Explore Lincoln County, Kentucky

Tour curated by: The ExploreKYHistory Team

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 most influential early settlers and leaders. Men such as Isaac Shelby, who was a future two-time governor, and Benjamin Logan and William Whitley, both of whom paved the way for thousands of the state's first pioneers. They all made history in Lincoln County. The county was also the location of significant early forts and settlements, including Logan's and Carpenter's Stations. In addition, church congregations established long ago still remain a prominent part of the county's present.

Lincoln County was named for Benjamin Lincoln, a Revolutionary War hero. It became known for its location along part of the Wilderness Road, and later as the home of a noted hydrotherapy resort at Crab Orchard Springs. A Swiss-German community at Ottenheim was also influential to the county's history. Lincoln County was also the home to military heroes like Marine Private First Class William B. Baugh, who earned the Medal of Honor in Korea, and the scene of a tragic crash of a military bomber in 1966. It was where accomplished educator Sophia Alcorn was born, and where former slave Napoleon Bonaparte Hays started a freedmen's community.

We hope you will use this app to better understand the important part Lincoln County had played in Kentucky history.

Locations for Tour

Historical Marker #2268 in Lincoln County notes the location of Boneyville, an "emancipation" or "free town" formed in the years immediately following the Civil War. Numerous small, rural, African American communities sprang up…

Historical Marker #2135 in Lincoln County marks the home of noted teacher Sophia Alcorn, who worked extensively with hearing and vision impaired students during the early twentieth century. Born in Stanford in Lincoln County on August 3, 1883,…

Historical Marker #1564 in Stanford notes the birthplace of Lt. Richard Caswell Saufley, who was a pioneer in military aeronautics. Saufley was born in Stanford, Kentucky, on September 1, 1885. After attending Centre College in Danville up to his…

Historical Marker #2433 near Stanford remembers Bright's Inn, an important stage coach stop on the Wilderness Road between Cumberland Gap and Louisville. Travel in the early nineteenth century could be a trying experience. If the modes of…

Historical Marker #1328 in Lincoln County remembers Captain George Givens and his remarkable military service to his country. Givens was born in Orange County, Virginia, in 1740. His Irish immigrant father died before he was born, but made…

Historical Marker #1203 near Hustonville remembers Carpenter's Station, which was one of the early frontier settlements in Lincoln County. Service during the Revolutionary War allowed many Virginia veterans to claim lands in what became the…

Historical Marker #2410 in Stanford notes the role that Cherokee Indians played in the settlement of Kentucky, and thus the westward expansion of the United States. Cherokee Indians are believed to have lived and hunted in what became Kentucky for…

Historical Marker #774 commemorates the namesake of Lincoln County, Benjamin Lincoln, an American general during the Revolutionary War. Although Lincoln County was named after him, General Lincoln was not from, nor did he live, in Lincoln County or…

Historical Marker #152 in Crab Orchard notes the popular mineral springs resort that operated there for almost one hundred years. Kentucky, much like its mother-state Virginia, was home to numerous natural mineral springs. And, like Virginians,…

Historical Marker #2369 in McKinney remembers the tragic crash of an Air Force B-58 Hustler bomber on December 12, 1966, which killed its three-member crew. In the years following World War II, tensions developed between the United States and the…

Historical Marker #1234 in Stanford notes the location of what is believed to be the earliest congregation in Lincoln County, Stanford Presbyterian Church. Benjamin Logan first came to Kentucky from Virginia in 1775. After a return trip, he settled…

Historical Marker #1561 near Stanford notes the location of early Lincoln County settler John Logan's home. Although Logan is not as well remembered as many of Kentucky's other early explorers, military personalities, and politicians, he…

Historical Marker #860 in Stanford commemorates the establishment of Lincoln County and its early history. Lincoln County was one of the first three counties in what would become the Commonwealth of Kentucky. When Kentucky County, Virginia, was…

Historical Marker #56 in Stanford notes the significance of Logan's Station, an early Kentucky frontier fort. Logan's Station (also known as St. Asaph) was established in 1775 by its namesake, Benjamin Logan, and John Floyd, after the men…

Historical Marker #1590 in Lincoln County commemorates McCormack Christian Church, one of the longest practicing congregations in the county. When the early setters came to what became Kentucky, many believed that it was as important to bring their…

Historical Marker #2063 in Lincoln County remembers McKinney's Fort, an early Kentucky settlement and trading post. As settlers from the east coast states moved westward into frontier regions like Kentucky, they disturbed the lives of the…

Historical Marker #685 in Crab Orchard remembers the various Confederate forces that used a section of the old Wilderness Road while operating in Kentucky during the Civil War. The most famous road in early Kentucky was what became known as the…

Historical Marker #955 in Hall's Gap remembers Ottenheim, a German-Swiss immigrant settlement established in Lincoln County in the 1880s. With the late-nineteenth century rush of European immigrants seeking new opportunities in the United…

Historical Marker #2013 in McKinney remembers Marine Private First Class William B. Baugh, who earned the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in Korea. Baugh was born on July 7, 1930, in McKinney, Kentucky. After moving with his family to…

Historical Markers #96 and #982 near Crab Orchard remember Sportsman's Hill, the home and farm of early Kentucky settler William Whitley. Whitley was a frontiersman's frontiersman. Born in 1749 in Augusta County, Virginia, Whitley first…

Historical Markers #95 and #2233 in Lincoln County remember Traveler's Rest, the home of Isaac Shelby, Kentucky's first and fifth governor. Shelby was born in Hagerstown, Maryland, in 1750. As a young man he moved with his family to…

Historical Marker #2177 in Stanford commemorates the Wilderness Road, the famous trail that brought thousands of settlers into Kentucky and set the stage for the westward expansion of the United States. The route that eventually became known as the…

Historical Marker #2457 in Lincoln County commemorates the history of the Stanford Female College, which provided local young women, as well as those from other towns and states, a college education. The Stanford Female Seminary was incorporated by…