City of Pikeville, Kentucky
Pikeville has twice been recognized as one of the best small towns in America by Norm Crampton in his book, The 100 Best Small Towns in America. Pikeville is the site of the Pikeville Cut-Through Project, one of the largest and most impressive civil engineering feats in history. Pikeville is a progressive city that is recognized as a center of innovation in the Appalachian region.
Pikeville is led by a Council/ Manager form of government. The council is composed of Mayor Frank Justice, II, DVM and four commissioners, whom are elected every two years. The daily operations of Pikeville are under the direction of City Manager Donovan Blackburn.
In addition to being the center of county and city government, Pikeville is the regional legal and judicial headquarters, holding Federal, District, and Circuit courts. With over 100 attorneys, 30 CPA's, and more than 1,400 businesses, Pikeville is a leading financial, industrial, and retail marketplace of the Appalachian region.
The City Park includes wireless Internet, a playground for children, and a relaxed atmosphere that everyone can enjoy. It is the perfect place for weddings, reunions and school activities. The park showcases new playground equipment, beautiful flowers, fountains, and a gazebo for outdoor leisure and entertainment. Pikeville is proudly maintaining its small town charm while offering 'big city' amenities.
The Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center is Eastern Kentucky’s center for culture, education and entertainment. The Expo Center is the premier venue for entertainment and conferences and is located in the heart of downtown Pikeville. The Expo Center opened its doors October 3, 2005 and has since hosted a variety of acts and shows from Lynyrd Skynyrd, 38 Special, 3 Doors Down, Godsmack, Staind, Martina McBride, Larry the Cable Guy, Alice Cooper, Trace Adkins, Montgomery Gentry, Kid Rock, Hank Williams, Jr. and many more. Fans have also enjoyed a variety of other events such as Motorsports, Monster Trucks, Disney On Ice, Sesame Street Live, Lipizzaner Stallions, sporting competitions, regional high school tournaments, Mid-South Conference College Basketball Tournaments, conventions, graduations, proms, meetings and much more!Also we host the annual Hillbilly Days and the Hatfield & McCoy Festivals. The city also features many amateur athletic sporting events from The University of Pikeville and Pikeville Independent Schools.
The City of Pikeville's commitment to economic development for a stronger community makes Pikeville the region's leader in a growing marketplace.
The History of Pikeville, Kentucky
Pikeville is located in the beautiful mountains of southeastern Kentucky and serves as county seat to the largest county in Kentucky, Pike County. With a population of about 6,400 people, Pikeville is the major trade and service center in the region.
Pikeville is home to a newly expanded Pikeville Medical Center, regional library facility, six local financial institutions, the Appalachian News-Express, a tri-weekly newspaper,and the Pikeville Independent School District. The city is also home to Pikeville College, a four-year liberal arts college with an Osteopathic Medical School, and a newly completed 680 vehicle parking garage. Pikeville serves as the headquarters for several major coal companies.
Pikeville was officially chartered by the State of Kentucky as a city on May 6, 1893, by Governor John Young Brown. However, the town has been around since 1824. Pikeville has been known simply as Pike, Piketon, and since 1850, Pikeville. Pikeville was named in honor of the western explorer and U.S. Army officer Zebulon Montgomery Pike, for whom the county and Pikeville's northeast suburb of Zebulon was also named.
Because of its location along U.S. 23/460 and U.S. 119 on the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River, the citizens of Pikeville were often plagued by spring flood waters, which caused millions of dollars in damage.
In October 1987, Pikeville completed one of the most ambitious engineering efforts east of the Mississippi River. It was a $77.6 million federally funded cut-through project designed to eliminate frequent flooding, relieve traffic congestions, and alleviate the critical shortage of level land in the downtown area.
The Levisa Fork was diverted from its looping course through the city into a half-mile-long cut through Peach Orchard Mountain. Railroad tracks and streets were rerouted from the area and bridges were removed. The former river channel was filled in with dirt and rock from the cut-through. The end result was an addition of nearly 400 acres of new level land for commercial and institutional development.
Pikeville City Hall is located at 118 College Street in the former Pikeville Collegiate Institute Building. Constructed from bricks made on site in 1889, the building is one of the oldest structures within the city limits.