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A river town located on the banks of the Ohio, the city of Bellevue is nestled in Northern Kentucky among several small cities, including Newport, Dayton, and Fort Thomas. Bellevue became an independent city when its founders' petition to the Kentucky legislature for a charter was granted on March 15, 1870. At that time, there were only 380 people residing in Bellevue. In the years that followed, major religious and educational institutions were established, including Calgary Methodist Church in 1870, Sacred Heart Church in 1873, and the Bellevue Independent School District in 1871. Business and industry began to flourish in the early 1880s, especially along Fairfield Avenue, where at least 13 businesses had been established by 1882. Along with the growth of businesses and institutions, the Ohio River grew to become a very important part of Bellevue's history. Offering countless opportunities for recreation, the Queen City Beach was considered the most popular freshwater beach in the region.