Historical Sites

For more information contact

Kentucky Historical Society
100 West Broadway
Frankfort, KY 40601

Phone: (502) 564-1792 or (877) 4447867

Historical Markers

Clinton College Marker Number 1611

Location: Clinton, Hickman Co. Elem. School, E. Clay St., KY 123

Description: Established in 1873 under auspices of West Union Baptist Assoc. First building was erected on this site, 1874. Rev. Willis White pioneered educational work in Hickman County and led movement to secure college charter. Under leadership of Prof. T. N. Wells and Miss Amanda Hicks, college contributed much to the Purchase area. Closed, 1913; used for Clinton High School, 1918-35.

Clinton Seminary Marker Number 1497

Location: Clinton, Courthouse Lawn, US 51

Description: First high school in Ky. west of Tenn. River established at Clinton, 1846. Frame structure erected; burned 1854. In 1850, Clinton Female Seminary was incorporated. Organized as Clinton Academy as charter made no mention of only women students. Professor G. W. Ray was early educational leader in Hickman County. Clinton was known as "Athens" of West Kentucky.

Columbus Marker Number 1398

Location: Columbus, KY 58

Description: First entire town in Kentucky to be moved from one site to another. In 1927, after the most severe flood in its history, Columbus was moved from the banks of the river to this bluff, 200 feet above, by the American Red Cross at a cost of $100,000. The relocation was under the supervision of Marion Rust, national Red Cross representative.

County Named, 1821 Marker Number 895

Location: Clinton, Courthouse Lawn, US 51

Description: For Capt. Paschal Hickman who was massacred by Indians after River Raisin battle, Jan., 1813, one of nine Ky. officers killed in that action for whom counties named. Resided Franklin County, extensive landowner. Originally, Hickman comprised the Jackson Purchase in Ky. Later eight counties have been formed within initial area. First county seat was Columbus.

First Christian Church Marker Number 1937

Location: Clinton, 201 N. Washington St.

Description: Established 1876 on this site. First structure (frame) burned 1896; brick church built three years later. A 1951 fire caused damage, but complete repair achieved. This Kentucky Historical Landmark features a multi-spired roof, vaulted ceiling, curved pews, and original stained-glass windows with memorial pictures of donors. Presented by Members and Friends.

Gibraltar of the West Marker Number 528

Location: Columbus, Columbus-Belmont State Park

Description: Troops under Gen. Leonidas Polk fortified strategic line of bluffs here Sept. 3, 1861, marking CSA's first move in Ky. To prevent passage of Union gunboats, a huge chain was stretched across the Mississippi River. After Union success in Tenn., CSA evacuated on Mar. 2, 1862. Union troops moved in the next day and held position throughout the war.

Guerrilla Raids on Clinton Marker Number 1400

Location: Clinton, US 51

Description: Federal troops garrisoned in area between 1862 and 1865 were often harassed by enemy guerrillas. March 10, 1864, Clinton was first raided by about forty who took supplies and horses that had been purchased for Union army. On July 10, 1864, guerrillas nearing Clinton on another raid lost 3 men killed and 5 wounded in a skirmish with USA infantry.

Iron Banks Marker Number 60

Location: Columbus, KY 58, 80

Description: So named by early French explorers. Columbus was proposed as the Nation's Capital after the War of 1812. The area was fortified by the Confederate Army during the War Between the States.

Marion Rust (1879-1958) Marker Number 1775

Location: Columbus-Belmont State Park, Columbus

Description: Red Cross agent Marion Rust came to Columbus after its destruction in 1927 by Mississippi floods. Noting river bank cave-ins, Rust directed relocation of town. Exploring area, he found remains of Confederate garrison and envisioned Civil War memorial park. With CCC camp labor, he partially restored fort area, 1934-37, providing major step in development of present state park.

Marvin College Marker Number 891

Location: Clinton, US 51

Description: A Methodist school, built 1884-5, originally stood on this site. It operated until 1922 when it closed because of advance of free public schools. Alben W. Barkley, Congressman, Senator and United States Vice President, 1949-53, was graduated here in 1897. He worked his way through by doing janitorial work, giving rise to the phrase, "Barkley swept here."​​​