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Claysville and Other Neighborhoods (Paris, KY)
Claysville was established by African Americans at the end of the Civil War on what was then the outskirts of Paris, KY. The community was located on land that was purchased from Samuel H. Clay, whose farm bordered the area on one side. Claysville was more of a separate community than other African American neighborhoods within Paris: it included churches, stores, and businesses. The main entrance was off Main Street, under a one lane railroad viaduct hemmed on one side by a two story building, on the other side by a stream. The entrance is still in use. The back entrance was off Winchester Street. The Branch School for African American children, where inventor Garrett A. Morgan, Sr. was educated, was located in Claysville. The community has been renamed Garrett Morgan's Place, and a Kentucky Historical Marker [number 1493] was rededicated in 2000, but most still refer to the area as Claysville. The community name was spelled Clayville on the Sanborn Maps of Paris, Bourbon County [available at Kentucky Digital Library]. A Colored school house can be found on sheet two of the Oct 1901 map. The school was located on Trilby Street, Lot H. Beginning in the 1970s, Urban Renewal razed the old structures in Claysville, new homes and housing projects were constructed, and a park was added down by the stream. Many of the present residents are descendants of Claysville's earliest home owners. Other African American areas used to exist in Paris: Cottontown, off Main Street just past the railroad overpass heading toward Millersburg, down by the creek; Newtown and Judy's Alley, off High Street heading toward Lexington (homes in both areas were replaced by housing projects); and Singles Alley, off Eighth Street heading toward Georgetown, all of its older homes torn down. Ruckersville or Ruckerville, bound by Lilleston Ave., Second Street, and a creek, had a large number of African Americans. The land is thought to have been part of the Grimes' farm at one time. The old homes were razed by Urban Renewal in the 1970s and 1980s and new homes and apartments were constructed and a park was added down by the creek. Little or nothing has been published about these areas, but a visit with the various community members will garner much more information. For more on Claysville see Famous Inventor, 1877-1963, in the Kentucky Historical Marker Database; and search using the term "Claysville" in the newspaper, Bourbon News, available online at Kentucky Digital Library - Newspapers and at Chronicling America.
Subjects: Communities, Parks, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

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