The city of Lakeside Park, Kentucky, is centered along the Dixie Highway (U.S. 25 and 42) in northern Kenton County. The Dixie Highway Historic District is a cluster of five significant and well-preserved residences dating from c. 1917 to 1923. Each dwelling makes a distinct, positive contribution to the streetscape. Viewed in its entirety, the District comprises the finest intact collection of historic buildings in the city of Lakeside Park, as well as one of the most distinguished in suburban Kenton County.
The proposed Dixie Highway Historic District was carved from a 352-acre parcel sold at an undetermined date to James Dollins and his wife Sidney. The “copied and restored” plat of Dollins’ property, on file at the Kenton County Courthouse in Covington, Kentucky illustrates a large and irregularly-shaped tract on the north side of the old Covington & Lexington Turnpike (now known as the Dixie Highway), bisected by Dry Creek. Following Dollins’ death in 1838, this land “on the Dry Creek” was surveyed and subdivided. An 84-acre tract, labeled “Lot 1 in the division of the lands of James Dollins,” became the property of Dollins’ widow. In two separate transfers (transpiring in 1874 and 1884), the Dollins descendants sold a 52-acre portion of this “dower tract” to Robert Howe. Howe’s widow Catherine then sold the same land to James Graham on November 11, 1901 for $5000.
In the early years of the twentieth century, the picturesque and gently rolling farmland along the Covington-Lexington Turnpike seemed an ideal location for residential development. The Fort Mitchell streetcar line, which terminated approximately one-half mile north of Graham’s property, and the nearby Cincinnati Southern rail line provided easy access for commuters. During the World War I era, a number of handsome residences were built on spacious lots along the “Pike.” Soon afterward a residential subdivision was created around a series of nearby ponds. Thus it was not surprising that in 1917, Graham saw fit to subdivide his acreage for residential development.
In 1917, Graham sold several acres along the Turnpike to Archie B., Richard B., and Earl W. Carran. Soon afterward, Earl W. Carran built the house now known as 2712 Dixie Highway, which appears to be the oldest of the five dwellings. The proposed Dixie Highway Historic District is bounded on the north by Lane Drive and on the south by the city’s corporate limits. It includes five residences on 9.8 acres along the Highway’s north side. Sited on a wide, spacious lawn facing the Dixie Highway, the houses have retained integrity of setting as well as design. They enjoy great visual prominence and are a major landmark of suburban Kenton County.