Maysville is a home rule-class city in Mason County, Kentucky, United States and is the seat of Mason County. The population was 9,011 at the 2010 census, making it the 40th-largest city in Kentucky by population. Maysville is on the Ohio River, 66 miles (106 km) northeast of Lexington. It is the principal city of the Maysville Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Mason and Lewis counties. Two bridges cross the Ohio from Maysville to Aberdeen, Ohio: the Simon Kenton Memorial Bridge built in 1931 and the William H. Harsha Bridge built in 2001.
On the edge of the outer Bluegrass Region, Maysville is historically important in Kentucky's settlement. Frontiersmen Simon Kenton and Daniel Boone are among the city's founders. Later, Maysville became an important port on the Ohio River for the northeastern part of the state. It exported bourbon whiskey, hemp and tobacco, the latter two produced mainly by African American slaves before the Civil War. It was once a center of wrought iron manufacture, sending ironwork downriver to decorate the buildings of Cincinnati, Ohio, and New Orleans, Louisiana. Other small manufacturers also located early in Maysville and manufacturing remains an important part of the modern economy. Under the leadership of Henry Means Walker, Maysville was home to one of the largest tobacco auction warehouses in the world for most of the 20th century.
Maysville was an important stop on the Underground Railroad, as the free state of Ohio was just across the river. Abolitionist author Harriet Beecher Stowe visited the area in 1833 and watched a slave auction in front of the court house in Washington, the original seat of the county and now a historic district of Maysville. She included the scene in her influential novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, published in 1852.
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