When European settlers arrived on the scene, the Bluegrass region was in use as a hunting ground by numerous Native American tribes. Daniel Boone was one of the first Anglo-Saxons to explore the area. He helped establish Kentucky’s first forts in Harrodsburg and Boonesborough.
Lexington was founded in 1775, seventeen years before Kentucky became a state. William McConnell and a group of frontier explorers were camped at a natural spring when word came from nearby Fort Boonesborough that the first battle of the American Revolution had been fought in Lexington, Massachusetts. In honor of the battle, the group named their site “Lexington”. By 1820, Lexington, Kentucky, was one of the largest and wealthiest towns west of the Allegheny Mountains. So cultured was its lifestyle, our city soon gained the nickname “Athens of the West.”