It is the location of the Kentucky Horse Park, The Red Mile, and Keeneland race courses, Rupp Arena, the world's largest basketball-specific arena, Transylvania University, the University of Kentucky, and Bluegrass Community and Technical College.This area of fertile soil and abundant wildlife was long occupied by varying tribes of Native Americans.While Kentucky stayed in the Union during the American Civil War, the residents of different regions of the state had divided loyalties. Founded as one of the first drug rehabilitation clinics in the nation, the ARC was affiliated with a federal prison.
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It was the first of many American places to be named after the Massachusetts town.
The risk of Indian attacks delayed permanent settlement for four years.
In the city, slaves worked primarily as domestic servants and artisans, although they also worked with merchants, shippers, and in a wide variety of trades.
Plantations raised commodity crops of tobacco and hemp, and thoroughbred horse breeding and racing became established in this part of the state.
The country around Lexington for many miles in every direction, is equal in beauty and fertility to anything the imagination can paint and is already in a high state of cultivation.
Residents have fondly continued to refer to Lexington as "The Athens of the West" since Espy's poem dedicated to the city.
In the early 19th century, planter John Wesley Hunt became the first millionaire west of the Alleghenies.
The growing town was devastated by a cholera epidemic in 1833, which had spread throughout the waterways of the Mississippi and Ohio valleys: 500 of 7,000 Lexington residents died within two months, including nearly one-third of the congregation of Christ Church Episcopal.
Additional cholera outbreaks occurred in 1848–49 and the early 1850s.