Grants Lick is a small town in the southwestern part of Campbell County. It has been there for 225 years.
In 1793, Samuel Bryan, the nephew of Daniel Boone, discovered salt water in the area. John Grant, also a nephew of Boone, owned the land on which the salt water was found and created a profitable business around salt mining.
Because of their partnership and interest in the salt business, the area of Grants Lick developed into the community it is today.
One resident LINK spoke to described it as a quiet rural town with friendly neighbors.
“I think it’s a very quiet lifestyle,” 48-year Grants Lick resident Ken Reis said. Reis is also organizing the 225th anniversary celebration, which was held over the weekend. “Little to no crime of any type, never has been. It’s a community that helps each other. Everybody’s very friendly. It’s a community that takes our school and our churches very, very seriously. And we tend to be outdoors people; we like to be outside a lot.”
While some businesses and city signs refer to the city as Grant’s Lick (with an apostrophe), according to the Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky, the city is Grants Lick (with no apostrophe).
Reis is a retired president of the Campbell County Historical Society. He said he started writing a history advancement, which allowed him to interview people and collect information on Grants Lick, ultimately leading to the 225th celebration.
“This anniversary helps us celebrate our ancestors who came here and settled our land and began what we consider today, the Grants Lick heritage,” Reis said.
As part of the event, signs highlighting historical places, people, or events were put up in a mile stretch from U.S. 27 leading into the community.
Reis said one important place highlighted with the signs is the town’s corner store.
“Our country store, which was built in the 1900s, has been the center of the community for a long time,” Reis said. “That’s why when this event started. I decided I wanted something permanent as a representative of the event. I wanted to find someplace to put a mural. So, it turns out this side of our store facing the highway was originally the entrance to the store.”
He said the mural was based on a picture he found during his research of Grants Lick from 1896.
Reis has been very involved in the Grants Lick community for the many years he has lived there.
He is responsible for the welcome park at the town’s entrance. Reis said a highway expansion from 2006 through 2016 took their funeral home and left a piece of land that created a “mess.” He said he wanted to do something about it. After three years of trying to convince the state to let him turn the land into a welcome park, he said he was able to get it cleaned up.
He has maintained the three-quarter acre park since 2016 and was able to get a sign, a flowerbed, and a flagpole erected.
Then, Reis decided to create a Grants Lick community library during the pandemic. The library sits off to the side of the corner store, is free to the public, and encourages book donations.
“I always felt that social responsibility is very important,” Reis said.
Other events throughout the day were a tractor and antique car show and tours of the Grants Lick cemetery where Daniel Boone’s sister is buried. Grants Lick Elementary school held a vintage baseball game with old rules like playing with no gloves.