Overview History of Lewisburg
The Lewisburg neighborhood of Covington is located on hilly terrain
in the western section of the city. Originally, much of this land (87
acres) was owned by Dr. Harvey Lewis. As the property began to be divided
up into lots, residents began referring to the area as Lewisburg. Many
of the original residents were German Immigrants.
In 1835,the Lexington Turnpike (current Dixie Highway) was chartered by
the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The turnpike entered Covington at Pike Street.
This portion of the road was completed in 1837. The construction of the
Lexington Turnpike brought about a building boom in the Lewisburg neighborhood.
The first lots were subdivided in c. 1842. Between 1845 and 1856, six
additional subdivisions were created in the Lewisburg area. Eventually,
the community was annexed by the City of Covington.
businessmen found the Lewisburg neighborhood attractive. The Willow Run
Creek provided the neighborhood with a cheap source of water for industrial
use. Land was also cheaper in Lewisburg than in Covington. The industries
and businesses that located in Lewisburg included: Several meat packing
concerns and slaughterhouses, a number of breweries and several saloons
and beer gardens. An ample supply of jobs continued to attract many new
residents to the neighborhood. By the 1890s, two breweries and seven slaughterhouses
were in operation in Lewisburg.
In 1848, the Catholic families of the neighborhood pooled their resources
to establish a parochial school. In 1854, St. John German Catholic Church
followed. St. John Church and School quickly became the focus of the Lewisburg
Neighborhood. German Catholics dominated the community for many years.
In fact, no Protestant Churches existed in the neighborhood nor was there
ever a need for a public school in the Lewisburg community.
1900, the Lewisburg neighborhood was almost entirely developed. The community
was bordered by hills to the south and west and by the Willow Run to the
east. These physical barriers kept the community from any additional expansion.
In 1914, St. John Parish abandoned their original location at the corner
of Leonard and Worth Streets for a new piece of property on Pike Street.
That year a new school was constructed on the Pike Street property. A
new German Gothic Revival church was completed in 1922.
The Lewisburg neighborhood remained a working-middle class community during
the years before World War II. The neighborhood, however, changed drastically
in the late 1940s. Long-time residents began selling their homes and moving
to the new suburbs located along the Dixie Highway. The population of
the neighborhood began to decline.
The 1950s brought another challenge to the Lewisburg neighborhood. The
proposed route for Interstate 75 followed the Willow Run through much
of Covington. When the interstate was actually built, a number of homes
in the Lewisburg neighborhood were acquired by the federal government
and demolished. Many of these homes were the newer residences in the neighborhood.
The construction of the interstate and a declining population made the
Lewisburg area a less attractive residential area. Many owner occupied
homes became rental property, and others were divided into small low rent
The establishment of the Lewisburg Neighborhood Association (LNA) in 1993
marked the beginning of efforts to turn around the neighborhood. The group
worked to place the entire neighborhood on the National Register of Historic
Places. This was accomplished in 1994. The LNA also sponsored community
cleanup activities, prepared a development plan for the community, presented
awards to residents who beautifully maintained their property and restored
the Father Henry Hanses Park.
Today the neighborhood is a mixture of homes, businesses and entertainment
establishments. The neighborhood is no longer a German Catholic enclave.
The residents represent diverse social, racial and economic groups.