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Kentucky is known as the "Bluegrass State" because of the bluegrass that grows in many of its pastures.
Woodford County, Kentucky, is located in the Bluegrass region and is known for its rich history dating back to the early settlement days. The county was established in 1788, making it one of the oldest in the state. Woodford County was named after William Woodford, a Revolutionary War hero.

In the early years of settlement, Woodford County was primarily a farming community, with tobacco being the main cash crop. The fertile soil and favorable climate of the Bluegrass region made it ideal for growing tobacco, and many wealthy planters established large plantations in the area. The county also became known for its thriving horse industry, producing some of the finest thoroughbreds in the country.

Woodford County played a significant role in Kentucky's history during the Civil War. While the county was predominantly pro-Union, it was surrounded by pro-Confederate regions, leading to clashes and tension during the war. The Battle of Perryville, one of the bloodiest battles in Kentucky, took place near the county border in 1862. After the war, Woodford County experienced economic hardships due to the decline of the tobacco industry and the aftermath of the war.

In the 20th century, Woodford County went through a period of revitalization. The establishment of the Blue Grass Army Depot during World War II brought economic opportunities and helped shape the county's future. Today, Woodford County is known for its charming small towns, picturesque landscapes, and a thriving equestrian industry. The county has preserved its historic character with many well-preserved buildings and landmarks from its early years, attracting visitors who appreciate its rich heritage.

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

  • 1789: Woodford County is formed from a part of Fayette County.
  • 1792: Kentucky becomes the 15th state of the United States.
  • 1793: Versailles is established as the county seat of Woodford County.
  • 1800s: Woodford County becomes a major center for horse breeding and racing.
  • 1825: Woodford County's population reaches over 10,000.
  • 1859: The Woodford County Courthouse is built in Versailles.
  • 1861-1865: Woodford County residents actively participate in the American Civil War.
  • 1872: The Versailles Library is established, becoming the first public library in Kentucky.
  • 1938: The Woodford County Thoroughbred Association is formed to promote horse racing.
  • 1973: The Woodford Reserve Distillery opens, becoming a major bourbon producer.
  • 2000: Paxton Inn, a historic landmark in Woodford County, is restored.