Petersburg Header

Petersburg Petersburg

Bird's eye view of Petersburg,
circa 1910,  notice the distillery
in the back, on the left

Petersburg, 1946



The Black Cat Restaurant
“only 19 miles south of Ludlow”



The Black Cat later became Mim and Steve's Homestead Restaurant
From a Facebook post by James Horton


Petersburg Petersburg
Map of Petersburg, 1883
from An Atlas of Boone, Kenton and
Campbell Counties, Kentucky,
published by D. J. Lake & Co

Map showing historical sites
in Petersburg A key to the
numbers on the map is here.

The Boone County Historic Preservation Board has created a nifty walking tour brochure (pdf) for Petersburg.


Did you know that Petersburg, in 1791, was considered
 as a site for location the new Kentucky State Capitol? Read this.



One of Northern Kentucky's very few Medal of Honor recipients was Petersburg's Charles Fleek.  The citation is here.
Drawing from the Kenton County Library's Faces and Places Collection

The Enquirer's memorial story to Sgt. Fleek is here.


Petersburg Petersburg
Petersburg Street Scene,
 circa 1910
Granville Bonderant


Petersburg, Ky Petersburg, Ky Petersburg, Ky
Market Street. Baptist Church on the left East on First St. Methodist Church on the right. pic taken from Holloway's Store East on First Street
Petersburg, Ky Petersburg, Ky Petersburg, Ky
Farmers Bank, on First Street Woolper Creek Bridge on Ky. 20 Joy Stephens, Alice McWethy, and Marilyn Helms in front of the bank
Petersburg, Ky Petersburg, Ky Petersburg, Ky
Pratt Holloway's Store. Behind the Masonic Lodge across from the bank. North on Tanner. Helm's Garage on the left.
The nine Petersburg images above are all from Facebook posts by James Horton.


John Tanner

John Tanner Jr.

John Tanner Sr. was the white first man to settle in what is now Petersburg, and called the place Tanner's Landing.  He likely didn't understand that his town was founded on the ruins of a Fort Ancient settlement from c. AD 1200.  Tanner's Landing was probably never settled in any meaningful numbers, and Tanner's heirs sold 750 acres of the area to one John Grant, Daniel Boone's nephew, in 1806.  Grant petitioned the Boone County Court to lay out a town called Caledonia. He ran out of money before the town was established.  His son-in-law, John J. Flourney, inherited the land, platted it into a town, and named it Petersburg, in 1818.

“$50 Reward
Is offered for Nelson, belonging to the subscriber living in the county of Boone, state of Kentucky, who ran away from me on the 2nd day of December, 1843.  The above reward will be given for his apprehension and delivery to me, of confinement in any jail where I can get him.  Said slave is about 40 years of age, 6 feet in height and well proportioned, and a little bald.  He had on when he left a brown Janes frock coat and white hat, pantaloons not recollected. He is very handy with tools and sprightly in every respect. REUBEN SEBREE, Petersburg, Ky.,
January 4, 1843
Cincinnati Gazette and Louisville Journal copy, to the amount of $1 and send bill to this office.”
- from the The Indiana Whig, Lawrenceburg, Indiana, January 4, 1844
Tanner Jr. was kidnapped by Ojibwa Indians (Wikipedia), and spent most of his later life acculturated to the Indian life. That's him in the picture above. You can read his entire 400+ page book, A Narrative of the Captivity and Adventures of John Tanner: (U. S. Interpreter at the Saut de Ste. Marie,) During Thirty Years Residence Among the Indians in the Interior of North America, here (pdf).


E. Y. Chapin's Sketches of Old Time Petersburg Residents is here (pdf) John Brady Walton's Early History of Petersburg and Vicinity is here (pdf)
E. Y. Chapin's School Reminiscence is here. 1889 description of Petersburg
Arson in 1908 at the game warden's house, here. Fire in Petersburg in 1893, here.
Petersburg hit by a meteor, 1902. Street fighting in Petersburg, in 1879, here.
Petersburg in 1869, here. The Steamers David Gibson and Nathanial
crash near Petersburg; story here
An account of the Petersburg High School Graduation exercise of 1908 is here.
In 1828, Dr. Westerfield, “astonishingly efficacious,” opens a practice in Petersburg. Cockfighting on the river. (It escapes a lot of authority that way).
The Kentucky Legislature refines the Petersburg charter of 1818 in 1838.
Big robbery in Petersburg in 1866, here. Hanks shoots up a court, here.
The Petersburg Race track announces it's 1833 spring opening, here.. A Williamstown correspondent describes Petersburg in 1870, here.
“The Kentons [a bicycling club] will go to Petersburg, Ky., today.” Cincinnati Enquirer, July 7, 1889
“Petersburg, Ky., - The Boone County telephone Company will extend its lines to Bellevue and Rabbit Hash, where connection will be made with the Southern Indiana Association by cable under the Ohio River.” The American Telephone Journal, Vol.6, 1902.
Petersburg Cemetery authorized by the legislature In 1821 you can buy lots in Petersburg. Payment can be made in tobacco or whiskey.
The Petersburg Cemetery history, here. Read about William Snyder's pet bear, here.
A little about Rev. John Tanner, Boone County's first resident, is here. Mary Rector's Bits of Petersburg History is here. (pdf)
“Some of our citizens are working at the Lawrenceburg brick yards at $1.25 per day.” Boone County Recorder, July 19, 1899
Petersburg's Daniel Hewitt rode with John Hunt Morgan, here. A glimpse of Petersburg, August 14, 1903, here.
Petersburg votes on whether to continue to let cows openly wander the streets.
Wild man terrorizes Petersburg, here. Wild hog terrorizes Petersburg, here.
Petersburg man eats at Empress Chili. Every day. For 22 years.


Don't miss the saga of the end of the Petersburg Racing Association.  Drinking and brawling were involved.  Read it here. (pdf) (The tale is from The Hesperian Tree: An Annual of the Ohio Valley - 1900, edited by John James Piatt)



There used to be a settlement at the end of the Lawrenceburg Ferry Road called Touseytown.  Founded
by three brothers named Tousey - Zerah, Thomas, and Moses - there was a mill and a tobacco warehouse,
and most importantly a ferry to Lawrenceburg.  It was never an “official” town.

Also on the map are one of Boone County's Piatt Houses (there are three; see them here), and the location of
the home of Petersburg's John Norris, whose exploits and feats are detailed here.
The map above is an excerpt from the Lake Atlas of 1883.     

Jacob Wychoff Piatt's will contested “for alleged Jesuitical influences.” More here.

We found this piece (pdf) discussing some Piatt slaves.

Daniel Piatt offers his farm for sale. It's “on the road from Big Bone to Rising Sun.”

General Canby

Noted General E.R.S. Canby was born at Piatt's Landing.
His Wikipedia page.

For more on the Piatt's, we would direct you to this site.



from the Berea Citizen, November 5, 1903

“Petersburg, Ky. Dec. 17. Henry Robert, sent from this city to the Lakeland asylum 14 years go, escaped several weeks ago and was found by hunters in a cave near his home, weak from cold and hunger.  He could not stand alone.  He will be returned to the asylum.”  From the Covington Courier, December 19, 1902. An 1873 correspondent to the Covington Journal describes Petersburg and gives a list of some early settlers. Read it here.
“Petersburg, Ky., Nov. 25 - Richard McGraw, United States storekeeper at the Boone county distillery, shot and killed a pelican on the Ohio river.  It measured nine feet from tip to tip of its wings and weighed 30 pounds.”from the Richmond, Ky.'s Climax, December 2, 1903 “Petersburg, Ky., March 22. - A blind tiger is located near here.  It is said egg shells are filled with whiskey and sealed.  At a dance a few nights ago every man had a pocketful of eggs.” from the Paducah Sun, March 22, 1902
  Read Julia Stockton Dinsmore's Verses and Sonnets , a book of poetry from 1910, when she was 77, at Google Books, here.

Kentucky Post, August 13, 1903


For substantial portions of the Northern Kentucky Views Petersburg images,
 we are indebted to the E. Y. Chapin Library in Petersburg, and to Ms. Bridget
 Stiker, at the Hebron Branch of the Boone County Library