Pike County, Kentucky

Historical Marker #808 in Pikeville commemorates Pike County being named for a War of 1812 general who was killed in action.

Born in New Jersey, Zebulon Pike joined the army in 1794 and fought on the frontier. An explorer, in 1805 he traced the source of the Mississippi River. The next year, Pike explored the headwaters of the Arkansas and Red Rivers. He also discovered Pike's Peak in Colorado, which was named in his honor.

Pike fought at Tippecanoe in 1811, and, during the War of 1812, the adventuresome Pike was promoted to brigadier general. When American forces attacked York, Canada, on April 27, 1813, the British blew up an ammunition dump during surrender negations. Pike was killed in the explosion.

Several counties and communities across the nation, including Pike County and Pikeville, Kentucky, are named in his honor. Pike County was formed in 1821.

Images

Pike and Floyd counties from Lookout Peak on Pine Mountain, Letcher County

Pike and Floyd counties from Lookout Peak on Pine Mountain, Letcher County

A view of Pike and Floyd counties from Lookout Peak on Pine Mountain. Pike County was named in honor of Zebulon Pike, a War of 1812 veteran who was killed in action. Courtesy the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Sanders, “Pike County, Kentucky,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed June 24, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/91.

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