Why are so many Bluegrass roads “pikes”?

Many of our favorite rural listings can be found on old turnpikes. From Iron Works and Newtown to Pisgah and Greenwich, the Bluegrass is bursting with “pikes.” The origins of early Kentucky travel remains imprinted through the many roads bearing the names of these historic turnpikes.

As the Bluegrass became more connected, travel of greater distances was required. Private landowners (and later companies) took advantage of the travel boom and created their own toll roads or turnpikes. Wooden barriers blocked access to the road ahead until a toll was collected.

After payment, an operator turned a wooden pike to allow passage. These early pikes were often later incorporated into the public road system.

Turnpikes had been used for centuries in Europe, especially Britain. Early Kentuckians of British origin borrowed the idea from their forebears, adapting it for the Bluegrass.

A few of our favorite sold listings can be found on Newtown Pike, Iron Works Pike, Old Frankfort Pike, McCracken Pike, Carrick Pike, Troy Pike, & more.

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