After more than 34 years, Kentucky Explorer magazine, based in Jackson, has published its last issue.

Readers enjoyed historical articles, old photos, genealogy tips and personal essays in the black-and-white magazine, which was printed on newsprint stock.

Beginning with the February issue of Kentucky Monthly magazine, a section of each issue will include content, and even be styled to resemble, the pages of Kentucky Explorer. 

Monday, as Kentucky Explorer owner Charles Hayes and staff contemplate retirement, the reins have been handed over to Steve Vest, editor and publisher of Kentucky Monthly Magazine, which is based in Frankfort.

“For more than 22 years Kentucky Monthly has celebrated the people, places, events and culture of the commonwealth. We’ve always seen Kentucky Explorer an ally in that pursuit,” said Vest. “To take up this challenge, I feel we’re living up to the state motto, ‘United We Stand,’ and we’re glad Kentucky Explorer will live on within the pages of Kentucky Monthly.” 

Since the news broke, Kentucky Explorer readers have called the Kentucky Monthly office, some in tears, Vest said.

“It is obvious they love their magazine and we’ve assured them that together, we’ll honor what’s been for years to come,” he said. Kentucky Explorer was published 10 times a year.

Deborah Kohl Kremer will serve as editor of Kentucky Explorer. Stories, articles, old photos and memorabilia can be emailed to or mailed to Kentucky Monthly, P.O. Box 559, Frankfort KY 40602. 

The pages of Kentucky Explorer were filled with reader-submitted content, which will continue, but the subscribers will also be introduced to Kentucky Monthly.

“Kentucky Monthly will fulfill all current subscriptions to Kentucky Explorer subscribers,” said Vest. “And we think those subscribers will enjoy all that we have to offer.” 

Kentucky Monthly has published since 1998 and has a readership of more than 100,000 each issue. For more information visit

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