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Campton and Salyersville, Ky.

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Campton, Kentucky

Campton, Kentucky is the county seat of Wolfe County, and is located in eastern Kentucky at the junction of Kentucky State Route 15 and the Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway.

According to local lore, the town was originally named Camp Town after Nim Willis, the first settler, stumbled upon the remains of an old mining camp that he believed was made by legendary Jonathan Swift -- a famous silver miner. The community blossomed along Swift Camp Creek and became known later as Campton.

In 1860, the community was selected as the county seat of Wolfe County. A courthouse constructed from logs was built around 1860 and served until 1884, when it was destroyed by fire. A second courthouse was completed in 1885 but was also consumed by fire in 1913. A third two-story Beaux Arts-styled courthouse, constructed of orange-glazed brick, was completed in 1917. It features a bas-relief of a wolf, paying homage to the county name.

During the Civil War, General George Morgan's Union army passed through Campton on September 23, 1862 en route to the Ohio River from Cumberland Gap. General John Hunt Morgan's Confederate troops passed through in 1864. Because of Campton's central location along an important strategic route, a Home Guard unit occupied Campton during part of the war.

The town was incorporated in 1870. The Mountain Central Railway, a narrow-gauge railroad constructed for several timbering industries, was constructed from the Lexington & Eastern Railway's junction at Campton Junction to Campton, where it terminated.

The line was abandoned in 1928 when the area was stripped of its lumber.

Oil was drilled near Campton in 1903, and just two years later, 58 wells were operating in the region. While the production of oil waned by the 1920s, it was restarted in the 1950s before the field was exhausted by the 1960s.

Campton was also home to the Kentucky Wesleyan College of Winchester, who opened a branch in the community. Constructed by county judge Taylor Center, who also constructed a kiln on the school site to make bricks, Kentucky Wesleyan withdrew its support in 1912. The school continued on by charging tuition until 1934 before becoming the Wolfe County Grade School and High School.

In 1963, the Mountain Parkway was completed to Campton.


Wolfe County Courthouse, completed in 1917.



Campton High School

Campton High School, located in Campton, Kentucky, was opened in 1942. It was the first publically funded high school in Wolfe County, constructed during the Great Depression with funding from the Federal Works Project Adminsitration (WPA).



Salyersville, Kentucky

Regarded as the birthplace of the Licking River, Salyersville, Kentucky is the county seat of Magoffin County.

The first attempted settlement was in 1794 by Archibald Prater, John Williams, Ebenezer Hanna, Clayton Cook and several others along the banks of the Licking River, although they were driven out by Indian raids. They returned in 1800 and settled Licking Station on a hill in a horseshoe bend of the river, which was a natural defense against the Indians.

Salyersville was originally named Adamsville after one of the town founders, Bill Adams. Adams owned a hotel, gristmill, tannery and blacksmith shop in the community. In 1860, Magoffin County was formed from parts of Floyd, Johnson and Morgan Counties, and was named for Governor Beriah Magoffin who was governor from 1859-62.(1) On February 22, Adamsville became known as Salyersville for the legislator, Samuel Salyer, who sponsored the creation of Magoffin County.

In 1871, Billy Adams donated land in Salyersville to construct a courthouse. The first courthouse in the county was completed in 1890. It would last until 1957, when the courthouse was consumed in a fire. It was replaced by concrete and steel structure that resembled a supermarket in 1960.

In 1963, the Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway was completed from Interstate 63 to Salyersville.

The courthouse was replaced in spring 2006 with a new Justice Center.

New Justice Center, completed in 2006


New Courthouse




Salyersville National Bank, originally constructed in 1902, was enlarged ten years later. It is the county's oldest building.



This is an overlay on a much older facade.



Meh. Enjoy!

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