In 1792, Thomas Kennedy and his family arrived on a flatboat from Pittsburgh at the confluence of the Ohio and Licking Rivers, established a settlement in what is today Covington (population 43,370), and began operating a ferry to Cincinnati.
Covington, which was incorporated in 1815, developed dramatically with the establishment of a cotton factory in 1828 and a rolling mill three years later. Many German and Irish immigrants began moving to the area and established thriving communities; by 1854, one-third of the residents of Covington were foreign born.
The cultural heritage, architecture, and growth of Covington are strongly connected to its German roots, and such influences abound in the city's restaurants, parks, and annual Oktoberfest and Maifest celebrations.
The German influence is also strong in several neighborhoods, including the MainStrasse area and the Mutter Gottes (Mother of God) Historic District that surrounds a landmark 1871 Catholic church. Fourteen national historic districts have been established in the city and many homes and businesses have been restored to their former beauty.
Designated a Preserve America Community in April 2004.