Available on Amazon
The town of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, was the birthplace of Colonel Harland Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).
Bourbon County, Kentucky has a rich and storied history that dates back to the late 18th century. Established in 1786, it was named after the French royal family, the House of Bourbon, to honor their support during the American Revolution. The county quickly became known for its fertile soil, ideal for growing crops, especially corn and tobacco.

In the early 19th century, Bourbon County was a major producer of bourbon whiskey, which became its claim to fame. The county's abundance of limestone-filtered water, high-quality grains, and skilled distillers led to the creation of renowned bourbon brands. The bourbon industry flourished, and Bourbon County became known as the "Bourbon Capital of the World."

During the Civil War, Bourbon County, like many other parts of Kentucky, experienced divisions between Union and Confederate sympathizers. The county was occupied by both sides at various times, and there were skirmishes and conflicts between local militias and opposing forces. Despite this turmoil, the bourbon industry remained a vital part of the county's economy.

In more recent times, Bourbon County has continued to embrace its bourbon legacy while diversifying its agricultural and industrial sectors. The county has seen growth in thoroughbred horse farms, with many prestigious operations located within its borders. The county has also attracted industries such as manufacturing, technology, and logistics.

Today, Bourbon County remains an important center for agriculture, with its scenic landscapes and horse farms contributing to its charm. Its rich history, coupled with its economic development efforts, have made it a thriving community that honors its bourbon heritage while embracing new opportunities for growth and progress.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Bourbon County, Kentucky.

  • 1774 - Bourbon County is established as one of the original three counties in Kentucky.
  • 1785 - The town of Paris is founded in Bourbon County.
  • 1791 - Bourbon County becomes the leading producer of whiskey in the United States.
  • 1800 - The first recorded bourbon whiskey is produced in Bourbon County.
  • 1821 - The county seat is moved from Paris to Millersburg.
  • 1838 - The county seat is moved back to Paris.
  • 1862-1865 - Bourbon County supports the Union during the American Civil War.
  • 1908 - The first Bourbon County Fair is held in Paris.
  • 1937 - The bourbon industry in the county is negatively impacted by Prohibition and the Great Depression.
  • 1998 - The first Bourbon Festival takes place in Bardstown, nearby Bourbon County.