Explore Scott County

The earliest inhabitants of the land that would become Scott County, Kentucky were Native Americans. European explores moved into the area in the 1770s and in 1783, Robert and Jemima Johnson built Johnson’s Station near the north fork of Elkhorn Creek, about five miles west of present-day Georgetown.

Scott County was formed in 1792 through one of the earliest acts of the newly formed Kentucky state legislature. Divided from Woodford County, it was named after General Charles Scott, who served in the American Revolution. General Scott would go on to serve as Kentucky’s fourth governor, serving from 1808-1812.

The county seat, Georgetown, was founded as Lebanon, by Elijah Craig, one of the state’s earliest distillers. Craig also founded a precursor to Georgetown College. Lebanon was renamed in honor of President George Washington in 1790. Georgetown was later joined by Sadieville (1880) and Stamping Ground (originally named Herndonsville in 1817, the town’s name was changed to Stamping Ground in 1834) as the incorporated towns within the county.

The county was home to Richard Mentor Johnson, U.S. Vice President under Martin Van Buren (1837-1841), and Julia Chinn, Johnson’s enslaved wife. Johnson and Chinn were open about their relationship and had two daughters, Imogene and Adaline. The Johnsons also supported the Choctaw Academy, a boarding school for Choctaw children, which forced students to assimilate to white culture while providing education, clothing, and nutrition to attendees.

Scott County remained a primarily agricultural community until the latter half of the twentieth century when manufacturing, especially Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, opened in 1988. The Toyota facility is the largest in the world and one of the region’s biggest employers. As of 2020, Scott County is one of the fastest growing counties in Kentucky and remains a vital manufacturing and transportation hub for the state.

St. Francis Church

Historical marker number 1593, resides in present-day Georgetown and commemorates one of the earliest Catholic establishments in Kentucky, St. Francis de Sales Church. Early Catholic settlers from Maryland seeking religious and political freedom…

Vice President Richard M. Johnson

Historical Marker #1125 in Johnson County commemorates the county being named for War of 1812 veteran and U.S. Vice President Richard M. Johnson. Born in 1781 in what is now Jefferson County, Johnson's formative years were spent in Fayette…

Scott County Jail and Jailer's House

Historical Marker #2605 remembers the Scott County Jail and Jailer’s House located in Scott County, Ky. Scott County, like many small communities in Kentucky, has a long history. But unlike many areas, Scott County has been able to preserve a…

Zion Hill / Zion Hill School

Historical marker #2267 celebrates the history of the Zion Hill community and Zion Hill School in Scott County. The village of Zion Hill dates back to the antebellum era, prior to Emancipation and the end of slavery in Kentucky. The community was…

Ward Hall

Historical Marker #1734 in Scott County makes note of Ward Hall. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, Ward Hall is a stately structure located one mile east of Georgetown. Colonel Robert Johnson, a member of the first Constitutional…

Stonetown

Historical Marker #2375 in Scott County notes the location of Stonetown, one of a number of Kentucky African American rural communities that formed in the years following the Civil War. When the Civil War ended, many of Kentucky’s freed slaves…

Remember the Raisin!

Historical Marker #508 in Georgetown commemorates the Battle of the River Raisin, a War of 1812 battle that led to the deaths of dozens of Kentucky soldiers. On August 15, 1812, Kentucky volunteers rendezvoused in Georgetown before marching into…

Governor Joseph Desha

Historical Marker #2021 in Scott County notes the home of Kentucky Governor Joseph Desha, a general during the War of 1812. The Pennsylvania-born Desha moved to Kentucky in 1781. By 1792, Desha was farming in Mason County. After fighting Native…

New Zion

Historical marker #1938 commemorates the New Zion community in Scott County. The roots of the African American community of New Zion stretch back to 1872 when two formerly enslaved men bought land on which to make their homes. Ultimately, the 23…

Gen. Basil W. Duke

Historical Marker #1861 in Scott County remembers General Basil W. Duke, best known for his service to the Confederacy during the Civil War, but also his significant political and literary contributions to Kentucky following the conflict. Duke was…

Confederate Governor

Historical Marker #610 memorializes George W. Johnson, the first Confederate governor of Kentucky, at his home in Scott County. Born in 1811 in Scott County, Johnson practiced law in Georgetown after receiving his degree from Transylvania…

Choctaw Indian Academy

Historical Marker #135 in Scott County notes the location of the Choctaw Indian Academy. Established in 1818, it was later sponsored by future U.S. Vice-President Richard M. Johnson. At the end of the eighteenth and early-nineteenth century, as the…

Buffalo Springs

Historical Marker #2091 in Stamping Ground (Scott County) notes the location of Buffalo Springs, which provided an important supply of water for local distilleries. Large herds of buffalo once wandered what became Kentucky. These large mammals…

Cardome

Historical Marker #718 in Scott County marks Cardome, the home of Governor James F. Robinson, who led the commonwealth through one of the most difficult periods in its history. Robinson was a true Renaissance man who farmed, practiced law, and served…