Kentucky Archaeological Survey

The Davis Bottom History Preservation Project

The Davis Bottom History Preservation Project

Project Summary

Davis Bottom is a residential community located in a valley west of downtown Lexington. Established in the 1860s, Davis Bottom has served as a “portal” community for several generations of African American, European and Appalachian families who moved to Lexington in search of jobs, education, and a better quality of life. Significant portions of the community are being impacted by the construction of a new roadway - the Newtown Pike Extension. The Davis Bottom History Preservation Project is a collaborate effort among scholars, educators and residents to document and preserve the history of this tight-knit, working-class neighborhood.

Figure 1: WPA photograph of DeRoode Street in Davis Bottom, 1940. Courtesy: Special Collections, University of Kentucky.

This educational project features four integrated components: 1) “Davis Bottom: Rare History, Valuable Lives,” a one-hour documentary distributed by Kentucky Educational Television (KET); 2) “Davis Bottom: Living Memories,” an oral history DVD with resident interviews; 3), a companion website with information, images and educational materials; and, 4) a Digital Media Archive that preserves all of the archival materials used in the project.

All of the information, images, primary documents, professional reports, essays, resource links and educational materials are provided for personal and/or educational use by viewers, teachers and students. Please contact The Kentucky Archaeological Survey for any additional uses of materials from The Davis Bottom History Preservation Project.


This public education project is made possible with support from The Federal Highway Administration, The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, The Kentucky Heritage Council, and Voyageur Media Group, Inc.


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