All Tours: 51

This Kentucky Historical Society curated tour takes information from many of our Civil War related historical markers, adds artifacts and items from our digital collections and combines them to paint a more complete picture of the Civil War in our…

The War of 1812, which pitted the fledgling United States against Great Britain, greatly impacted Kentucky. Approximately sixty percent of the war's total casualties were Kentuckians, meaning that the Bluegrass State suffered more casualties…

Known as the City of Firsts, Danville, Kentucky, is known for its varied history. Historical markers in the community commemorate Kentucky's pioneer past, the state's founding, early medical advancements, education, the Civil War, and…

Abraham Lincoln traveled an uncommon course from the Kentucky frontier to the highest office in the nation. At a critical time in our history, Lincoln preserved the Union, led America out of slavery and shaped the destiny of millions. In telling…

The history of the University of Kentucky (UK) is intimately connected to the commonwealth's past, present, and future. To commemorate that history, in 1994, UK and the Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) created the UK Senior Challenge…

A history of Kentucky would be incomplete without mentioning the significant role that slavery played in creating the Commonwealth and crafting the culture of the state. Long before Kentucky became the 15th state in the Union, slavery was…

The Explore Kentucky’s House Museum tour highlights the great collection of house museums across the commonwealth. Each site has an historical marker commemorating its history. All of these homes are affiliated with a person or event that was…

Kentucky’s long history of military service is evidenced by the many monuments found across the commonwealth. When the state’s military history is studied, however, Kentucky’s role in the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) is often forgotten. …

The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) was formed in 1836 by a group of prominent Kentuckians intent on preserving the history of the commonwealth. It was chartered as the state society in 1838 and began to collect books and printed materials. KHS…

Adair County, named for John Adair, a Revolutionary War and War of 1812 soldier, and governor from 1820-1824, has a wealth of history shared on its historical markers. Over the years Adair County as served as the home to noted pioneers,…

Letcher County, named for Robert Perkins Letcher, a state legislator, governor from 1840-1844, and U.S. minister to Mexico, is known for its scenic beauty, rich mountain culture, and heritage. Much of the area’s local history is on display on…

The paintings of artist Paul Sawyier are highly popular in Kentucky. In part, Sawyier's renown is due to the recognizable local landmarks and landscapes that are the subject of much of his work. Although Sawyier was not born in Kentucky, he…

Marion County in central Kentucky boasts a diverse history. Although actually explored and settled long before Kentucky attained statehood, the county was officially founded in 1834. Named for Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion, Lebanon serves…

The Kentucky Historical Society approves 30 new marker applications each year. After working on and finalizing the text, the markers are fabricated and dedicated the following year. This tour includes the most recently dedicated historical markers…

The struggle for citizenship, respect, opportunity, and equality by Kentucky's African Americans is as old as the state itself. Long denied chances to prove themselves worthy of citizenship by the institution of slavery, and thus denied the…

Kentucky’s close association with horses and horse racing has a long legacy. Many early pioneer settlers, especially those from Virginia and Maryland, brought their love of horse breeding and racing with them when they came west. However, it took…

This tour honors the Kentucky women and men who conquered political, legal, and social obstacles in order to improve the lives and opportunities available to Kentucky's women. They were notable reformers of health standards, education,…

Kenton County, named in honor of pioneer Simon Kenton, became Kentucky's nineteenth county when it was formed by the legislature in 1840. The county seat is Covington, a lively town located on the Ohio River. Kenton County has been home to…

Formed in 1843, Johnson County is located in eastern Kentucky along the Big Sandy River. Johnson County has a rich history to explore including the improbable story of Jennie Wiley, important Civil War action, and much more. We hope you find…

McCraken County is located in the Jackson Purchase region of western Kentucky. The county seat is Paducah. The home of a United States Vice President, a teacher who got into some "monkey business", and important Civil War action, McCracken County…

Established in 1796, Warren County is located in southern Kentucky along the Barren River. Warren County has a rich and diverse history to explore that includes its involvement in the Civil War, being the home of innovator Duncan Hines and much…

Henderson County, established in 1798, and named for Col. Richard Henderson, is located in western Kentucky along the Ohio River. Henderson County has a rich and diverse history to explore that includes its famous people, such as governors…

Jefferson County was established in 1780, along the banks of the Ohio River. It is the largest county in the state. In 2003, the Jefferson County government merged with that of Louisville, its largest city and county seat, forming the…

Boone Trace was the first road opened into what was to become Kentucky. Carved out by the legendary explorer Daniel Boone and his party of trailblazers during March and April 1775, the route was created for the specific purpose of introducing…

After horses, Kentucky’s best-known commodity is probably bourbon whiskey. That distinction has been well earned. The state's association with distilling spirits goes back as far as 1775 and the first permanent white settlements. From those…

Bourbon County lies in the heart of the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky. The area is well known for its fertile soils, rolling landscapes, and bluegrass pastures. Formed from Fayette County, Virginia in 1786, Bourbon County originally encompassed all or…

Frankfort, the Capitol of Kentucky, is a picturesque town set on the banks of the Kentucky River. It was home to the artist, Paul Sawyier, who painted many scenes of Frankfort and the surrounding countryside. Frankfort has many historic…

Rivers define Kentucky. The Bluegrass State can claim three different bodies of water as its directional borders. The Ohio River serves as the northern border of the state, while the eastern border is formed by the Big Sandy River and one of its…

Bath County, which was named for the numerous mineral springs that populate the area, is located in northeastern Kentucky, where the rolling hills of the Bluegrass Region transition to the Appalachian Mountains. Today, the county is renowned for its…

Located in eastern Kentucky, Floyd County was named for early Kentucky explorer and surveyor, John Floyd. The county was established by an act of the Kentucky legislature in December 1799, and was formed the following summer from parts of Fleming,…

Located in southwestern Kentucky, Calloway County was established in 1822. Calloway County was one of eight counties formed from the Jackson Purchase, which is the area west of the Tennessee River that was bought from the Chickasaw Indian Nation in…

Campbell County, located in northern Kentucky, and founded in 1794, was the state's nineteenth county. It was formed from portions of Harrison, Mason, and Scott Counties and named for Revolutionary War veteran Colonel John Campbell. Much of…

Located in south-central Kentucky along the Tennessee state line, Clinton County was named for early-nineteenth century New York political icon DeWitt Clinton. The county was formed from parts of Cumberland and Wayne Counties in February 1835. The…

Kentucky is almost as well known for its coal production as it is for its horse and bourbon industries. When one thinks of Kentucky coal, the mountains of the state's eastern counties most often come to mind. But, the Commonwealth's…

Lincoln County is home to some of Kentucky's earliest and most fascinating history. It was originally one of the first three counties formed in what would become the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Lincoln County was home to some of the state's…

Visiting historic sites often helps one better understand the history that happened there. Direct physical experiences with places that are deemed historically important provide an additional layer of knowledge that one cannot obtain just through…

Long before the first Euro-American hunters and explorers ventured through the Cumberland Gap and down the Ohio River into what became Kentucky, Native American people lived, hunted, and traveled through the region. The same bountiful natural…

Located in north-western Kentucky, Webster County was named for celebrated nineteenth century political statesman Daniel Webster. The county was formed from parts of Henderson, Hopkins, and Union Counties in July 1860. Today, Webster County is…

Located in central Kentucky, Fayette County was established in 1780. Along with Lincoln and Jefferson counties, Fayette was one of the first three counties created from Kentucky County, Virginia. Fayette County was named for General Marquis de…

McLean County, located in the state’s Western Coal Region, was created in 1854. The county was formed by taking land from three other counties- Daviess, Muhlenberg, and Ohio. The county was named for Judge Alney McLean. He traveled from North…

Daviess County, located between Hancock and Henderson counties and along the Ohio River in the western half of the state, was founded in 1815. The fifty-eighth county to be formed, it was named for local landowner and lawyer, Col. Joseph Hamilton…

Grayson County is located in west-central Kentucky and is bordered by the Rough River on the north and the Nolin River on the southeast. Formed in 1810, it was the fifty-fourth county established from land given by Hardin and Ohio counties. The…

Knox County, located in state’s southeastern region, was created in 1799. The county was formed from parts of Lincoln County. Over the course of the nineteenth century, Knox County was broken up to create the counties of Clay, Rockcastle, Whitley,…

Washington County was the first county created by the Kentucky State Legislature and named for the first President, George Washington. It was established in 1792 from land given by Nelson County. The Washington County Courthouse, completed in 1816,…

Boone County, formed in 1798 from Campbell County, and named after Colonel Daniel Boone, is located in the northern most part of the state. It is bordered by the Ohio River to the north and west for a little over 39 miles, which has helped lend to…

Oldham county was formed in 1824, and named in honor of Revelotionary War soldier Lt. Col. William Oldham. Westport was chosen as the county seat in 1823 because of its proximity to the Ohio River and was a bustling river city in the early…

Some interesting things have happened as a result of aviation in Kentucky. There are stories of the lives of private and military pilots, airplane crashes, and aviation pioneers. Aviation has always been important to Kentucky, whether it is used…

Whitley County, located in state’s southeastern region, was created on January 17, 1818. The county’s southern edge borders Tennessee. In addition, Whitley County contains part of the Daniel Boone National Forrest and the Cumberland River.…

Located along the Tennessee state line in south-central Kentucky, Simpson County was established in 1819. Simpson County was formed from parts of neighboring Warren, Logan, and Allen Counties. Named for Captain John Simpson, who was killed at the…

Garrard County, created on December 17, 1796, was the twenty-fifth county formed in Kentucky. Named for James Garrard, an early governor, it was formed from three surrounding counties, Lincoln, Mercer, and Madison. Garrard County was settled…

This tour highlights historical markers that commemorate significant people and places to Kentucky's history during the World War I era. The tour includes markers that celebrate famous heroes of the war, such as Willie Sandlin and Samuel…