Historical Markers in
Jackson County, Kentucky

Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest boxers of all time, was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and began his boxing career there.
Jackson County, Kentucky, located in the southeastern portion of the state, has a rich history dating back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, particularly the Cherokee and Shawnee, who utilized the land's resources for hunting and gathering. European exploration and settlement started in the late 18th century when pioneers, mainly of Scottish and Irish descent, began to establish homesteads in the region.

In the early 19th century, the War of 1812 brought notable changes to Jackson County as the conflict between the United States and the Native American tribes intensified. The area became a battleground, witnessing various skirmishes and conflicts between the settlers and Native Americans. Nevertheless, the pioneers persevered and continued developing their communities, building schools, churches, and businesses.

By the mid-19th century, coal mining became a significant economic activity in Jackson County. The opening of coal mines attracted an influx of workers, leading to the growth of towns such as Annville and McKee. Additionally, the establishment of railroads in the late 1800s boosted the coal industry, connecting Jackson County to larger markets and facilitating the transportation of goods and people.

In the 20th century, Jackson County faced the challenges of the Great Depression and the decline of the coal industry. However, the construction of the Cumberland Falls State Resort Park in the 1930s brought a renewed wave of tourism to the area, as visitors flocked to witness the majestic Cumberland Falls and partake in outdoor recreational activities. Today, Jackson County continues to thrive as a close-knit community with a mix of rural traditions and natural beauty, attracting visitors with its picturesque landscapes and warm hospitality.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Jackson County, Kentucky.

  • 1774 - First European settlers, John and Sally Jackson, move to the area.
  • 1825 - Jackson County is officially formed as a county in the state of Kentucky.
  • 1840 - The town of McKee becomes the county seat.
  • 1861-1865 - Jackson County experiences the American Civil War, with several residents serving in the Union Army.
  • 1902 - The Kentucky Union Railroad is completed, connecting Jackson County to neighboring counties.
  • 1937 - The Flood of 1937 devastates Jackson County, causing significant damage to infrastructure and displacing many residents.
  • 1969 - The Daniel Boone National Forest is established, protecting large areas of Jackson County's natural landscapes.
  • 1997 - Jackson County hosts the first-ever Kentucky Wool Festival, celebrating the region's wool industry.
  • 2010 - The population of Jackson County reaches its peak at over 13,000 residents.