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 area that became Clinton County was settled later than the Bluegrass Region. Pioneer families began establishing homesteads there in the 1790s.
Albany, the county seat, was incorporated in 1838 and quickly developed into the county's commercial center. Although Clinton County was largely Unionist during the Civil War, its location along the Tennessee border made it susceptible to frequent guerrilla attacks, including Clinton County native Champ Ferguson. One guerrilla raid in late 1864 resulted in the courthouse being burned. Clinton County produced two of Kentucky's Reconstruction Era governors:
Thomas Bramlette (1863-1867) and Preston Hopkins Leslie (1871-75).
Today, Clinton County is largely known for the sporting and recreational outlets of Lake Cumberland and Dale Hollow Lake. These man-made reservoirs were created in the 1940s and 50s by damming the area's streams for hydroelectric power. During the summer months, people from across the country visit to fish, boat, and participate in water sports. Much of Clinton County's natural beauty comes from its location in the foothills of the Cumberland Mountains, which surround the lakes.
The people and places of Clinton County have left a lasting impact on both state and national history. Many of these people, places, and events are illustrated on the county's highway markers and examined here. We hope you will use this app to learn more about Clinton County's fascinating past.