Leestown, Kentucky

Historical Marker #103 in Frankfort commemorates Leestown, a supply base during the War of 1812.

The former site of Leestown, located near Wilkinson Boulevard in Frankfort , was first surveyed in 1773. Although pioneers visited the area, in 1775 Hancock and Willis Lee made a more permanent settlement and named it after their family. Formally recognized by the Virginia legislature in 1776, heightened Native American attacks that plagued Kentucky in 1777 forced the settlers to temporarily abandon the site. Ultimately reestablished, as the marker notes, Leestown became a "well-known shipping port for tobacco, hemp, corn and whiskey to [the] New Orleans market."

As a substantial shipping port, in 1783, the Virginia legislature established a tobacco inspection warehouse there. The site continued to grow, and a large hemp rope factory and distilleries were soon built. As a successful commercial center, during the War of 1812 the area served as a supply base for Kentucky soldiers. In addition, the marker notes, "In 1827 the stones for the Old State House were quarried from [the] river bank near here."

Therefore, this Franklin County site played an important role in the War of 1812.


Kentucky War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission Logo

Kentucky War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission Logo

The Kentucky Historical Society is the administrative agency for the War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, an 18-member body established by the Kentucky legislature in 2010. Image Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Sanders, “Leestown, Kentucky,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed June 24, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/81.


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