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Our Town: Carrollton, Kentucky

Carrollton, Kentucky, is a small town situated along the Ohio and Kentucky Rivers. The waterways provide a scenic backdrop for a charming downtown area.

“It’s a small town and it has a small-town flavor,” says historian Jim Fothergill. “I’ve lived here all my life except for college and the Air Force, and I chose to come back here because I love to walk down the street and speak to everybody and in the larger cities, you don’t do that.”

Those streets stay active thanks to the busy downtown that includes services such as the courthouse—still housed in the 1884 building—and the post office, according to Sam Burgess, Manager of the Carrollton Main Street Program. The program’s purpose is to work with business owners and residents to revitalize Carrollton’s downtown district while preserving its historic character.

“The Carrollton Main Street Program, I’m proud to say, is one of 741 nationally accredited Main Street Programs,” says Burgess. “All of downtown Carrollton is a national registered district.”

Downtown Carrollton is home to businesses including restaurants and gift shops. It also features a popular green space located where the Kentucky and the Ohio meet.

“Point Park is at the confluence,” says Burgess. “It includes a multi-use amphitheater, with all sorts of amenities. There are shelter houses, there’s a skateboard park, there’s a pavilion that we use as the backdrop for musical events. There’s a very nice boat launching ramp, and just recently the city put in a 33-pad RV park that’s part of Point Park, too.”

“Carrollton Kentucky is located here at the confluence of the Kentucky and Ohio Rivers and that’s the reason why we were founded here,” says Brent Leite, owner of Two Rivers Adventures, which offers canoe and kayak rentals. “The water is our greatest resource. It is a natural resource that should be exploited in terms of getting out there, getting outdoors, and seeing nature firsthand. What we do is we allow people the access and opportunity to get on the water and to experience our natural resource. It’s something that very few other cities in America can offer with us having two major rivers right here.”

This segment is part of Kentucky Life episode #2003, which originally aired on October 18, 2014. Watch the full episode.