Frankfort and Cincinnati Railroad

Historical Marker #2408 in Bourbon County remembers the Frankfort and Cincinnati Railroad and the Centerville depot.

Although called the Frankfort and Cincinnati Railroad, the line only ran the 40 miles from Frankfort to Paris. It operated until the 1970s.

In addition to serving the railroad, the Centerville depot building also housed the office for the Centerville Commission Company, a dealer in coal, grain, and fertilizer. The second story of the depot was also used for the lodge for Modern Woodmen of America for a time.

The first locomotives on the rail line were steam powered, some of which were converted to diesel after World War II. Passenger service included an intercity bus engine, painted red and called the “Cardinal.” The Cardinal is now restored and located at the Kentucky Railroad Museum in New Haven, Kentucky.

Centerville, halfway between Lexington and Cynthiana, and between Paris and Georgetown, was a bustling commercial center at one time in Bourbon County. During World War II, potatoes grown in Idaho were shipped by the carloads to the distilleries in Frankfort and Stamping Ground to be used in the manufacture of butyl rubber, an important product for the war effort.

Because the Frankfort and Cincinnati Railroad served so many distilleries it was known as "The Whiskey Route." When the Frankfort and Cincinnati tried to abandon the entire railroad in 1967, Frankfort distilleries objected, but in 1970 the final 18.2 miles of the railroad were abandoned between Georgetown and Elsinore, Kentucky.

George R. Burberry took charge in 1892 as the first station agent for the Frankfort and Cincinnati Railroad Depot and held the position until 1938 when his son Clyde Burberry and his daughter, Kittie Burberry May, ran the depot until 1960.