Mays Lick, Kentucky

Mays Lick (a.k.a. Mayslick, originally known as May's Lick) is census-designated place and unincorporated community located in Mason County, Kentucky, United States, about nine miles southwest of Maysville.

Mays Lick, Kentucky
Mays Lick, Kentucky is located in Kentucky
Mays Lick, Kentucky
Location of Mays Lick in Kentucky
Coordinates: 38°31′03″N 83°50′31″W / 38.51750°N 83.84194°W / 38.51750; -83.84194Coordinates: 38°31′03″N 83°50′31″W / 38.51750°N 83.84194°W / 38.51750; -83.84194
CountryUnited States
Elevation883 ft (269 m)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)606 Exchange: 763
FIPS code21-21161
GNIS feature ID497750[1]
Other namesMayslick
Mays Spring
New Jersey Colony
William Mays Settlement[1]


Mayor of May's Lick Joe Jolly and Vice Mayor Devin Hull. May's Lick was founded in 1788 by the following five families from Scotch Plains, New Jersey.[3]

  1. Joe Jolly (1724-1792)
  2. Abraham Drake (1751–1805)
  3. Cornelius Drake (1754–1833)
  4. Isaac Drake (1756–1832), father of (i) Daniel Drake (1785–1852), American physician and author, and (ii) Benjamin Drake (1795–1841), American historian, editor, and writer; Daniel Drake's son, Charles Daniel Drake (1811–1892), was a United States Senator from Missouri and an anti-slavery politician
  5. David Morris (1746–1798) and wife, Mary née Shotwell (1748–1806)
  6. John Shotwell (1753–1826) and wife, Abigail née Shipman (1754–1835)
Note 1: Abraham, Cornelius, and Isaac Drake were brothers
Note 2: John and Mary Shotwell were siblings

The group purchased 1,400 acres of land from William May (for whom the community was named) near the salt lick in southern Mason county and began to build a community.[4] The Mays Lick Post Office opened in 1800. Kentucky's first consolidated school and first school transportation – consisting of a horse and wagon – was founded in Mays Lick.[5]

When May's Lick was founded (1788), Kentucky was part of the Commonwealth of Virginia. That year (1788), the Commonwealth of Virginia established Mason County. May's Lick became the name of the town after first being called May's Spring.[6]

Mays Lick Consolidated SchoolEdit

The Mays Lick Consolidated School was constructed in 1909–1910 for $32,500 The building was the first high school in Mason County and until 1960, was the only public high school to serve the Mays Lick District. In 1982, the building was added to the National Register of Historical Places.[7]

Also see: May's Lick Negro School

The May familyEdit

The same May family for whom the Mason County Seat (Maysville) is named is also the namesake for May's Lick.

  • Mays Lick is named after John's brother, William May.
  • Maysville is named after John May ( –1790).
The May brothers
  • George May ( –1795), a surveyor
  • William May
  • Charles May
  • John May ( –1790)
  • Gabriel May (1751–1813), married to Sallie Stokes (Susannah May Stokes, 1759–1815), niece of Ethan Allen (1738–1789), the hero of Ticonderoga and Crown Point[8][9]

Notable residentsEdit

  • Joseph Desha (1768–1842), a US Representative and the ninth governor of Kentucky
  • Daniel Drake (1785–1852), American physician, author
  • Benjamin Drake (1795–1841), American historian, editor, and writer
  • John McLean (1785–1861), Associate Justice, US Supreme Court from 1830 to 1861[10]
  • William McLean (1794–1839), Ohio legislator
  • Charles Young (1864 - 1922), Third African-American graduate of West Point, first black U.S. national park superintendent, first black man to achieve the rank of colonel in the US Army.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Mays Lick". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2011-07-16.
  2. ^ "Mays Lick KY". ZIP Code Lookup. Retrieved 2011-07-16.
  3. ^ History of the Scotch Plains Baptist Church, From Its Organization on the Fifth of August 1747 To Its One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary, James H. Parks, D.D. (born 1839), and James D. Cleaver, Scotch Plains Baptist Church (publisher (1897), pg. 16; OCLC 12023826
  4. ^ Edith Davis, "Mayslick Once Was Emporium, History Shows", The Daily Independent, (Rotary Club Edition), October 31, 1962
  5. ^ History of Mays Lick Archived 2012-03-15 at the Wayback Machine, by David Lynn (interviewer), Kentucky Oral History Commission, Collection No. 18–19 (1988); OCLC 85841474
  6. ^ The Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky, Paul Allen Tenkotte, PhD (born 1960) (University of Cincinnati) & James C. Claypool, PhD (born 1938) (Professor Emeritus, Northern Kentucky University) (eds.), (excerpt: May's Lick, by John Robert Klee; born 1954, pps. 593–594), University of Kentucky Press (2009)
  7. ^ #82002733 National Registry of Historic Places
  8. ^ "The May Family," Kentucky Explorer, Vol. 10, No. 5, October 1995, p. 96
  9. ^ "Mason County", The Kentucky Encyclopedia, John E. Kleber, University Press of Kentucky (1992), pg. 614
  10. ^ "May's Lick: Pioneer Town in Kentucky When Lexington was the Western Metropolis," The Daily Evening Bulletin (Maysville, Kentucky), April 17, 1889, pg. 2, col. 2,

External linksEdit