Flemingsburg (population 3,010), county seat of Fleming County, was founded in 1797. The town was laid out around a central town square, site of the county courthouse. From its founding through most of the 20th century, the community’s economy principally depended on agriculture, notably tobacco cultivation and dairy farming. But oil was discovered nearby in 1865, stimulating growth and leading to the construction of a narrow gauge railroad that served the area from 1877 to 1956. Today, agriculture has been joined by light industry, and heritage tourism is an increasingly important economic generator.
Flemingsburg is fortunate to have a wealth of 19th century resources, many located in the Flemingsburg National Register Historic District. The City has adopted Historic District Design Guidelines to guide appropriate rehabilitation. Overhead wires were recently buried as part of a streetscaping project, and a façade grant program is encouraging rehabilitation of historic commercial buildings.
Flemingsburg is also capitalizing on its proximity to three of Kentucky’s 13 surviving covered bridges. Fleming County is known as the “Covered Bridge Capital of Kentucky” and is the site of the annual Covered Bridge Festival, which attracts an average of 5,500 visitors a year. Assisted by Federal Transportation Enhancements funds, an historic building in downtown Flemingsburg is being renovated as a Covered Bridge Museum.
Designated a Preserve America Community in June 2005.