Special Report

Oldest Historic Town in Every State

Source: Melissa Bower / Wikimedia Commons

16. Kansas
> Oldest town: Leavenworth
> Year of first settlement: 1827

Leavenworth is famous for its federal penitentiary that has held infamous prisoners over the years. Among the most notorious is James Earl Ray, who assassinated civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. 50 years ago next month.

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

17. Kentucky
> Oldest town: Harrodsburg
> Year of first settlement: 1774

Harrodsburg is nestled in Kentucky’s Bluegrass region and was the first permanent English settlement established west of the Allegheny Mountains. The town calls itself “the birthplace of western expansion beyond the original colonies.”

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Source: Billy Hathorn / Wikimedia Commons

18. Louisiana
> Oldest town: Natchitoches
> Year of first settlement: 1714

Besides being the oldest town in Louisiana, Natchitoches, named after the Native American tribe, is the oldest town in the Louisiana Purchase territory.

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Source: Nancy / Wikimedia Commons

19. Maine
> Oldest town: Kittery
> Year of first settlement: 1647

Kittery has been a center for shipbuilding since the Revolution. Before he helmed the “Bonhomme Richard” ship to victory over the British during the Revolutionary War, John Paul Jones commanded the “Ranger,” which was launched from Kittery. “Ranger” was the first American vessel to fly the American flag.

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

20. Maryland
> Oldest town: St. Mary’s City
> Year of first settlement: 1634

Besides being Maryland’s first city, St. Mary’s City also was its first colonial capital for 61 years before Annapolis became the capital. St. Mary’s City also claims other firsts: the first city that allowed freedom of religion and the place where the first woman in North America requested the right to vote.

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