kids encyclopedia robot

Pikeville, Kentucky facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Pikeville, Kentucky
City of Pikeville
Main Street in Pikeville
Main Street in Pikeville
Official seal of Pikeville, Kentucky
For Progress
Location in Pike County and the commonwealth of Kentucky
Location in Pike County and the commonwealth of Kentucky
Country United States
State Kentucky
County Pike
Established 1824
Incorporated 1848
Named for Pike County, Kentucky
 • Type Council/Manager
 • Total 20.99 sq mi (54.36 km2)
 • Land 20.99 sq mi (54.36 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
679 ft (207 m)
 • Total 7,754
 • Density 369.41/sq mi (142.63/km2)
  U.S. Census Bureau, 2020
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s) 606 Exchanges: 218,432,433,437,502
FIPS code 21-60852
GNIS feature ID 0510155

Pikeville is a city in and the county seat of Pike County, Kentucky, United States. During the 2020 U.S. Census, the population within Pikeville's city limits was 7,754. In Kentucky's current city classification system, Pikeville is a home rule-class city, a category that includes all of the state's more than 400 cities except for the two largest, Louisville and Lexington.


York House, Main Street, Pikeville
The historic York House, built 1864
Pikeville, Kentucky aerial
Aerial photo of Pikeville

On March 25, 1822, state officials decided to build a new county seat named "Liberty", 1.5 miles (2.4 km) below the mouth of the Russell Fork River. Public disapproval of the site led a new decision on December 24, 1823, to establish the county seat on land donated by local farmer Elijah Adkins. This settlement was established as the town of Pike after the county in 1824. This was changed in 1829 to Piketon and the town was incorporated under that name in 1848. In 1850, this was changed to the present Pikeville. Pikeville was host to a part of the Hatfield-McCoy feud, and patriarch Randall McCoy as well as his wife and daughter are buried on a hillside overlooking the town.

The National Civic League designated Pikeville as an All-American City in 1965.

From 1973 to 1987, the Pikeville Cut-Through was constructed immediately west of downtown. The massive rock cut is one of the largest civil engineering projects in the western hemisphere, moving nearly 18,000,000 cubic yards (14,000,000 m3) of soil and rock. The project alleviated traffic congestion in downtown and eliminated flooding by rerouting the Levisa Fork River.

The city has been a center of rapid development in Eastern Kentucky since the 1990s. Pikeville College (now the University of Pikeville) opened the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1997. The university is currently planning to open its school of optometry, the first in Central Appalachia, in 2016. In October 2005, the 7,000 seat, multi-purpose Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center opened in downtown. Pikeville Medical Center has established itself as a regional healthcare center. In 2013, construction began on a shopping center known as Pikeville Commons. The first stores opened in the shopping center in October 2014. In 2014, a new 11-story clinic and a 10-story parking structure was completed at a cost of $150 million. The hospital has also become a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network.


Pikeville is located at 37°28′45″N 82°31′08″W / 37.47917°N 82.51889°W / 37.47917; -82.51889 (37.477094, -82.530111). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city covers a total land area of 15.4 square miles (40 km2), all land. As of March 2009, Pikeville set its new city limits to be 0.3 mile from its county line. This significantly affected the city of Coal Run Village, which was previously on the city limit of Pikeville.

The city is located in the Appalachian Mountains, along the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River. The downtown area is built in a narrow valley in a bend of the Levisa Fork that was bypassed in 1987 with the completion of the Pikeville Cut-Through, while places such as Weddington Square Plaza are built in a broader part of the river valley.


Climate data for Pikeville, Kentucky
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 82
Average high °F (°C) 44
Average low °F (°C) 24
Record low °F (°C) −18
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.72
Source: The Weather Channel.


Pike County Courthouse in Pikeville
Old Pike County Courthouse
Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 140
1880 246 75.7%
1890 456 85.4%
1900 508 11.4%
1910 1,280 152.0%
1920 2,110 64.8%
1930 3,376 60.0%
1940 4,185 24.0%
1950 5,154 23.2%
1960 4,754 −7.8%
1970 5,205 9.5%
1980 4,756 −8.6%
1990 6,324 33.0%
2000 6,295 −0.5%
2010 6,903 9.7%
2020 7,754 12.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
Pikeville College Academy Building
The Academy Building at the University of Pikeville

As of the 2020 United States Census, there were 7,754 people living in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 93.8% White, 2.9% Black, 0.5% Native American, 1.3% Asian alone, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 1.5% from two or more races, and 2.2% Hispanic or Latino.

As of the census of 2000, there were 6,295 people, 2,705 households, and 1,563 families living in the city. The population density was 408.0 people per square mile (157.5/km2). There were 2,981 housing units at an average density of 193.2 per square mile (74.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.58% White, 2.64% African American, 0.17% Native American, 1.25% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.25% from other races, and 1.05% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.40% of the population.

There were 2,763 households, out of which 29.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.0% were married couples living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.2% were non-families. 39.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.14 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 22.2% under the age of 18, 12.9% from 18 to 24, 27.9% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 15.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 85.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $22,026, and the median income for a family was $36,792. Males had a median income of $42,298 versus $19,306 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,426. About 21.2% of families and 25.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 36.7% of those under age 18 and 15.8% of those age 65 or over.


Hillbilly Days Main Street
Crowded Hambley Boulevard during Hillbilly Days 2013

Hillbilly Days is an annual festival held in mid-April in Pikeville, Kentucky celebrating the best of Appalachian culture. The event began by local Shriners as a fundraiser to support the Shriners Children's Hospital. It has grown since its beginning in 1976 and now is the second largest festival held in the state of Kentucky. Artists and craftspeople showcase their talents and sell their works on display. Nationally renowned musicians as well as the best of the regional mountain musicians share six different stages located throughout the downtown area of Pikeville. Want-to-be hillbillies from across the nation compete to come up with the wildest Hillbilly outfit. Fans of "mountain music" come from around the United States to hear this annual concentrated gathering of talent. The festival embraces the area's culture and past through company, music, and costume. The proceeds from the festival go to Shriners Hospitals for Children. The festival serves to honor and recognize the heritage of Appalachia, while poking fun at the stereotype associated with the region.

In the fall of 2005 the Eastern Kentucky Expo Center opened in downtown Pikeville. The center, which seats 7,000, features numerous events including world-renowned concerts and shows. The city is also home to the Pikeville Concert Association which secures renowned cultural events for the area. These events usually take place at Booth Auditorium on the campus of the University of Pikeville.

The Expo Center will be home to the East Kentucky Energy of the American Basketball Association starting in fall 2010, and starting in spring 2011 it became home to the Kentucky Drillers of the Continental Indoor Football League.

In the Summer of 2014, Jenny Wiley Theatre opened a 200-seat indoor professional theater in downtown Pikeville.

The Hatfield and McCoy River Trails, located on the Levisa Fork River, opened on April 26, 2014. Construction of a new zipline complex began in September 2014 in Bob Amos Park. The project cost $500,000 and opened in April 2015. Alltech of Lexington has also announced the construction of a distillery, brewery and visitors center in downtown.

Sister city


Those schools located within the Pikeville city limits include an asterisk. The remainder are located within Pike County and are part of the Pike County Public School System, but outside of the city limits.

Elementary schools

  • *Pikeville Elementary School
  • *St. Francis of Assisi School
  • Christ Central School
  • Myra Christian Academy
  • Mullins Elementary School
  • Millard Elementary School
  • Dorton Elementary School
  • Johns Creek Elementary School
  • Elkhorn City Elementary School
  • Kimper Elementary School
  • Bevins Elementary School
  • Feds Creek Elementary School
  • Northpoint Academy
  • Phelps Day Treatment Center
  • Phelps Elementary School
  • Shelby Valley Day Treatment Center
  • Belfry Elementary School
  • Valley Elementary School

Middle schools

  • *Pikeville Jr. High School
  • Belfry Middle School
  • Valley Middles School
  • Dorton Middle School
  • Phelps Middle School
  • Johns Creek School
  • Mullins Middle School
  • Elkhorn City Middle School
  • Feds Creek Middle School
  • Millard Middle School
  • Kimper Middle School

High schools

Five high schools are served by the Pikeville post office, but only Pikeville High is located within the city limits.

  • *Pikeville High School — part of the Pikeville Independent Schools, whose district covers the city proper
  • Belfry High School — part of the Pike County Public School System
  • Pike County Central High School — part of the Pike County Public School System
  • Phelps High School — part of the Pike County Public School System
  • Shelby Valley High School — part of the Pike County Public School System
  • East Ridge High School — part of the Pike County Public School System


  • University of Pikeville, a private 4-year institution affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA), is located in Pikeville. The college is one of the smallest in the nation to have an osteopathic medicine program as part of its curriculum. Founded in May 1996, the University of Pikeville Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine is one of three medical schools in the state of Kentucky.
  • National College
  • Big Sandy Community and Technical College


A pack horse library was established for library services in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

Pikeville has a lending library, a branch of the Pike County Public Library.

Notable people

  • Woody Blackburn, professional golfer
  • Robert Damron, professional golfer
  • Murray Garvin, basketball head coach, South Carolina State University men's basketball
  • Patty Loveless, country music singer
  • John W. Langley, American politician
  • Katherine G. Langley, American politician
  • Jerry Layne, MLB umpire
  • Randolph (Randall) McCoy, Patriarch of McCoy family during the Hatfield-McCoy Feud
  • Mark Reynolds, baseball player for Colorado Rockies
  • John Paul Riddle, self taught aviator and co-founder of Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Jack Smith, baseball player for Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Effie Waller Smith, poet
  • Preston Spradlin, basketball head coach, Morehead State
  • Jonny Venters, baseball player for Washington Nationals
  • Dwight Yoakam, country singer-songwriter, actor, and film director
  • Ryan Hall, American YouTuber, and Internet personality

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Pikeville (Kentucky) para niños

kids search engine
Pikeville, Kentucky Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.