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Prestonsburg, Kentucky

Prestonsburg, Kentucky
Front Street
Front Street
Nickname(s): "Star City of Eastern Kentucky"
Prestonsburg, Kentucky is located in Kentucky
Prestonsburg, Kentucky
Location of Prestonburg, Kentucky
Country United States
State Kentucky
County Floyd
Established January 2, 1818[1]
Incorporated March 9, 1867[1]
Named for a local landowner
 • Type Mayor-Council
 • Mayor Les Stapleton
 • Total 11.1 sq mi (28.7 km2)
 • Land 10.9 sq mi (28.2 km2)
 • Water 0.2 sq mi (0.5 km2)
Elevation 633 ft (193 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 3,255
 • Density 332.2/sq mi (128.3/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 41653
Area code(s) 606
FIPS code 21-62940
GNIS feature ID 0501307

Prestonsburg is a home rule-class city[2] in and the county seat of Floyd County, Kentucky, United States.[3] The population was 3,255 at the time of the 2010 census.


  • History 1
  • Culture 2
  • Geography 3
    • Climate 3.1
  • Demographics 4
  • Education 5
  • Recreation 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


The area was part of the 100,000-acre (400 km2) grant to the family of Col. John Preston's wife, which he administered on her behalf. The grant was intended to permit British colonization beyond the Blue Mountains but subsequent French and Indian resistance and a reversal of British policy limited its impact. The land was not settled until John Spurlock of Montgomery County, Virginia, arrived in 1791. He laid out the town of Preston's Station in 1797.[4] It became the seat of Floyd Co. upon its formation in 1799 and was formally established in 1818.[1] The post office was known as Floyd Court House from its establishment in 1816 until the late 1820s, when it was renamed Prestonsburg.[4]

On January 10, 1862, nearby Middle Creek was the scene of the largest battle of the Civil War to occur in Eastern Kentucky.


Court Street

U.S. Route 23, also called "The Country Music Highway" to celebrate the region's rich heritage of music, runs through Prestonsburg. Country music stars including Loretta Lynn, Crystal Gayle, Wynonna Judd, Naomi Judd, Billy Ray Cyrus, Tom T. Hall, Ricky Skaggs, Keith Whitley, Dwight Yoakam, and Patty Loveless are all from the Big Sandy Valley. Heavy metal singer and guitarist Dave Reffett also grew up near this area.

Prestonsburg is mentioned in Dwight Yoakam's "Readin', Rightin', Rt. 23" (from his album Hillbilly Deluxe), a song about the yearning of local coal miners to escape their plight by traveling up U.S. Route 23 to find employment in the factories in the North, not knowing that they were only trading one miserable life for another.

Prestonsburg is the location of the Mountain Arts Center, which hosts music concerts and is home to the Kentucky Opry. Middle Creek National Battlefield is the site of the largest and most significant Civil War battle in Eastern Kentucky.

Prestonsburg is home to the Samuel May House Living History Museum. It is the oldest known brick home remaining in the Big Sandy Valley. Built by Samuel May in 1817, the house was utilized by the Confederate forces as a recruiting station during the American Civil War. The 5th Kentucky Infantry CSA and 10th Kentucky Cavalry was organized at this location. The house was being used as a residence until 1981 and was donated to the City of Prestonsburg in 1992. The Samuel May House has since been restored and maintained as a living history museum.

The Jenny Wiley Theatre is located in Prestonsburg and offers theatrical productions all year long at both the outdoor Jenny Wiley Amphitheater, located within the Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, and the nearby Mountain Arts Center. The Theatre's presentations of classic Broadway musicals, comedies, historical dramas and holiday productions have kept theatre-goers entertained for the past 40 years.

Prestonsburg is also the home of the East Kentucky Science Center. Opened in 2004, the Science Center contains one of the most technologically advanced planetariums in the United States.

Deadpit Radio, made famous by "The Creepy Kentuckian" Wes Vance and "Uncle Bill" Aaron Frye, originated from the city. They are often considered to be the innovators of horror talk radio. Each week their show is filled with loads of creamy horror goodness, as well as occasional original music. Deadpit boasts one of the largest collections of celebrity interviews in the entire world of horror. Famous for their southern fried accents and loveable personalities, Vance and Frye are revered to this day by millions of horror fans across the globe. They are occasionally flanked by a third member of their radio crew, Steve "The B Plan" Benningfield.


Prestonsburg is located at (37.6656527, -82.7715486)[5] in the eastern part of the state, along the banks of the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.1 square miles (29 km2), of which 10.9 square miles (28 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) is water. The total area is 1.81% water.


Climate data for Prestonsburg, Kentucky
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 80
Average high °F (°C) 44
Average low °F (°C) 24
Record low °F (°C) −26
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.31
Source: The Weather Channel.[6]


As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 3,612 people, 1,563 households, and 956 families residing in the city. The population density was 332.2 people per square mile (128.3/km²). There were 1,683 housing units at an average density of 154.8 per square mile (59.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.51% White, 0.33% African American, 0.50% Native American, 0.53% Asian, 0.44% from other races, and 0.69% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.02% of the population.

There were 1,563 households out of which 26.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.4% were married couples living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.8% were non-families. 37.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.09 and the average family size was 2.72.

In the city the population was spread out with 20.2% under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 26.1% from 25 to 44, 23.9% from 45 to 64, and 20.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 83.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $20,810, and the median income for a family was $27,852. Males had a median income of $30,809 versus $22,439 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,013. About 26.3% of families and 27.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 44.2% of those under the age of 18 and 10.3% of those 65 and older.


  • Prestonsburg Elementary School
  • James D. Adams Middle School
  • Prestonsburg High School
  • Big Sandy Community & Technical College


See also


  1. ^ a b c Commonwealth of Kentucky. Office of the Secretary of State. Land Office. "Prestonsburg, Kentucky". Accessed 27 September 2013.
  2. ^ "Summary and Reference Guide to House Bill 331 City Classification Reform" (PDF). Kentucky League of Cities. Retrieved December 30, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ a b Rennick, Robert. Kentucky Place Names, p. 242. University Press of Kentucky (Lexington), 1987. Accessed 1 Aug 2013.
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  6. ^ "MONTHLY AVERAGES for Prestonsburg, KY".  
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ "American FactFinder".  

External links

  • Prestonsburg Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Floyd County Schools
  • Middle Creek National Battlefield
  • The Floyd County Times
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