General James Taylor Park and the James Taylor Mansion
General James Taylor Park is a small urban park in Newport, Kentucky. It is located on Riverboat Row and has perhaps the most spectacular views of Cincinnati. It overlooks the Ohio and Licking rivers and the skyline of Cincinnati. The park has is family friendly and features benches and a play area. For the really daring, the park features a helicopter tour. The park is named for General James Taylor, Jr. a founder of Newport, Kentucky. The land has a rich history it was previously the site of Newport Barracks from 1803 to 1893. It is very near the beautiful Mansion Hill and the landmark home of General James Taylor. (James Taylor Mansion)
Backstory and Context
Newport, Kentucky is rich with history. Newport.It was founded by James Taylor and his family. Hubbard and James Taylor (brothes) surveyed 1500 acres for their father James Taylor. It took a long time to get a clear deed and have their warrant accepted. During the years it took to have their paperwork completed they drafted the initial 500 acre plat to the City of Newport, named after Christopher Newport. Christopher Newport was captain of the Susan Constant. The Susan Constant was one of the ships that delivered the Jamestown colonist to the New World in 1607.
Taylor immediately began about selling lots in the City of Newport which was officially founded in 1795. The original ledger is in the archives of Northern Kentucky University. It is hand bound on handmade paper, General Taylor made a careful accounting of the purchases.He noted the name of the buyer of each lot. He wrote the amounts and the payments made, usually in English Pounds Sterling..
He was a mogul of the day...
The move of the United States military presence from Fort Washington on the Ohio side of the river to the Newport Barracks was based on James Taylor's influence in Washington; the ferry between Newport and Cincinnati was a Taylor enterprise, as was the Newport Manufacturing company.
Approximately half of the current city of Newport was subdivided by James Taylor and his heirs, and many of the buildings were financed by the James Taylor and Sons Bank.
The lumber for all of the buildings was cut from Taylor land and milled in Taylor sawmills. The Taylor family also made bricks in their brickyard owned .Numerous jobs were offered by the Newport Manufacturing Company and other Taylor companies all of which led to Newport's expansion in the 1800s..The name of the family home was initially called Bellevue or Belle Vue which means Beautiful View. The family home is located in an area of Kentucky known as Mansion Hill. Bellevue has many beautiful rooms. All of the rooms have been restored. The James Taylor Park and the James Taylor Mansion both commemorate the Taylor family.
The neighboring bridge built in 1995 is called the Taylor-Southgate Bridge. It was also named after James Taylor and Richard Southgate they were both important early settlers of the region. The new bridge replaced the Cincinnati-Newport Bridge. The new bridge is a no-frills continuous truss bridge.