Explore Floyd County, Kentucky

Located in eastern Kentucky, Floyd County was named for early Kentucky explorer and surveyor, John Floyd. The county was established by an act of the Kentucky legislature in December 1799, and was formed the following summer from parts of Fleming, Montgomery, and Mason counties.

The rugged Appalachian Mountains and the tributaries of the Big Sandy River have influenced much of Floyd County's history. Floyd County's early history includes the famous frontiersman Daniel Boone, who discovered an important source of salt there. Solomon Stratton was another early visitor to the county. Stratton, a Revolutionary War veteran and Virginia native, along with his extended family eventually developed a permanent community on Mare Creek in the 1790s.
The county seat of Prestonsburg was one of eastern Kentucky's first centers of commerce. Prestonsburg's geographical position along the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River and its significance made it the scene of early Civil War engagements at Ivy Mountain and Middle Creek. The Civil War also brought notable military personalities to Floyd County such future president James Garfield and General William “Bull” Nelson.

After the Civil War, Floyd County's natural resources attracted industrialists to the area. Timber and coal were their primary focus. In order to extract these valuable assets railroads eventually penetrated the mountainous region. With the opening of the railroads in the early-twentieth century other internal improvements such as better roads, bridges, and dams followed.

The people and places of Floyd County have left a lasting impact on both state and national history. Many of these people, places, and events are examined here. We hope you will use this app to learn more about Floyd County's interesting past.

County Named, 1799

Historical Marker #817 in Prestonsburg remembers the life of Captain John Floyd, for whom Floyd County is named. Floyd County, located in the eastern part of the state, was the fortieth county established. Named for John Floyd, a Virginia…

Boone Salt Springs

Historical Marker #151 in Floyd County notes the discovery of a salt spring by famous explorer Daniel Boone. Boone found the spring during an extended hunting expedition into what would become Kentucky. Salt was a vital commodity in colonial…

Stratton Settlement

Historical Marker #690 in Floyd County remembers Solomon Stratton, founder of the Stratton Settlement. Solomon Stratton was born about 1745 in Amherst County, Virginia. During the Revolutionary War, Stratton was a member of a local militia unit…

Battle of Ivy Mountain

Historical Marker #164 near Prestonsburg commemorates the Battle of Ivy Mountain, an early Union victory in the Civil War. The first year of the conflict brought several reverses to Union forces. In the summer of 1861, the first large battle of the…

Battle of Middle Creek

Historical Markers #85 and #2093 commemorate the Battle of Middle Creek, fought near Prestonsburg on January 10, 1862. The battle was crucial in the struggle to control the Big Sandy Valley, and future U. S. president James Garfield won an early…

Garfield Place

Historical Marker #172 in Prestonsburg notes the location of the house built in 1857 by John M. Burns, which was used as a temporary headquarters for Colonel James Garfield after the Battle of Middle Creek. James Garfield was born into a modest…

The Samuel May House

Located in Prestonsburg, Kentucky, Historical Marker #2018 commemorates the Samuel May House. Built in 1817, the house was the hub of a 350-acre farm that served as a recruiting and supply post for the Confederate Army during the Civil War. The…

Morgan’s Last Raid

Historical Marker #623 in Prestonsburg remembers Confederate General John Hunt Morgan's last raid into Kentucky during the Civil War. After Morgan was captured on an extended cavalry raid into Indiana and Ohio in the summer of 1863, he served…

Little Floyd

Historical Marker #905 in Floyd County notes one of the most unique tracts of land in Kentucky. Floyd County was originally composed of 3,600 square miles of land when it was founded in 1799. Throughout the nineteenth century, sections of the…

Prestonsburg Toll Bridge

Historical Marker #2117 in Prestonsburg commemorates the historic toll bridge fondly known as the "Old Red Bridge." In the early 1800s, Prestonsburg was a small but growing community. In 1810, only six families resided in town. The town…