The Erlanger, Kentucky, (population 16,676) area received its first settlers around 1807, but the first real settlement occurred after the Covington-Lexington turnpike was chartered in 1829. The first community that developed surrounding a tollgate was known as Timberlake. The Southern Railroad arrived in 1873, building a depot named Greenwood after the president of the railroad. The depot is now home to the Erlanger Historical Society. When a post office was established in 1882, both the post office and depot were named Erlanger in honor of Baron Frederic Emile D’Erlanger.
D’Erlanger headed up the land syndicate that created the city, even persuading the railroad to make the city a stop for all passenger trains. D’Erlanger offered one year of free railroad transportation for anyone who would move to the city. The town grew quickly and was incorporated in 1897. When Interstate 75 was constructed in the early 1960s, subdivisions and industrial parks built up along the highway, increasing construction in Erlanger.
The Erlanger Historical Society maintains a local history museum at the restored Southern Railway Depot. The depot is the last remaining wooden depot on the Cincinnati to Chattanooga Southern Railway line. The City of Erlanger received Transportation Enhancement funding for the restoration of the Southern Railway Depot. The museum focuses on the railroad history, with a collection of artifacts and memorabilia from Erlanger’s history as well. Annually, on the third Sunday in September the historical society hosts the “Heritage Day,” an event celebrating Erlanger.
Designated a Preserve America Community in April 2004.