We went out for a walk this morning around the very cool town of Maysville, Kentucky, where we’ve spent the glorious past few days, and what a shock it was to see our faces peeking out from the front page of the paper inside the newspaper box.
No, we’re not wanted. At least, not yet.
We’re just having a blast! And we’ve gotten swept up in the happy vibe that fills the air of this small town.
Where exactly are we? We’re in Maysville, Kentucky, a little town on the banks of the Ohio River, right on the northern border of Kentucky. We’re in the heart of tobacco country on one of early America’s most important shipping routes that shaped our country’s history.
You can see the location here on Google Maps (you can zoom in and out on the map for directions).
And what makes Maysville so special? Well, first of all, it’s so darned cute!
There is loads of history in this town, and the downtown streets have been renovated to show off the utterly charming architecture of a precious but long gone era.
To protect themselves from the Mighty Ohio River, this spirited town built an enormous flood wall. And rather than leave the concrete on the city side of the wall drab and dreary, they decided to paint a series of wonderful murals that depict the history of the area!
But more than the architecture, the fun murals, and the wonderfully walkable streets that are amazingly free of traffic, it is the warm and friendly spirit of this place that has totally captivated us.
Beginning with a city worker who took time out of his day to explain to us the workings of the flood wall that protects the town and to describe the major floods of the 1880’s, 1937 and 1997 that were truly frightening in their proportion, everyone in town has welcomed with open arms.
This is a town that has roots going way back, and almost everyone, it seems, has lived here their whole lives. It’s a tight knit community, and one that you’d expect to be hard to penetrate.
Yet, as simple tourists off the street, we have found ourselves not only shaking hands with the mayor at the local neighborhood pub, but sitting in his car as he took us on a personal tour of the sights around town!
How many places can boast friendliness like that?
“It’s just southern hospitality,” Mary Kearns told us when she dropped by our trailer to interview us for the local paper last night.
It’s a lot more than that. When the town turned out for a 5k run on Saturday afternoon, the city streets naturally shut down and turned into a huge block party. A mobile DJ played great tunes well into the night, and the town kids suddenly jumped up on a picnic table to give the crowd an impromptu dance show.
Unlike many small towns we’ve visited, however, where the visitors centers are right out front and center, loading folks up with tourist literature and tourist activities, we had to go hunting to find the visitors center here!
It’s up on the second floor of the incredible Cox Building! And rather than filling our arms with reading material, the town’s very enthusiastic Director of Tourism, Suzie, took us on an in-depth guided tour of the building, revealing some astonishing secrets and mysteries that her dogged sleuthing had uncovered during the building’s renovation a few years ago.
Lovely and fascinating as the beautiful buildings of this town are, however, the heart of any community lies with its people, and that is true in Maysville more-so than in any town we’ve ever visited.
The hub of downtown is inside O’Rourke’s Neighborhood Pub and in the flurry of action that always spills out around it. The owner, Norbert, took us under his wing on our first day in town, and drove us on an all day tour into the hinterlands where a few remaining fields of tobacco are just now being cut and harvested.
Those gently waving leaves of tobacco gave this area a magic carpet ride for a long time, but that ride has ended. The miracle to us is that even though the rug was pulled out from under this community, something that would have left many other towns devastated forever, this town has decided to have none of that and is thriving today with a spirit and joy that is hard to find anywhere.
Does it sound like we’ve been given the keys to this city? We sure have! And not for any reason other than we rolled into town and started talking to the friendly people on the streets.
We’ll be telling the rest of our tales from Maysville soon, but for right now, we want to get back out on the streets of town to enjoy all it has to offer!
The newspaper story about us is online HERE
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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
- Maysville, Kentucky – Come for the History, Stay for the People! 09/23/15
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