The Kentucky State Capitol building in Frankfort, Kentucky, is the only state capitol in the United States that has a working railroad track running directly underneath it.
Johnson County, located in the eastern part of Kentucky, has a rich and fascinating history. The area was first settled by European pioneers in the late 18th century, with the first permanent settlement established around 1800. The early settlers were primarily of Irish and English descent, seeking opportunities in the fertile lands along the Big Sandy River.

During the early 19th century, the county experienced significant growth and development. The discovery of coal and the development of the railroad in the mid-1800s brought economic prosperity to the area. The coal industry boomed, attracting numerous workers and contributing to the county's population growth.

The region also played a significant role in the Civil War. Johnson County, like many areas in Kentucky, was divided in its loyalties. While some residents sympathized with the Confederacy, others joined the Union Army. The county became a battleground during the war, with several skirmishes and conflicts taking place in the area.

In the 20th century, Johnson County saw further economic growth and diversification. The coal industry remained a major source of employment and revenue, with numerous mines operating in the region. The county also saw the establishment of various industries, including timber, agriculture, and manufacturing.

Today, Johnson County continues to be a vibrant community with a mix of rural and urban areas. It is known for its natural beauty, including the picturesque Appalachian Mountains and the scenic Tug Fork River. The county's history, marked by its pioneers, coal industry, and participation in the Civil War, is celebrated and preserved through various local museums and historical sites.

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

  • 1780s: Early settlers arrive in what is now Johnson County, Kentucky
  • 1800: Johnson County is established as a county
  • 1812: War of 1812 begins, impacting the area's development and economy
  • 1820: Population of Johnson County reaches over 2,000 people
  • 1833: Johnson County Courthouse is built in Paintsville, becoming the county seat
  • 1850s: Railroad development begins, improving transportation in the area
  • 1861-1865: American Civil War affects Johnson County, with some residents supporting the Union cause while others join the Confederacy
  • 1865-1900: Post-war reconstruction period sees slow economic growth in the county
  • 1900s: Johnson County experiences agricultural and industrial advancements, with coal mining becoming a prominent industry
  • 1937: The Great Flood devastates Paintsville and other parts of Johnson County
  • 1950s-1960s: Economic diversification occurs, with the establishment of hospitals, educational institutions, and other industries
  • Late 20th century: Johnson County continues to develop and grow, with improvements in infrastructure, healthcare, and education