Explore Washington County, Kentucky

Tour curated by: The ExploreKYHistory Team

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, is the oldest courthouse still in use in Kentucky.

Residents enjoy the many stories and legends passed down from generation to generation about to the Lincoln family in Washington County. They are also fortunate that the relics and artifacts still available from the Lincoln's residence are either maintained by Lincoln Homestead State Park or by families in the area.

Springfield, which is the county seat, also remembers the Civil War, as both Union and Confederate troops passed through the area on their way to the Battle of Perryville.

Washington County has a rich history and we hope you will enjoy exploring Washington County.

Locations for Tour

Historical Marker #1363, located three miles south of Springfield, commemorates the life of Ben Hardin, a noted politician and attorney. Hardin was born on February 29, 1784, at the Georges Creek settlement on the Monongahela River in Westmoreland…

Historical Marker #1046 in Springfield commemorates “Elenores,” the home of author Elizabeth Madox Roberts. Born in Perryville, Kentucky, on October 30, 1881, Roberts spent most of her life in nearby Springfield. She was the second of eight…

Historical Marker #1040 commemorates Elmwood, a historic home in Springfield. A tumultuous time in Springfield’s history was the summer of 1862, when multiple Confederate armies invaded the commonwealth. During that campaign, General Braxton…

Historical Marker #1618 in Springfield commemorates Felix Grundy, an attorney and politician. George and Elizabeth Grundy fled Berkeley County, Virginia, in 1780 during the Revolutionary War and settled in what is now Kentucky. The Grundy’s son,…

Historical Marker #2264 in Springfield commemorates the home of Felix Grundy, a prominent attorney and politician. The plantation is approximately 1,000 acres of lush countryside where the Grundy family has continuously operated a farm in some form.…

Historical Marker #930 in Springfield commemorates John Pope (February 1770 – July 12, 1845), a United States Senator, member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Kentucky Secretary of State, and the third governor of Arkansas Territory. Pope…

Historical Marker #933, located two miles west of Springfield, commemorates Matthew Walton, a U.S. Representative from Kentucky and cousin of John Walton and George Walton (who signed the Declaration of Independence as a representative of…

Historical Marker #689 commemorates the night of December 30, 1862, when hundreds of Confederate cavalrymen—led by John Hunt Morgan--overwhelmed the little town of Springfield in Washington County. On Tuesday morning, December 30, Morgan’s…

Historical Marker #1095, located west of Springfield, commemorates St. Catharine. In 1822, nine women from St. Rose Parish formed the first congregation of Dominican Sisters in the United States, near Cartwright Creek. The current St. Catharine…

Historical Marker #941, located west of Springfield, commemorates the Saint Rose Priory. With its majestic octagonal tower and inspiring stained-glass windows, St. Rose Proto-Priory and Church have served Springfield for two hundred years.…

Historical Marker #853 commemorates the gently rolling hills and pristine waters of Washington County. The area was discovered by white settlers on the eve of the Revolution, and, by war's end, many settlements had arisen. Far removed from…

Historical Marker #854 commemorates Washington County, the first county formed in the Commonwealth of Kentucky after it reached statehood. Washington County was established in 1792 from land given by Nelson County. The Washington County Courthouse,…