Overview History of Bromley
The settlement of Bromley can be traced to the year 1784, when Prettyman
Perry received a land grant from the United States Government of 2,000
acres. Soon thereafter, the Perry family began constructing a home on
the property. This home, called the Landmark, still stands today on Shelby
The need for a suitable road to link the western section of Kenton County
to the City of Ludlow began to be discussed in 1846. In that year, George
Anderson, who lived at the mouth of the Dry Creek between Ludlow and Bromley,
held a meeting of interested residents. This group established a corporation
to build the necessary road. Funds were raised and construction on the
Dry Creek Turnpike (current Route 8) began. The turnpike provided easy
access to employment opportunities in Ludlow and Covington. Now, residents
could live in Bromley and do business in these neighboring cities. The
result was a population boom from Bromley. Initially, the tollgate for
the turnpike was located on the east side of Pleasant Run Creek in Ludlow.
In 1872, the tollgate was removed to the Bromley side of the creek.
The construction of the turnpike through Bromley made the area a more
desirable residential location. In 1848, Charles Collins acquired a portion
of the original Perry estate. Collins immediately commissioned the design
for a small town on his property. He named the town Bromley, after his
hometown of Bromley, England.
By the 1860s, a public school was in operation. In 1893, the citizens
of the town financed the construction of a permanent schoolhouse. The
one-story brick building was constructed on Shelby Street.
As the village grew, residents began discussing the need for street and
other improvements. In 1890, town meetings were held and the residents
decided that incorporation should be sought. The Commonwealth of Kentucky
officially approved the incorporation of the City of Bromley on May 23,
The 1890s witnessed the creation of two churches in the community. In
1892, a number of Bromley residents established the Bromley Christian
Church on Kenton Street. Two years later, the First German Reformed Church
was founded (currently Immanuel United Church of Christ).
A volunteer fire department was established in 1895 following a destructive
fire that destroyed the Highhouse and Hilker Grocery. Residents, however,
soon lost interest and the department dissolved. Another tragic fire in
1900 clearly demonstrated the need for a fire department. This fire destroyed
eight homes and businesses. The citizens of the town met on October 4,
1900 and established the Bromley Volunteer Fire Department which still
In 1936, Bromley's school system was merged with the Kenton County School
District. This merger gave Bromley residents the opportunity to attend
grades K-12 without paying tuition. Previous to this time, Bromley residents
who wished to attend high school enrolled in the Ludlow schools. A new
Bromley Elementary School was constructed in 1950 by the Kenton County
Bromley suffered from periodic flooding throughout its history. Residents
had become accustomed to moving out of their homes when the waters of
the Ohio rose. No one, however, was prepared for the 1937 flood. A large
portion of the city was submerged and the city was cut off from its neighbors
for days. Homes were lifted from their foundations and carried down the
river. The 1937 flood gave the residents of Bromley the impetus to construct
Highwater Road. The road linked the city to Crescent Springs and would
provided a needed exit route out of Bromley during any future flooding.
The 1950s brought controversy to the small community. In 1954, the Sanitation
District No. 1 constructed a large sewage treatment plant in the city
on Pike Street. Bromley residents opposed the facility from the beginning
and argued that it should have been built in a more rural setting. The
relationship between the plant and the city remained tense for several
decades. Finally, the district closed the plant in 1979.
In 1982, the International Catfish Ranch opened in the former sanitation
building. The restaurant and entertainment facility, however, was not
a financial success. Several other restaurants followed, but none succeeded.
The facility has been empty since 1994.
Kenton County School officials began plans to replace the Bromley Elementary
School building in the late 1980s. The new school, however, was built
in neighboring Villa Hills. In 1992, Bromley Elementary School closed.
In time, the building was remodeled for use as an apartment building.
Bromley students now attend River Ridge School in Villa Hills, Turkey
Foot Middle School and Dixie Heights High School.
Bromley continues to be a small, tight-knit residential community. The
churches and the volunteer fire department continue to draw the residents
together and provide a strong sense of belonging and community pride.