Fayette County: Home to a university and a first lady

September 28, 2013 

keeneland

Horses walked to the barn after being exercised at Keeneland Race Course. Horses are stabled and exercised year-round at Keeneland, which also hosts two racing meets and several sales throughout the year.

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Population: Fayette County — 301,569

Known for: The University of Kentucky, founded in 1865 by John Bowman as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Kentucky; Keeneland racetrack, which had its first day of horse racing in 1936 and Raven Run Nature Sanctuary, a 734-acre nature sanctuary dedicated to preserving the natural beauty of the Kentucky River Palisades.

Brief history: Lexington was founded in 1775, 17 years before Kentucky became a state. By 1820, it was one of the largest and wealthiest towns west of the Allegheny Mountains. So cultured was its lifestyle, our city soon gained the nickname "Athens of the West."

Don't miss: The Mary Todd Lincoln House, 578 West Main Street, is the first site restored to honor a first lady of the United States of America. Mary Todd Lincoln was born in Lexington in 1818 and married Abraham Lincoln in 1842.

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