High Bridge, Kentucky

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This article is about a town in Kentucky. For a railroad bridge crossing the Kentucky River, see High Bridge of Kentucky.
High Bridge, 2008
High Bridge Historical Marker
High Bridge Historical Marker

High Bridge is a small unincorporated community in Jessamine County, Kentucky, United States. It lies along the lower reaches of the Kentucky River near the confluence of the Dix River with the Kentucky. The community is part of the Lexington–Fayette Metropolitan Statistical Area.

A post office was established in 1879 in the community then known as North Tower.[1] In 1888, the town was renamed for the landmark High Bridge, a nearly 300-foot high railroad bridge over the Kentucky River. The Kentucky River runs through Kentucky River Palisades for much of the lower portion of its length. Most of the bridges over it in the area are relatively high ones.

High Bridge was opened in 1876 and was the first cantilever bridge in North America. Standing 275 feet over the river between the Palisades, it first carried both passenger and freight trains. The American Society of Civil Engineers has designated it a National Engineering Landmark. The 1876 bridge was replaced in 1911 by a more robust bridge in the same place. This is the current bridge, which stands 308 feet above the river. Freight trains of the Norfolk Southern Railway still use this bridge several times a day.

The Palisades were a popular spot for picnics and dances. An open-air roofed ballroom was built there for dances and has been preserved. A small playground and park adjoin the Palisades property.

A brand of bottled water named for the community depicts the bridge on its label. Highbridge Springs water is also well-known to the University of Kentucky Wildcats. The Wildcat mascot is used also on the bottle label to show support to the team. The bottle name is Swish.

Bethel Academy, the first Methodist school west of the Appalachians, was established in the High Bridge vicinity in 1790.[2]


  1. ^ Rennick, Robert M. (1987). Kentucky Place Names. University Press of Kentucky. p. 139. Retrieved 2013-04-28. 
  2. ^ Young, Bennett Henderson. A History of Jessamine County, Kentucky, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1898, Courier-Journal Job Printing, 1898, 171.

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Coordinates: 37°49′27″N 84°43′06″W / 37.82417°N 84.71833°W / 37.82417; -84.71833