Nicholasville + Wilmore


During the impressionable era of a young nation, Frederick Zimmerman surveyed what was to become Jessamine County, Kentucky, in October 1796. Nicholasville was a natural center of activity and commerce. The town was built not only around four natural springs that flowed from the ground but also its proximity to the Kentucky River made the town a crossroads of trek and transport.

By 1798, local Reverend John Metcalf laid out plans for a town named Nicholasville, honoring Revolutionary War Colonel George Nicholas. Nicholas was Kentucky’s first Attorney General and also helped frame the state’s constitution. Families began to settle and made Nicholasville a permanent home. The first city charter passed in 1812, and the “Regulation of the Town of Nicholasville” was decreed in 1823.

Since the town’s incorporation, Nicholasville can claim an integral part of Kentucky history. From the early enterprising entrepreneurs who produced the first bottle of Kentucky wine to the pivotal role Camp Nelson played in freeing thousands of enslaved African-Americans, Nicholasville continues to play its part in shaping the life and times of the Commonwealth.


Settlers began to call Wilmore home as early as 1779. From the earliest settlements, its natural beauty was documented in diaries and journals of the day. By 1876, a little over a hundred years later, it was given the designation as a flag stop by the Cincinnati Southern Railroad, while the building of the High Bridge railroad trestle reached completion. The train stop was named after a local landowner and called Scotts Station. After a dispute between said landowner and the railroad company, its name was then changed to Wilmore in honor of another landowner. By 1882, Wilmore’s first general store was open for operation, followed by several other businesses and churches.

In 1890, Reverend J. W. Hughes began Asbury College, now Asbury University and Asbury Theological Seminary, the cornerstone—then and now—of the town.

High Bridge, a marvel of engineering in its day and the tallest bridge in North America, soared 275 feet over the Kentucky River. The bridge provided not only an efficient way of travel and transport but also a point of interest for early tourism in the county. People came from far and wide to marvel at the sight from the clifftop overlook towering over the river gorge.

Visit modern-day Wilmore where you can appreciate turn-of-the-century architecture, enjoy the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape, and savor small-town life.

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Nicholasville, Wilmore - Jessamine County

Joint Tourism Commission


locationicon102 South First Street 40356

Nicholasville, KY



phoneicon 859.354.5433


Monday - Friday

8:00am - 4:30pm


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