Preserve America Community:
West Point, Kentucky
West Point, Kentucky (population 1,100), was founded by pioneer James Young, who built a cabin at the site in 1789 and, in 1797, built a brick house and inn that is still standing today. In 1803, Lewis and Clark passed nearby and recruited West Point citizen John Shields to join their Corps of Discovery.
West Point sits at the confluence of the Ohio and Salt Rivers, a strategic position that led Union forces to construct a fort here during the Civil War to protect their supply routes. Fort Duffield is the State's largest and best-preserved earthen fortification from the period.
West Point also retains many of its other historic resources, and a large portion of the community is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district.
One of the newest preservation projects in West Point is the rehabilitation of the West Point Independent Colored School (1926), one of the "Rosenwald Schools" built by philanthropist Julius Rosenwald to educate African-Americans in rural areas. Plans call for using the one-room school as a visitor, educational, and research facility.
West Point also recently commemorated the bicentennial of Lewis and Clark's visit with a heritage festival that both celebrated local history and drew heritage tourists. Year-round, Fort Duffield is an important tourist destination, and the city recently secured a grant to fund walking trails at the site.
Fort Duffield and West
Point are featured in the Highway 31W-31E Historic Heritage Corridors brochure,
which encourages heritage tourism between Louisville, Kentucky, and Nashville,
Updated July 6, 2005