The town of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, was the birthplace of Colonel Harland Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).
Barren County, Kentucky has a rich and diverse history that dates back thousands of years. The region was originally inhabited by Native American tribes such as the Shawnee and Cherokee before European settlers arrived. The first recorded European explorer in the area was Dr. Thomas Walker in 1750, but it was not until the late 18th century that settlement began in earnest.

In 1799, Barren County was officially established, named after the Barrens, a large grassy plain that covered much of the area. The county quickly became a significant center of agricultural activity, with tobacco and corn being the main crops. Barren River, which flows through the area, provided excellent transportation and played a vital role in the growth and development of the county.

During the Civil War, Barren County experienced both Union and Confederate control as it was located between the opposing forces. The Battle of Woodsonville was fought in the county in 1861, and several skirmishes occurred throughout the war. After the conflict, the county saw a period of recovery and revitalization as agriculture remained a crucial part of the local economy.

In the 20th century, Barren County experienced significant changes. The county's economy shifted from primarily agriculture to include manufacturing and services. Glasgow, the county seat, developed into a thriving urban center with the establishment of various industries and businesses. Today, Barren County is known for its vibrant community, rich history, and beautiful landscapes, attracting visitors from around the world.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Barren County, Kentucky.

  • 1798 - Barren County is established as the 17th county in Kentucky.
  • 1810 - Glasgow, the county seat, is founded.
  • 1825 - The Glasgow Female Academy is established.
  • 1859 - The Louisville and Nashville Railroad is completed, connecting Barren County to major cities.
  • 1861-1865 - Barren County residents actively participate in the American Civil War.
  • 1870 - The State Normal School is opened in Glasgow, later becoming Western Kentucky University.
  • 1924 - The Barren River State Park is established, attracting visitors for outdoor recreation.
  • 1940-1945 - Barren County experiences economic growth due to the war effort.
  • 1963 - The Barren River Lake is created as part of a flood control project.
  • 1980s - Glasgow becomes known for its antique stores and attracts tourists.
  • 1990 - Mammoth Cave National Park, partly located in Barren County, is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.