National Register Listing in
Menifee County, Kentucky

The first bourbon whiskey was distilled in Kentucky in the late 18th century. Today, Kentucky is known for its bourbon production and is home to many famous bourbon distilleries.
Menifee County, Kentucky, located in the eastern part of the state, has a rich and storied history that stretches back hundreds of years. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Shawnee and Cherokee, who utilized the fertile land and abundant resources for hunting and gathering.

The first European settlers arrived in the late 18th century, drawn to the area for its fertile soil and proximity to the Licking River. The county was officially established in 1869, named after the prominent Menifee family. Agriculture played a significant role in the early economy, with settlers primarily engaged in farming and livestock raising.

During the Civil War, Menifee County was deeply divided, with some residents supporting the Union and others the Confederacy. Many local men fought in both armies, and the county witnessed sporadic violence and skirmishes. The war resulted in destruction and economic decline, but Menifee County eventually recovered in the post-war years.

In the 20th century, the discovery of oil and gas reserves brought new prosperity to Menifee County. The extraction industry became a major source of employment and revenue, transforming the local economy. Today, Menifee County continues to embrace its rural and agricultural heritage while also benefiting from the development of tourism and recreational activities, such as hiking, camping, and fishing in the scenic Daniel Boone National Forest.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Menifee County, Kentucky.

  • 1869 - Menifee County is established and named after Richard H. Menefee, a U.S. Congressman from Kentucky.
  • 1870 - The first courthouse is built in Frenchburg, the county seat of Menifee County.
  • 1885 - The Menifee County High School is established to provide education to local students.
  • 1920s - The construction of a road network begins in Menifee County, improving transportation and connectivity in the region.
  • 1937 - The Cave Run Lake is created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, providing a recreational area for locals and tourists.
  • 1960s - Menifee County experiences a decline in population due to economic challenges in the agricultural industry.
  • 1980s - Efforts to revitalize the county's economy begin, with a focus on attracting new industries and promoting tourism.
  • 1998 - Menifee County becomes a "Moist County," allowing the sale of alcohol within certain restrictions.
  • 2009 - Menifee County is hit by a tornado, resulting in widespread damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure.
  • 2010s - Menifee County continues to work on revitalizing the economy and improving infrastructure, including the construction of a new high school building.