Member Spotlight Archive

Williamstown, Kentucky

Experience southern hospitality where it all begins ...
Published July 2012

The City of Williamstown, located in northern Kentucky with easy access to Lexington, Louisville and Greater Cincinnati, is the county seat of Grant County. Known for its southern hospitality and beautiful surroundings, the county is rich in natural beauty with many lakes, streams, ridges and rolling hills. Cultural, educational, employment and business opportunities are boundless and few counties can match.

Nearly two centuries of history
Williamstown was founded in 1820 by Captain William Arnold, a Revolutionary War veteran, who also served as the first sheriff of Grant County. The town was first named Philadelphia, which was later changed to Williamstown in honor of Arnold after it was discovered that another Philadelphia, Ky., already existed. The city’s early history is showcased by Arnold’s Log Home, which is maintained by the Grant County Historical Society on Williamstown’s Main Street. The home is open to visitors, who can get a glimpse of early 19th century life and enjoy heritage demonstrations that include chair weaving and quilting.

A Playful City with expanding recreational attractions
In addition to a vibrant downtown district, Williamstown offers many recreational activities to its 3,500 residents and many visitors throughout the year. Helping confirm that is Williamstown’s recent designation as a 2012 Playful City USA community. That honor is part of a national recognition program by the national nonprofit KaBOOM! to honor cities and towns that make play a priority and use innovative programs to get children active, playing and healthy.

Williamstown’s three recreational parks offer facilities for play and opportunities to enjoy nature that make them great places for families and visitors to spend the day. Williamstown is also home to beautiful Williamstown Lake, which supplies commercial and launching facilities. This 300-acre lake is known as a recreation destination, with its 32 miles of shoreline making fishing accessible and enjoyable for all. With more than 450 waterfront properties, the lake makes a perfect location for year-round and vacation homes.

The Ark Encounter is the newest recreational feature coming to Williamstown. The first phase of this 800-acre attraction, expected to be completed in 2014, will feature a full-scale, all-wood ark based on the dimensions provided in the Bible. It should become the largest timber-frame in the U.S. Plans for Ark Encounter also include a walled city, the Tower of Babel, first-century Middle Eastern village, walk-through aviary, large petting zoo and other attractions. Its design will be family friendly and environmentally friendly.

Variety of festivals
Williamstown also hosts numerous festivals each year. The Derby Day Festival and a Derby Dash Run/Walk are held the first Saturday of each May, a day filled with activities centered on the Kentucky Derby. Paddle Lake Williamstown, held every August, features numerous kayak and canoe activities and races on Lake Williamstown. In September, the Marigold Festival helps mark the beginning of autumn. The 2nd Sunday, which is coordinated in cooperation with the University of Kentucky and the Grant County Extension Agents, offers numerous activities for the young and old alike on the second Sunday of October each year. No matter what your preference or choice of activity, Williamstown has something for everyone.

Serving Williamstown residents
The City of Williamstown, which has been a member of AMP since 2008, provides many services to its residents that make it a great place to live, work, play and do business. These include high-speed wireless Internet, cable, water, sewer and electric. Williamstown Municipal Electric, established in 1898, serves more than 1,700 residential, commercial and industrial customers.

Come visit Williamstown, where many come for the day but decide to stay for a lifetime! For more information on all that the City of Williamstown has to offer, visit