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Historian, photographer
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Spotlight on: Catlettsburg, Kentucky
Authored by Sherman Cahal on July 19, 2009 at UrbanUp

Catlettsburg, the county seat of Boyd County in Kentucky, was formed in 1808 as the Mouth of Sandy. The settlement was incorporated as Catlettsburg in 1848, named after local landowner Horatio Catlett. A stream that meanders through the community was also named after Catlett, aptly named Catlett's Creek. In the early 20th century, Hampton City to the south and Sandy City to the north were annexed, giving the city its present-day boundaries.

1 Although its downtown is not nearly as busy as it once was, it still boasts an impressive building stock for its now minute population.


3 The city streets close to downtown and the Ohio River boast nicely maintained residences.



6 This odd-ball juts out along Oakland Avenue.

7 Like many cities along the Ohio River, the core of the community is surrounded by a massive floodwall. Some cities, such as Catlettsburg, is engaging in the decoration of these otherwise bland concrete fortresses. In this scene, the old Catlettsburg horse race track is depicted.

8 Here is a good reason why the floodwall exists.

You can view additional photographs and read more about Catlettsburg.

Boyd County was formed in 1860 from parts of Greenup, Carter and Lawrence Counties. It was named in honor of Linn Boyd, who served as a U.S. Congressman, representing western Kentucky.

Boyd County's first courthouse, constructed in 1909, was the first court facility in Kentucky to be equipped with air conditioning. It was replaced with a larger facility in 1932 and expanded in 1982.

In 1998, a review of courthouse facilities across the commonwealth revealed the "deplorable conditions" of many of the state's judicial facilities. The review, headed by Joseph Lambert, listed Boyd County's facility as one that required upgrading or replacing.

Construction began in late 2007 and the new Boyd County Judicial Center was dedicated on July 17, 2009 at a cost of $19,148,000.(7) The new building consolidated the county's court system which was split between a one-story courthouse annex constructed in 1982, and the old courthouse.

9 Old courthouse, constructed in 1932, that is slated for a major overhaul.

10 Rendering of the new judicial center. Actual photos from the site will be forthcoming.

Read on for more history about Boyd County's courthouses!

87 Posts
I NEVER thought in a BILLION years I would live to see Catlettsburg mentioned on SSC. I used to live in Ashland out on RTE 60 (Cannonsburg to be exact). I worked at the Marathon refinery in Catlettsburg. Small world I guess.

I did not have the best personal experience in Eastern KY, but it is nice to see someone showing this area some love!
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