One more post about Kentucky. I do not know why I spend much time searching information about this place. It is a nice one and located in the East side of USA where I prefer than West side. Moreover, this is a sweet place where my uncle and his family is living and working.
Bourbon County is nestled in the heart of Kentucky’s famous Bluegrass region. Its very name evokes visions of Thoroughbred horses grazing in lush green pastures bordered by age-old stone fences; lovely historic homes and buildings and beautiful rolling countryside. The area also offers an unusual group of sites and attractions for visitors to enjoy. This county is just fifteen miles northeast of Lexington.
Another famous product of the county is no longer produced in the area. It was a smooth reddish whiskey aged in charred oak barrels, a product of the bountiful corn crops, which insured worldwide recognition for the county’s name. Although disputed by a few, Bourbon Countians feel confident that bourbon whiskey was first distilled in their county by one of several early settlers, most likely Jacob Spears. Bourbon County continued to be home to many distilleries right up to Prohibition in 1919.
Bourbon County is not dry!
In spite of what you’ve heard, Bourbon County is not dry and as far as our research goes, was only dry during Prohibition along with the rest of the country. Those facts haven’t stopped the spread of the myth that Bourbon County is a dry county. In fact, that is often the first thing someone from outside the area says when you mention you are from Bourbon County: “Isn’t it funny that you can buy a drink in Christian County but not in Bourbon County.” Who knows how these things get started? All we know is that myths are hard to eradicate!
World’s tallest 3-story building
There aren’t many towns in Kentucky that can boast of a listing in Ripley’s Believe It or Not, but Paris is noted in the book as the site of the world’s tallest three-story building. Located on the corner of Main and 8th Sts., the Shinner building was constructed in 1891 and has been used over the last century as commercial space for stores and restaurants. It is currently the home of the Paradise Café.
Paris native invented the tri-color traffic light
Garrett Morgan was an African-American man born in Paris in 1877 and educated at the Branch School, a school for black children in the Claysville area on the outskirts of Paris. That early education equipped Morgan’s inquiring mind with the tools he needed to imagine solutions to problems he observed. Morgan went on to patent the tri-color traffic signal and the gas mask. There is an exhibit on Garrett Morgan on permanent display at the Hopewell Museum in Paris.
Bourbon was born in Bourbon County
Ever wonder where that amber brown liquor called bourbon got its name? Jacob Spears was one of the early distillers in Bourbon County in the late 1700s. Many farmers in the region made whiskey from their surplus corn and other grains, but Spears’ barrels of whiskey proved so popular when sold in New Orleans that the name of his county became associated with the liquor. His stone home and whisky warehouse still stand on the Clay-Kiser Road. According to legend, a low drawer built in under a window in one of the front rooms of the house was for making change as people on horseback and in carriages and buggies drove up to the window to buy pints of bourbon – thus making it one of the world’s first drive-in windows.
M.M.I. is the last military school in the state
Millersburg Military Institute is still in business today as the last military school in the state and one of only a handful left in the country. The school was founded in 1893 by Col. Carl M. Best in Millersburg, which was once also home to Millersburg Female College and Bourbon County High School. During its first century of existence, the school educated more than 10,000 cadets. It became co-educational in 1977 and was named Kentucky’s official military institute in 1984 by the Kentucky General Assembly. The school’s motto is: “Right training is better than riches.”
Early best-selling author had ties to Bourbon County
One of the first works of fiction published in the United States that sold more than 1,000,000 copies was “The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come” written by John Fox, Jr., who was born and raised in Bourbon County. The book was published in 1903 and was one of 12 novels and 45 short stories written by the Harvard-educated author. Fox is recognized with an historical marker on Ky. 627 and is buried in the Paris Cemetery.
William Holmes McGuffey taught in Paris from 1823-26
William Holmes McGuffey, who compiled the famous “McGuffey Readers” that introduced generations of American school children to the treasures of literature, taught in Paris from 1823 to 1826. He published the first of the readers in 1836 and eventually, millions of copies were sold to schools around the country. He is recognized with an historical marker on the side of the Memorial Building facing Duncan Tavern on the courthouse square in Paris.
Fishing reel made in Paris sold for $31,500
A brass bait-casting reel, made by George Snyder of Paris around 1820, recently sold at auction for $31,500, making it the most expensive item of fishing tackle ever sold at an American auction. A watchmaker and silversmith, Snyder was America’s first documented reel-maker.
North Middletown is the cradle of the saddle horse industry
The community of North Middletown in the eastern part of Bourbon County is considered the cradle of the saddle horse industry. Bourbon King, winner of the 1903 Kentucky State Fair Five-Gaited Grand Championship, stood at stud at the A.G. Jones & Son Farm in North Middletown and is considered the foundation sire of the saddle horse breed. One of Bourbon King’s sons, King Barrymore 8861, also stood at stud on the Jones farm and followed in his sire’s hoofprints as one of the greatest saddle horse sires of his era.
Secretariat was bred, stood at stud and died in Bourbon County
Bourbon County’s most famous resident of the past 200 years wasn’t a pioneer or politician but a horse. Secretariat was conceived, lived most of his life, died and is buried at Claiborne Farm in Bourbon County. The Triple Crown winner in 1973, he set numerous track and world records that stand to this day more than 30 years later. Secretariat is the only Kentucky Derby winner ever to finish in under two minutes. He won the Preakness with another blazing run but was denied a sure record because of a faulty timer. Secretariat then won the Belmont by the widest margin ever as he set a world record of 2:24 for the mile and a half.
The two-time Horse of the Year, with winnings of $1,316,808, retired to stud at Claiborne after the 1973 racing season. He lived at the farm and welcomed thousands of visitors until his death in 1989 from acute laminitis. Secretariat is buried in the equine cemetery at Claiborne Farm and his grave remains a popular destination for visitors.
Those picture below are taken by AJ – I found on Picasa
Paris, KY. Much better than the French version.
Bourbon County Courthouse, Paris, KY. 18 miles NE of Lexington, their motto is “Horses, history and hospitality.” Indeed.
Highway 460 just north of Lexington on the way to Virginia. Great horse country!
I-75 moving south through The Commonwealth of Kentucky
Approaching the tunnel into TN from KY—-built in 1996
Limestone blasting areas on I-75 North between Corbin and Lexington, KY.
Lexington, KY Historical Society
downtown Lexington as UK-Tennessee game kicked off
Historic Main Street approaching downtown Lexington
Along the Ohio River on I-64 approaching Louisville
West Main Street in downtown Louisville, KY
Louisville’s downtown Christmas light display.
Broadway in L’ville
Thomas Jefferson Statue in front of City Hall in L-ville.
Highway 24 approaching Paducah alongside the coniferous trees of Western KY
Middlesboro, KY to the northwest from the Pinnacle Overlook.
The highway ends at the river; thus, you board the FREE car ferry from IL to KY.
Land between the Lakes National Park, KY.
Old KY state capitol, Frankfort
Many hills surround the city of Frankfort.
Some photos of Hunterton Farm, Paris, KY by Anu on Picasa
I love the green fields
I AM SO MUCH IN LOVE WITH THIS STATE (well, the first favorite one is North Carolina) 🙂