September 2015 – After a delightful two weeks in the New York Finger Lakes, our RV travels took us south through Pennsylvania and Ohio until we found ourselves on the shores of the Ohio River, staring at a very cute town on the opposite river bank in Kentucky. There were church steeples and old brick buildings, and it looked very appealing. What was this place?
As night fell, the town on the other side became even more alluring. The suspension bridge that spanned the Ohio River was lit up, and the city lights from the town across the way were reflected in the water.
The next morning we just had to go check this place out, so we headed across the bridge.
We had looked the place up on the map and found out it was Maysville, Kentucky, a town loaded with history. As we looked out over it now the town seemed to sparkle in the morning sun.
We hopped out of the truck and were soon prowling around town down by the river. We came across a huge sign painted on a towering concrete wall welcoming us to Maysville. This wasn’t just any old ordinary “Welcome to Town” sign. For one thing, it was enormous. For another, it had an orange butterfly in the corner. We would soon discover that this cheerful little guy was much like the spirit of Maysville.
As we walked back up into town and looked around we were charmed. We seemed to have landed in the heart of the historic district of Maysville, and everywhere we turned the buildings were all different colors.
We wandered up Market Street where there was a fountain bubbling in the middle of the street.
Down at our feet we found cool wavy patterns of brick.
The buildings around us were downright jaunty. No two were alike. Tall, short, wide, skinny, they all stood together, wonderfully mismatched yet cozy and congenial.
Looking more closely at one building, we noticed that even the windows were free spirited and jovial. None of the lines were square and each window stood at an angle.
There had to be stories behind these wonderful buildings, we thought. Fun stories and unusual stories. If only those old storefronts and upstairs apartments could talk!
We wandered up and down the streets, marveling at the elaborate detail on the building fronts. One building had a fabulous rounded turret with a peaked top worthy of Rapunzel.
Wrought iron and fancy carved woodwork adorned another, and next door to it the sun peaked through a wrought iron gate.
Roses were blooming in front of a series of white houses, and a handsome church steeple pierced the sky. We later found out these row houses date back to 1816 and are called “Mechanics Row.”
This place was just plain cool!
The town was very quiet during the morning hours, and we almost felt like we had the place to ourselves.
But what we were soon to discover is that these buildings are home to one of the liveliest, warmest and friendliest communities of people we’ve ever met anywhere.
It’s not the buildings that make a place lovable. As delightful as the architecture is in the town of Maysville — and some of the most appealing buildings in town are the seven adorable red brick “days of the week” row houses that run up a hill bearing names from Sunday to Saturday — it is the people that make a community come alive.
On our first night in town we stopped in at O’Rourke’s Neighborhood Pub and soon found ourselves swept up in energetic conversation, laughter, and rapidly growing friendships, immersed in the local scene as if we had lived in Maysville all our lives. It felt as if we had suddenly taken off our jackets that had the word “Tourists” emblazoned on them and had put on the Maysville team jersey instead.
This little pub was the kind of place where everyone knew who the out-of-town folks were, but rather than keeping the outsiders at a distance, they asked us to pull up a chair and join their big groups at the tables.
On the next night, the bar owner, Norbert, sat with us, and between telling us tales of the town’s history, he introduced us to one person after another as they came in. From local attorneys to workers in the nearby limestone mine and power plant, we met one new friend after another, and they all openly shared tidbits of their lives and stories with us.
What’s more, they all had wonderful recommendations of things we really must see and do during our stay in town. Suddenly, we couldn’t leave. There was just too much to do here! How blessed we felt to have the time to be able stay and relish this precious place.
In our travels we’ve found it is really rare to be able to visit somewhere and truly become an integral part of it and enjoy it from the inside rather that remaining on the outside looking in. Our days in Maysville will forever stand out in our memories because the people we met let us bridge that gap and become locals for a while.
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Maysville, Kentucky, is a great area for RV travel. Here’s a little more info::
- Maysville, Kentucky – Official Website
- Maysville River Park and Marina – RV camping on the Kentucky side of the river in Maysville
- Lively Lady Marina & Campground – RV camping on the Ohio side of the river in Aberdeen
- Where is Maysville, Kentucky? – Google Maps
Other posts from our RV travels to Maysville, Kentucky:
- Thanks for the Great Times, Maysville KY!! 11/01/15
- Maysville Kentucky – Tobacco, Freemasons, Miniatures & Clooneys! 10/19/15
- A Sweet Life on the Ohio River – Maysville, Kentucky 10/04/15
- OMG – We Made The Front Page! 09/07/15