|Motto: "Proud to be a Kentucky Renaissance City"|
Location of Versailles, Kentucky
|Established||June 23, 1792|
|• Mayor||Brian Traugott|
|• Total||2.8 sq mi (7 km2)|
|• Land||2.8 sq mi (7 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Elevation||892 ft (272 m)|
|• Density||2,976.7/sq mi (1,149.3/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|ZIP codes||40383, 40384, 40386|
|GNIS feature ID||0506028|
Versailles is a city in Woodford County, Kentucky, United States and is located near Lexington. It is part of the Lexington-Fayette Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 8,568 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Woodford County. The city's name is pronounced differently from the French city of the same name: i// vər-SAYLZ.
Versailles was founded on June 23, 1792, on 80 acres (320,000 m2) of land owned by Hezekiah Briscoe, at the time only a child. His guardian, Major Marquis Calmes, named the town after Versailles, France, in honor of General Lafayette, a family friend. In the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky, which became known for its thoroughbred horses and other livestock, the city was officially incorporated on February 13, 1837. It was briefly occupied during the American Civil War by both Confederate and Union forces.
Thoroughbred farms include
- Airdrie Stud
- Ashford Stud
- Ashview Farm
- Big Sink Farm, a division of Three Chimneys Farm
- Brookdale Farm
- Buck Pond Farm
- Fallbrook Farm
- Gainsborough Farm, a division of Darley America
- Glenwood Farm
- Lane's End Farm
- Pin Oak Stud
- Richland Hills Farm
- Rose Hill Farm
- Stonewall Farm
- Sun Valley Farm
- Three Chimneys Farm
- Two Bucks Farm
- WinStar Farm
Standardbred farms include Brittany Farms. Lenore Farms is for Saddlebred horses.
Most of the small-town scenes in the movie Elizabethtown (film) (2005) locations were filmed here. Versailles was also the setting of the movie Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story (2005). The cemetery scene in the film, Secretariat (2010) about one of Kentucky's major horses, was filmed at Pisgah Pike Church.
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,511 people, 3,160 households, and 2,110 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,668.7 per square mile (1,030.4/km2). There were 3,330 housing units at an average density of 1,183.2 per square mile (456.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.18% White, 0.67% African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.34% from other races, and 1.30% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.29% of the population.
There were 3,160 households out of which 29.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.7% were married couples living together, 14.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.2% were non-families. 28.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.89.
23.2% of the population was under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 29.4% from 25 to 44, 23.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 88.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was US $35,052, and the median income for a family was $41,567. Males had a median income of $31,056 versus $24,488 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,489. About 11.1% of families and 14.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.0% of those under age 18 and 20.9% of those age 65 or over.
Notable natives and residents
- Ben Chandler, Kentucky Attorney General and former U.S. Congressman
- Happy Chandler, Kentucky Governor and Commissioner of Baseball
- Martha Layne Collins, Kentucky Governor
- John Conlee, Country music singer
- John J. Crittenden, Kentucky Governor, U.S. Congressman, U.S. Senator, U.S. Attorney General
- George Cruikshank, historian and editor of the Birmingham Ledger
- William Stamps Farish IV, Owner of Lane's End Farm
- Randall L. Gibson (1832-1892), politician born here, elected as US Representative and Senator from Louisiana, serving from 1875-1892
- Virginia Cary Hudson (1894-1954), American writer
- Brereton Jones, Kentucky Governor
- Edward Platt, actor who played "The Chief" in Get Smart
- William Shatner, actor and Saddlebred owner
- Joseph Clay Stiles Blackburn, U.S. Congressman, U.S. Senator
- Kenny Troutt, businessman -owner of Excel Communications and Winstar Farm
- Henry Ward, Kentucky Commissioner of Highways and Commissioner of State Parks
- Ernest E. West, raised in a Versailles orphanage, became a US Army soldier and was awarded the Medal of Honor
- Charles Scott, Brig. General during the American Revolution and fourth Governor of Kentucky
- Stephen S. Sawyer, writer