Prestonsburg, Kentucky, originally named Preston Station, was part of a 100,000-acre land grant to Col. John Preston by way of the family of Preston’s wife in the late 18th century. The grant provided for British colonization beyond the Blue Mountains, however French and native resistance and changing British policies limited its impact. The land was settled following the arrival of John Spurlock of Virginia, who laid out the city in 1797. Preston Station became the county seat of Floyd County in 1799 and was formally established in 1818. The city was renamed Prestonsburg in the late 1820′s.
On January 10, 1862, nearby Middle Creek was the scene of the largest battle of the Civil War to occur in Eastern Kentucky.
Prestonsburg is the location of the Mountain Arts Center, which hosts music concerts and is home to Billie Jean Osborne’s Kentucky Opry.
Prestonsburg is home to the Samuel May House, built in 1817. The house was utilized by the Confederate forces as a recruiting station during the American Civil War. The home was being used as a residence until 1981. It was donated to the City of Prestonsburg in 1992.
Jenny Wiley State Resort Park is also located in Prestonsburg and offers year around lodging and activities as well as outdoor summer music theatre productions at Jenny Wiley Amphitheater, located within the park.
Prestonsburg is also the home of the East Kentucky Science Center. Opened in 2004, the Science Center contains one of the most technologically advanced planetariums in the United States.