
  • William Lee D. Ewing, fifth governor of Illinois[18]
  • John Fox, Jr., author of The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come and The Trail of the Lonesome Pine
  • Garrett Morgan, invented a tri-state traffic signal and an emergency breathing device[19]
  • Sannie Overly, member of the Kentucky House of Representatives[20]
  • George Snyder, silversmith, clockmaker, and inventor of modern bait-casting fishing reel
  • Jim Kelly (martial artist) martial artist and actor

See also[]

  • Other places named Paris


  1. ^ "The City of Paris". City of Paris. Retrieved November 21, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d Commonwealth of Kentucky. Office of the Secretary of State. Land Office. "Paris, Kentucky". Accessed 24 September 2013.
  3. ^
  4. ^ USGS GNIS: Paris, Kentucky
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  6. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Paris city, Kentucky". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved November 21, 2013. 
  7. ^ Rennick, Robert. Kentucky Place Names, p. 226. University Press of Kentucky (Lexington), 1987. Accessed 1 Aug 2013.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Paris, Kentucky's tourism site
  10. ^ Photos of Paris, Kentucky
  11. ^ Paris (Kentucky) Live Journal site
  12. ^ Kentucky
  13. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  14. ^ U.S. Census Bureau Retrieved on 2010-03-13
  15. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  16. ^ "Cheryl Truman, "David Dick, former CBS newsman from Ky., dies at age 80: CBS veteran embraced rural life", July 17, 2010". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved June 3, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Illinois Governor Joseph Duncan". National Governors Association. Retrieved Sep 2013. 
  18. ^ "Illinois Governor William Lee Davidson Ewing". National Governors Association. Retrieved Sep 2013. 
  19. ^ "An American Inventor". Garrett A. Morgan Technology and Transportation Futures Program. Federal Highway Administration. 
  20. ^ "Overly sworn in as representative". The Bath County News-Outlook: p. 3. January 16, 2008.,4899817&dq=sannie+overly&hl=en. Retrieved October 17, 2013. 

External links[]

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Paris, Kentucky. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.