Boone County Kentucky Historical Society

Establishment of Burlington, KY - 1800

The Establishment of Burlington, Kentucky
Wilmington, later re-named Burlington, was established 20 Oct 1800 on 74 acres in the heart of Boone County. The land in the northern half of the town was owned by John H. Craig, and the southern half  by Robert Johnson. The original name of the place was Craig's Camp. The town itself is laid out in a large grid of twelve blocks around a central town square. The shape of the town is rectangular, measuring 115 poles by 88 poles (1,897.5 feet by 1,452 feet). The numbering system of the lots is evidence that the primary object of the proprietors was financial. The lots are numbered in a spiral pattern, from lot one, in the center of town, just behind the old court house. They move around the square, until they come to lot 16, which is directly across Jefferson Street from lot one.  Lot 17 is directly behind lot one, and the numbering continues around the square again, until every lot, up to 108, the last of the original lots, is numbered.
By knowing the lot number you have a fairly good idea of its value, since apparently it was considered that value is in proportion to its proximity to the town square. This should be evident also from the fact that the lots closest to the square are smallest, the next row twice that size, and the lots further out are twice that size again.
Boone County Court Order Book A-22; 20 Oct 1800:
"On the motion of Robert Johnson & John H. Craig who made Satisfactory proof to the Court that they had advertised and given legal notice of this motion, a Town is therefore established on their lands at this place agreeable to the following boundaries, to wit: Beginning at a Stake between two Beech Saplins (sic) [trees], thirty six poles two feet south from the South West corner of the Courthouse, thence North eighty seven East fifty seven & a half poles, thence North three West eighty eight poles thence South 87 West one hundred fifteen poles, thence South three East eighty eight poles thence North eighty seven East fifty seven & one half poles to the Beginning, Containing seventy four acres which said seventy four acres is Vested in William Cave, Cave Johnson, John Love, and William Graves, as trustees of the said Town to be called and known by the name Wilmington and that they act thereupon agreeable to law; whereupon the said Robert Johnson and John H. Craig entered into bond with Cave Johnson their Security in the penalty of one thousand pounds Conditioned as the Law directs."