Corbin, Kentucky

Corbin, Kentucky
City of Corbin
—  City  —
Corbin as viewed from 14th St. Hill
Location of Corbin, Kentucky
Coordinates: 36°56′30″N 84°5′44″W / 36.94167°N 84.09556°W / 36.94167; -84.09556Coordinates: 36°56′30″N 84°5′44″W / 36.94167°N 84.09556°W / 36.94167; -84.09556
Country United States
State Kentucky
Counties Whitley, Knox
 - Mayor Willard McBurney
 - Total 7.9 sq mi (20.6 km2)
 - Land 7.9 sq mi (20.4 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation 1,079 ft (329 m)
Population (2010)
 - Total 7,304
 - Density 920.1/sq mi (355.3/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 40701-40702
Area code(s) 606
FIPS code 21-17362
GNIS feature ID 0511536

Corbin is a city in Whitley and Knox counties in the southeastern portion of the U.S. state of Kentucky. The urbanized area around Corbin extends into Laurel County; this area, known as North Corbin, is not incorporated into the city limits, due to a state law prohibiting cities from being in more than two counties. Much of the North Corbin area is served by the city's public services, however. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 7,304, with 21,132 living in the "urban cluster" that includes Corbin.



The post office at the site was originally named Cummins for community founder Nelson Cummins. However, when it was discovered in 1885 that both Cummins and Lynn Camp were already in use as names for Kentucky post offices, postmaster James Eaton was asked to select another name. He chose Corbin, perhaps for James Corbin Floyd, a local minister. (In a copy of the Corbin-Times Tribune published in 1906, James Eaton is quoted as saying he named the town after Rev. James Corbin Floyd, who was "the finest man I know.") The town was incorporated under that name in 1905.

Law and government

Corbin is a fourth-class city governed by a mayor and city commission. Willard McBurney is the current mayor. Phil Gregory, Joe Shelton, Bruce Farris, and Dennis Lynch are its four current Commissioners.

Corbin is one of the few cities in Kentucky which lies in two counties—Whitley and Knox. Many built-up areas in neighboring Laurel County have a Corbin postal address, but lie outside of the city limits. This arrangement has created some problems with taxes, and also the census recordings. The city receives a portion of the occupational tax collected in Whitley County, but Knox County has refused to give Corbin a part of the tax collected there. On March 10, 2008, the City Commission voted to file a lawsuit against Knox County to receive a portion of the tax collected within city limits.[1]

Corbin is located in Kentucky's 5th Congressional District.


According to the United States Census Bureau, it has a total area of 7.9 square miles (20.6 km²), with only a tiny fraction (0.044 square miles/0.11 km2, or 0.56%) consisting of water.

Corbin lies in the Cumberland Plateau region of Appalachia in southeastern Kentucky. The Pine Mountain Overthrust Fault, a geologic fault system located several miles to the east, produces occasional tremors, the most recent in 2008.


Climate data for Corbin, Kentucky
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 74
Average high °F (°C) 44
Average low °F (°C) 25
Record low °F (°C) −25
Precipitation inches (mm) 4.01
Source: The Weather Channel.[2]


The Harland Sanders Café and Museum

Originally formed by L&N Railroad, rail transport was the backbone of the local economy in the first half of the twentieth century. While the railroad (presently CSX) continues to play an important role, the decline of the rail industry in the latter half of the twentieth century, as well as the loss of some manufacturing jobs due to globalization, has prompted the community to begin diversifying its economy.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1900 1,544
1910 2,589 67.7%
1920 8,036 210.4%
1930 6,301 −21.6%
1940 6,318 0.3%
1950 6,140 −2.8%
1960 7,119 15.9%
1970 7,474 5.0%
1980 8,075 8.0%
1990 7,419 −8.1%
2000 7,742 4.4%
2010 7,304 −5.7%
U.S. Census Bureau[3]
Location of the Corbin-London CSA and its components:
  Corbin Micropolitan Statistical Area
  London Micropolitan Statistical Area

The Whitley County portion of Corbin is the smaller city of the Corbin-London CSA, a Combined Statistical Area that includes the Corbin (Whitley County) and the much larger London (Laurel County) micropolitan areas,[4][5] which had a combined population of 94,486 at the 2010 census.[6] The Knox County portion of Corbin lies outside the Corbin–London statistical area.

As of the census[6] of 2010, there were 7,304 people, 3,093 households, and 1,903 families residing in the city. The population density was 920.1 people per square mile (355.3/km²). There were 3,507 housing units at an average density of 441.8 per square mile (170.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.41% White (96.69% non-Hispanic), 0.26% African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.64% Asian, 0.26% from other races, and 1.11% from two or more races. No Pacific Islanders lived in the city in 2010. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 1.19% of the population.

There were 3,093 households out of which 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.3% were married couples living together, 16.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.5% were non-families. 34.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.91.

The age distribution was 22.5% under 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 22.9% from 25 to 44, 25.3% from 45 to 64, and 20.8% who were 65 or older. The median age was 41.6 years. For every 100 females there were 80.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.8 males.

Income data from the 2010 Census for Kentucky locations has not yet been released. As of the 2000 Census, the median income for a household in the city was $22,203, and the median income for a family was $32,784. Males had a median income of $27,323 versus $17,568 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,200. About 15.5% of families and 21.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.0% of those under age 18 and 16.4% of those age 65 or over.

Culture and local color

  • Each year in early August, Corbin hosts a festival called NIBROC (Corbin spelled backwards) featuring open-air concerts, carnival attractions, a beauty pageant, parade, and other events. The festival is featured, if anachronistically, in the play Last Train to Nibroc [1] by Arlene Hutton. (Though the play is set in the 1940s, the festival itself only dates to 1952.) Nibroc however does attract some classic musical acts. The festival has brought such legendary acts as Kansas, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, 38 Special, Foghat, Starship, Percy Sledge, The Turtles, and The Marshall Tucker Band just to name a few. These bands perform free to thousands of area residents.
  • Despite being in dry counties (Knox and Whitley), sales of alcoholic drinks are allowed by restaurants seating at least 100 people within the city limits. Due to the sale of alcoholic drinks by restaurants, many new restaurants and pubs have opened in the area.


Corbin straddles Interstate 75 and U.S. Highway 25 (which splits into 25E and 25W in North Corbin). The town is served by the CSX rail line.

Sites of interest


Corbin, Kentucky skyline

Corbin, like many communities of its size in southeastern Kentucky, has an independent school system (in Kentucky, a public school system not affiliated with a county; most such districts are associated with individual cities). The Corbin Independent School District includes:

  • Corbin Preschool Center
  • Corbin Primary (grades K-2)
  • Corbin Elementary (grades 3-5)
  • Corbin Middle (grades 6-8)
  • Corbin High (grades 9-12)
  • Corbin Vocational

The community also places considerable emphasis on the success of its high school athletic teams. "Redhounds" games, especially football, are important social events for many within the community.

In 2004, Eastern Kentucky University opened an extension campus in Corbin.

The annual Battle for the Brass Lantern, a college football rivalry game between University of the Cumberlands and Union College, was played at Corbin High School's stadium in 2006 and 2007, as a neutral field roughly equidistant from the two campuses. The rivalry dates to 1905.[7]

Corbin is also home to Saint Camillus Academy, a private pre-K-8 school affiliated with the Catholic Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky. Established in 1908 by the Sisters of Divine Providence, the school has been successful as both a boarding school for national and international students and as a Montessori school. Its original schoolhouse, built in 1913, was demolished in summer 2008. The new school building is still situated atop a prominent hill overlooking the town, providing a striking backdrop to the streets of downtown Corbin.



  • The Times-Tribune, a daily afternoon newspaper
  • The News Journal, a weekly regional newspaper mostly the Whitley County area



  • WVTN (Channel 22 New Wave Cable) (religious)(broadcast from Corbin with local and regional churches and religious syndicated programs part of the radio station WVCT 91.5)
  • RBS (Channel 18 New Wave Cable) (Corbin school district information broadcasting the WRHR radio station red 95.3)
  • YHC (Channel 21 on New Wave Cable) (Broadcasts local and regional business infomercials and print on screen ads playing Contemporary Christian Music)

Notable natives and former residents


  1. ^ Swindler, Samantha (2008-03-11). "Corbin to sue Knox County". Times-Tribune. p. 1A. 
  2. ^ "MONTHLY AVERAGES for Corbin, KY". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  3. ^ Census Bureau Retrieved on 2010-2-14
  4. ^ MICROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENTS, Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Accessed 2008-08-01.
  5. ^ COMBINED STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENT CORE BASED STATISTICAL AREAS, Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Accessed 2008-08-01.
  6. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ Corbin/Williamsburg News Journal, Corbin, KY: Moving to Corbin; Battle of Lantern will be played at Campbell Field. By Jim McAllister. July 20, 2006.

External links

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