The town officially settled in 1797 by Moses Baird and Joseph Vance, who came to make salt at the natural salt well. Others joined them and later Baird, leader of the group, named the settlement for Vance, after his companion. The salt wells and the easy landing at the entrance at Salt Lick Creek from the Ohio River set Vanceburg on the path for growth long before the county was even formed from Mason County on December 15, 1806. County seat of Lewis County since 1864. Also home of the Union Soldiers Monument, the only monument south of the Ohio River dedicated to the Union soldiers who died in the Civil War. Vanceburg still retains the flavor of the past. Many homes and buildings are on the Kentucky Heritage Register.