Maps of Northern Kentucky start with this one, John Filson's (Wikipedia)



This is the map from the expedition of Captain Charles Lemoyne de Longueil map.  We put the yellow dot on it so you can easily locate what would be Cincinnati. Note down around Big Bone, where it notes "Endroit -- ou` on a` trouve' des os d'Elephant en 1729". In English, that's “Place where one found the bones of Elephant in 1729.”  This is the map that put Big Bone, well, on the map, and made it famous throughout the world. Not America; the world. The map is dated 1729, was published in 1744, and many - not all - believe it was actually from 1739, not 1729.


Northern Kentucky Map Northern Kentucky Map Northern Kentucky Map Northern Kentucky Map
by Luke Munsell, 1818
by S. Lewis, 1804 1827 by M. Parroud



Stage Route Stage Route
NKY Views is grateful that Frankfort tavern owner Philip Bush (“bed and bedding in the best order”) in 1802 published for the convenience of his customers, a list of stage routes leaving Frankfort. The two above go thru Northern Kentucky, and into the N.W.T. (Northwest Territory- Ohio in 1802 is still not a state). How old is stuff from 1802?


Mileage Chart Mileage Chart Mileage Chart
These three remarkable lists are the mileage charts, from 1815, for overland routes from Cincinnati to points south. In an era when river transportation ruled, railroads were scarce, canal prospects were exciting, and roads were near non-existent, it's fascinating stuff. Where are all these places? Our thoughts, research, and speculations are here. 1815!!


map map
Portion of an 1826 map of Kentucky,
by Anthony Foley.  Note absence of
several counties not yet created at this date.
Portion of a map from
1797 by Gilbert Imlay





Portion of a map from 1845 by
Samuel Breese and Sidney Morse
Portion of a map from 1856
by John Bartholomew and
Adam Black


Northern Kentucky map map

from Colton & Co., 1882


Northern Kentucky Highway Map, 1929


Key to the above map

from an 1862 map of Kentucky
and Tennessee, by O. Lederle




map map map map
Northern Kentucky,
The Union Army commissioned
 this one, 1865
Northern Kentucky,
“State of Kentucky from
the best of authorities”
1800, John Scoles, engraver


Very detailed Sanborn Fire Maps of most Northern Kentucky towns, and D.J. Lake Atlas' of
virtually every town in Northern Kentucky from the late 1880's. Details on both are here.


There is an interesting site that has some dynamic overlays of Kentucky
Counties and their formations, since 1790.  The site is here.


map map map
The US Geological Survey Published these glacial maps in 1949. 

Remember when the Licking River flowed north to Hamilton, Ohio, and the Kentucky River turned northeast at Carrollton and headed for Cincinnati?  No? That’s because you were born after the last glacier left the area.  Read all about it, here.

Here's a description of where the glaciers came in Boone, Kenton, and Campbell.

And here is one geologist's take on the northern end of the old Kentucky River.


In October of 1926, the Cincinnati Auto Club suggests this route from Cincinnati, through Kenton, Boone, Grant (“not ten acres of level ground in the county”), Pendleton, Campbell and back to Cincinnati.


map map
1862 Section of a Map of the
Army of the Cumberland
unknown year


map map 

You know Fort Wright and Fort Mitchel,
but can you place Northern Kentucky's
Fort Rich?  Fort Perry?


“Map showing the military defenses of Cincinnati, Covington
and Newport Constructed under the direction of Brig. O. M.
Mitchell, by Col. Charles Whittlesey in 1861: repaired and
extended under the direction of Major Genl. H. G. Wright
commanding Department of the Ohio, by Maj. J. H. Simpson,
Chief Topogl. Engr. of the Dept. Bvt. Capt. W. E. Merrill, &
Lieut. J. A. Tardy, Corps of Engs., and Col. Chas. Whittlesey,
in 1862. Complied by order of Maj. Genl. H. G. Wright commanding
Department of the Ohio, chiefly from surveys made under the
direction of Maj. J. H. Simpson by W. H. Searles, G. A. Aschbach,
O. P. Ransom, and J. R. Gillis, in Septr. & Octr. 1862. Published by
authority of the Hon. the Sec. of War, in the office of the Chief of
Engineers, U.S. Army.”
Thanks to Jeannine Kreinbrink for sending
me this chart (pdf) she compiled about all the forts,
their style, and who they were named for.
Here is a site with contemporary pictures of old fort locations.


map map
map map
map map
Click on the descriptions to get the maps. These are all are old railroad maps; all are from the 19th century.  All are just the Northern Kentucky portions of a larger map.  We've cropped off the out-of-area portions, so the file won't be enormous.  You'll see a lot of town names you've never heard of before.

If you want to see the complete images, (that is, the  entire map, not just the Northern Kentucky part, and in better
 resolution than we've reproduced here),  you want to go to:

It's the Library of Congress site, and you can find them by searching on maps for Kentucky at that site. 



A more contemporary aerial photo, whose scale kinda renders it as a map. North is to the right

Dr. Paul Tenkotte writes on the creation of I-71 and I-75 at this site.  
US 27 was established 1928, more here. Contemporary maps of all Kentucky Counties can be seen here.
The O. F. Stone Baking Company of Cincinnati, published a map of Kenton
 County for Centennial Week in 1914.  It's here.
Kenton County Library has a nice collection of Northern Kentucky maps here.
For THE really great site for maps of Kentucky and everywhere else, we highly recommend the Mother of All Map Sites, the David Rumsey collection.  Check it out here: Last and not at all least is Old Maps Online.  It covers the entire country, but there's some great stuff here.