Explore Danville, Kentucky

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 more.

All of these markers are located within walking distance of Constitution Square and Grayson's Tavern, which houses the offices of the Danville-Boyle County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

We hope you will use this app to explore Danville's rich history!

General Jeremiah T. Boyle

Historical Marker #1218 commemorates Boyle County for being named after Judge John Boyle, a state representative, congressman, and prominent judge. Boyle's son--Jeremiah Tilford Boyle--became Union military commander of Kentucky for much of the…

John Todd Stuart

Historical Marker #2244 in Danville commemorates John Todd Stuart, who was Abraham Lincoln's first law partner. When Abraham Lincoln moved to Springfield, Illinois, Kentuckian John Todd Stuart encouraged Lincoln to study law. He also became…

Centre College

Historical Marker #923 in Danville commemorates Centre College, an institution of higher learning that the Washington Post has called "one of the premier intellectual gathering points in its region." Founded in 1819 by former governor…

Courthouse a Hospital

Historical marker #756, located at the Boyle County Courthouse in Danville, commemorates the occupation of the structure as a field hospital during the Civil War. When the Battle of Perryville was fought ten miles from Danville on October 8, 1862,…

Danville Presbyterian Church

Historical Marker #754 commemorates the Danville Presbyterian Church, which was used as a hospital following the Battle of Perryville. When the Reverend David Rice traveled through pioneer Kentucky, he saw a need for churches. "I found…

John A. Jacobs

Historical Marker #2005 in Danville commemorates Jacobs Hall, a structure at the Kentucky School for the Deaf (KSD). The marker also recognizes the namesake of the building, John A. Jacobs, who was "KSD's first trained teacher, principal,…

Theodore O'Hara

Historical Marker #24 commemorates Danville native Theodore O'Hara, a Civil War veteran and poet who wrote the famous poem "The Bivouac of the Dead." Today, O'Hara's poem is inscribed on monuments across the nation,…

Trinity Episcopal Church

Historical Marker #1442 notes that Trinity Episcopal Church is "one of the oldest church buildings in Danville." Constructed in 1830 by resident Robert Russel Jr., the early members of the church included Dr. Ephraim McDowell, who…

John Marshall Harlan

Historical Marker #1606, located at the Boyle County Courthouse in Danville, commemorates John Marshall Harlan, a Boyle County native, Civil War veteran, and U.S. Supreme Court justice. Born a few miles west of Danville in 1833, Harlan's family…

First Hemp Crop

Historical Marker #1279 in Danville notes the first recorded hemp crop in Kentucky, which was grown on Clark's Run Creek in 1775. Hemp has a long history in Kentucky. From its first recorded planting near Danville to its reemergence during…

Ephraim McDowell, 1771-1830

Historical Marker #2281 commemorates the life and legacy of Ephraim McDowell, the "father of abdominal surgery." A native of Rockbridge County, Virginia, Ephraim McDowell moved to Danville, Kentucky, when he was a child. His father,…

Walker Daniel

Historical marker #190 in Danville commemorates the town's namesake, Walker Daniel. One who knew Daniel called him "a young gentleman of rare talents," and one who "gave promise of great distinction." Sadly, Daniel was…

Lewis and Clark in Kentucky: Danville

Historical Marker #2216 in Danville commemorates the visit from Lewis and Clark. Being on a major highway has its advantages. It is true today and was true more than two hundred years ago. Danville's location on the famed Wilderness Road…

Grayson's Tavern

Historical Marker #755 commemorates Grayson's Tavern, a popular meeting spot in Danville constructed by Benjamin Grayson in 1785. Used by local residents and travelers, Grayson's Tavern was an important part of Kentucky's early…

Danville's African American Business District

Historical Marker #1958 in Danville commemorates an African American business district that stood near present-day Constitution Square for more than 100 years. After the Civil War, African American Kentuckians gravitated to rural hamlets, towns, and…

Ephraim McDowell House

Historical Marker #2284 in downtown Danville commemorates the Ephraim McDowell House. There, in 1809, Danville physican Ephraim McDowell performed the world's first successful abdominal operation when he removed a twenty-two pound ovarian tumor…

School for the Deaf

Historical Marker #197 in Danville commemorates the founding of the Kentucky School for the Deaf (KSD), "the first state-supported school in the United States for the instruction of deaf children." In the early nineteenth century, General…

Site of Log Courthouse

Historical Marker #49 at Constitution Square in Danville commemorates the site of Kentucky's earliest district court sessions. Before 1792, Kentucky was part of Virginia. Therefore, ten years before statehood, Virginia law created the…

Willis Russell House

Historical Marker #2386 notes the location of the Willis Russell Memorial Cabin in Danville. Russell, a free man of color who owned a house across the street, now gone, taught African American children during the mid-nineteenth century. During the…

First USCT Recruits at Camp Nelson

Historical Marker #2388 in Danville notes the community's African American contributions to the Union army during the Civil War. In many instances, slaves and free men of color who tried to join the Union army faced substantial danger. The…