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Williamsburg is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Whitley County, on the southeastern border of Kentucky, United States.[4] The population was 5,245 at the 2010 census. Developed along the Cumberland River, the city was founded in 1818 and named after William Whitley.

Williamsburg, Kentucky
Williamsburg, Kentucky.jpg
Nickname(s): 
The 'Burg; Gateway to the Cumberlands
Motto(s): 
"Feels Like Home"
Location of Williamsburg in Whitley County, Kentucky.
Location of Williamsburg in Whitley County, Kentucky.
Coordinates: 36°44′12″N 84°9′53″W / 36.73667°N 84.16472°W / 36.73667; -84.16472Coordinates: 36°44′12″N 84°9′53″W / 36.73667°N 84.16472°W / 36.73667; -84.16472
CountryUnited States
StateKentucky
CountyWhitley
EstablishedFebruary 5, 1819 (1819-02-05)
IncorporatedMarch 3, 1851 (1851-03-03)[1]
First meeting of city governmentJune 4, 1894 (1894-06-04)[2]
Government
 • Mayor  Roddy Harrison
Area
 • Total4.8 sq mi (12.4 km2)
 • Land4.7 sq mi (12.1 km2)
 • Water0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2)
Elevation
928 ft (283 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total5,245
 • Estimate 
(2016)[3]
5,313
 • Density1,092.7/sq mi (423.0/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
40769
Area code(s)606
FIPS code21-83334
GNIS feature ID0516385
Websitehttp://www.williamsburgky.com/

Contents

HistoryEdit

Williamsburg was first known by early European-American settlers as the Spring Ford, after a nearby ford crossing the Cumberland River. On April 19, 1818 the first meeting of the Whitley County Court was held at Samuel Cox's dwelling.[5] This first court appointed local officials as well as constables to work with the county militia. The town was known simply as Whitley Courthouse. In 1882 the city was renamed as Williamsburgh, and the spelling was changed in 1890 to the current Williamsburg.

The town's initial growth was fueled by three freshwater springs in the area. Settlers were attracted to this water source. They later developed coal mining and lumber industries, based on natural resources of the area.

Construction of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad (L&N) to the town in 1883 stimulated new growth. It connected the town to far-flung markets and attracted new residents and trade. Shortly thereafter in 1886 the town elected W. H. Parker as its first mayor.[6]

This first city government enacted a number of new ordinances including:

  • Prohibiting "Bawdy Houses" (brothels)
  • Prohibiting Gambling
  • Prohibiting Fornication
  • Prohibiting Rolling Hoops on Sidewalks
  • Prohibiting Barbering on Sundays
  • Prohibiting Unattended Cattle on Main Street

The Williamsburg school system was established in 1909; the town residents voted to consolidate the multiple single-room schools in the area into a unified school district.[7] The first consolidated school building was destroyed by fire in 1926. It was rebuilt for the school administration. Later the structure was adapted as the Anderson Building, which is used in the early 21st century by the University of the Cumberlands. The school district moved to its current location in 1983.

The county courthouse was destroyed by fire in 1931. It was rebuilt at the time. Forty years later, it underwent a major renovation to bring it up to standards of 1971. In 2011 the newly constructed Whitley County Judicial Center was completed adjacent to the old courthouse, and the courts moved to the new building.[5][8]

GeographyEdit

Williamsburg is located at 36°44′12″N 84°09′53″W / 36.736576°N 84.164713°W / 36.736576; -84.164713,[9] within the Eastern Mountain Coal Fields and the Appalachian Plateau regions. It rests along the I-75 corridor at exits 11 and 15. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.8 square miles (12 km2), of which 4.7 square miles (12 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (2.10%) is water.

Percent of U.S. within 600 miles (970 km) of Williamsburg:[10]

  • Population: 52%
  • Personal Income: 50%
  • Retail Sales: 49%
  • Manufacturing Employment: 57%

Points of interestEdit

Williamsburg is home to the Kentucky Splash Waterpark (located within the Hal Rogers Family Entertainment Center). The $5 million facility also houses a go-cart course, a miniature golf course, and a five-station batting cage. The park opened on Memorial Day weekend 2001 and is the largest family entertainment center in Kentucky with a capacity of up to 3,000 guests.[11]

Williamsburg is located 18 miles (29 km) away Cumberland Falls State Resort Park within the Daniel Boone National Forest. The park is the home of Cumberland Falls, sometimes called the Little Niagara, the Niagara of the South or the Great Falls and is the only venue in the Western Hemisphere where a moonbow or lunar rainbow is regularly visible on a clear night with a full moon.[12] On average the falls, which flow over a resistant sandstone bed, are 68 feet (21 m) high and 125 feet (38 m) wide, with an average water flow of 3,600 cubic feet (100 m3) per second (100 m³/s).Trails winding downstream from the park on either side of the river lead to the smaller Angel Falls and Dog Slaughter Falls. Angel Falls is located 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from the park on the McCreary County side and Dog Slaughter Falls is located 3.5 miles (5.6 km) from the park on the Whitley County side. The Below the Falls section of the river includes a five-mile (8 km) long class 2–3 run that is ideal for families and beginner stage white water rafters and kayakers.

Williamsburg is located 20 minutes away from the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River, a major tributary of the Cumberland River system and a class 3–4 whitewater canoeing and kayaking stream. The Big South Fork is also home to Yahoo Falls, which stand 113 feet (34.8 m) high. Further along, the trail leads to the Yahoo Arch.

Williamsburg is also home to one of the top bluegrass festivals in the state of Kentucky (the Sally Gap Bluegrass Festival). Other events are the Jeep Jamboree (an off-road sporting event), and the Border Bowl, an annual event for two teams of high school footballers representing Kentucky and Tennessee.

ReligionEdit

As of the 2000 census Whitley County, Kentucky of which Williamsburg is the county seat consisted of 22,645 Evangelical Christians, 1,741 Mainline Christians, 130 Catholics, and 11,394 individuals who are not members of the 188 groups included in the Churches & Church Membership Data. As of the same date 69.4% of individuals in Whitley County were members of the Southern Baptist Convention.[13] Williamsburg boasts 21 religious institutions or one religious institution per 243 citizens, and as of the year 2000 the region that contains the town has been designated the second densest region of the bible belt.[14] University of the Cumberlands, located in the town is a private Christian college affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention, a member of the Southern Baptist Convention.

EconomyEdit

Top Employers:[10]

  1. Firestone Industrial Products
  2. Whitley County School System
  3. Williamsburg Plastics
  4. University of The Cumberlands
  5. Southeastern Kentucky Rehabilitation Industries (SEKRI)
  6. Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC)
  7. Wal Mart
  8. Kentucky Consular Center

DemographicsEdit

Census Pop.
1860126
187013910.3%
188020849.6%
18901,376561.5%
19001,4958.6%
19102,00434.0%
19201,767−11.8%
19301,8263.3%
19402,33127.7%
19503,34843.6%
19603,4783.9%
19703,6876.0%
19805,56050.8%
19905,493−1.2%
20005,143−6.4%
20105,2452.0%
Est. 20165,313[3]1.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[15]

As of the census[16] of 2000, there were 5,143 people, 1,928 households, and 1,127 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,102.5 people per square mile (426.1/km²). There were 2,118 housing units at an average density of 454.0 per square mile (175.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.46% White, 1.73% African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.12% from other races, and 1.11% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.66% of the population.

There were 1,928 households out of which 26.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.9% were married couples living together, 16.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.5% were non-families. 35.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the city, the population was spread out with 19.5% under the age of 18, 24.9% from 18 to 24, 22.2% from 25 to 44, 18.4% from 45 to 64, and 15.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females, there were 85.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $18,114, and the median income for a family was $25,996. Males had a median income of $31,905 versus $17,339 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,224. About 29.3% of the population and 35.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 49.0% of those under the age of 18 and 15.1% of those ages 65 and older.

EducationEdit

K-12Edit

Two public school districts serve the city:

  • Whitley County Schools
    • The county school district serves the county outside of the city of Williamsburg, however, its central campus is only a mile outside the city limits.
      • Whitley County High School (Grades 9–12)
      • Whitley County Middle School (Grades 7–8)
      • Whitley Central Intermediate School (Grades 3–6)
      • Whitley County Central Primary School (Grades Pre-K-2)
  • Williamsburg Independent Schools
    • Serves the city of Williamsburg with a single K-12 school.
      • Williamsburg Independent School District

In addition, Corbin Education Center serves as an alternative school for students in the Corbin, Williamsburg, and Whitley County school districts.[17]

Colleges and universitiesEdit

 
University of the Cumberlands marker off of Main Street, in Williamsburg, Kentucky

The campus of the University of the Cumberlands (formerly Cumberland College) is located on College Hill adjacent to the downtown area of Williamsburg. UC is a private liberal arts college, with an enrollment of approximately 2,200 students. Its sports teams participate in the NAIA. The school is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention (the Kentucky affiliate of the Southern Baptist Convention).

MediaEdit

NewspapersEdit

RadioEdit

  • WCCR-LP 94.5 FM (low power) – College radio (University of the Cumberlands)
  • WEKX 102.7 FM – Classic Rock
  • WEZJ 104.3 FM – Country
  • WEKC 710 AM – Gospel
  • WEZJ 1440 AM – Country

Notable peopleEdit

ClimateEdit

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Williamsburg has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[18]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Kentucky Secretary of State-Land Office Retrieved on June 19, 2010
  2. ^ History of Williamsburg Retrieved on June 19, 2010
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  5. ^ a b "History of Whitley County".
  6. ^ "History of Williamsburg City Government".
  7. ^ "History of Williamsburg City School".
  8. ^ "Judicial Center Construction".
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  10. ^ a b "Williamsburg, KY Quick Facts". Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  11. ^ "Kentucky Splash Waterpark".
  12. ^ "Kentucky Splash Waterpark".
  13. ^ "The Association of Religion Data Archives – Maps & Reports".
  14. ^ "Williamsburg, KY – Religious History". Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  15. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  16. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  17. ^ "Former utilities building to serve new purpose". The Times-Tribune.com.
  18. ^ "Williamsburg, Kentucky Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase.

External linksEdit