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Harrodsburg was named for Captain James Harrod (1742-92), a native of Pennsylvania who learned of Kentucky -- then a part of Virginia -- through Daniel Boone. Leading a party of 32 men in 1774, he founded Fort Harrod, now Harrodsburg, on June 16 of that year. Importantly, Harrodsburg historically ranks as Kentucky's oldest town, as well as the first permanent English settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains. Mercer County was named for General Hugh Mercer (1725-77) who was killed in action while leading American forces in the Revolutionary War's 1777 Battle of Princeton. General Mercer was never to lay eyes on the place named in his honor.
The historic homes and attractions of this locale play a tremendous role in the heritage of its people and serve as a lesson book on the changing modes of American architecture -- from Kentucky's pioneer days of the late 1700s up to the Great Depression of the 1930s. Where possible, we have mentioned the architects and craftsmen responsible for creating these wonderful homes such as Matthew Pl Lowery, a Mercer County woodworker, who produced the intricate carvings which embellished the interiors and exteriors of fine Central Kentucky homes until his death in 1835.
We have also included in this tour historically significant sites located throughout Mercer County. These encompass the majority of early stations located within our borders during the earliest period of Kentucky's settlement. A station was considered a place of refuge for settlers and travelers during Indian raids. It could be an actual stockade or simply a fortified cabin where the populace would remain during an attack. From these forts and stations came the volunteer militia who protected the frontier and formed the backbone of the fighting force at the Battle of Blue Licks, the last battle of the American Revolution. Nearly every family in this area suffered the loss of a relative or close friend in the 1782 Battle. As one views the area designated, envision a land yet undeveloped with high cane breaks and forests. The log structures and stockades are long gone, but the springs and fertile land that enticed us across the Appalachians still remain.
Again, welcome. We are truly gratified by your interest in our historical and architectural treasures. Also, we request that you respect the matter of private ownership unless otherwise indicated with an asterisk (*), the properties described herein are privately owned and are not accessible to the public.