Explore Kentucky’s history right here in Stanford
Wilderness Road Hospitality and The Stanford Inn are home to many group meetings and company retreats. It hits the spot for lodging, restaurants, relaxation with a spa experience, and many different areas of tourism. Whether it’s historical or the great outdoors, there are many options in and around Stanford for your group members to experience.
The Commonwealth of Kentucky prides itself on preserving history and that includes historical tourism efforts. Stanford, as the 2nd oldest town in the state, has various attractions that showcase the area’s deep roots in Kentucky history. There are at least 8 different historical locations in the area for visitors to choose from. They include Logan’s Fort, L&N Railroad, William Whitley House, Constitution Square and Historic Site, McDowell House Museum, the Old Presbyterian Meeting House, Shaker Village, and the Perryville Battlefield.
1. Logan’s Fort
One of the most important historical properties in Stanford is Logan’s Fort, which is just a short 5-minute drive from The Stanford Inn. This historical landmark is a partially reconstructed fort that is located on the site of the Siege of 1777, which took place during the Revolutionary War.
Col. Benjamin Logan and others established the fort in 1775. The area included cabins and stockade walls. Before Stanford was officially founded, Logan’s Fort served as a centralized location for residents to gather safely. The fort was built due to the rising threat from the British and Indian alliance coming from the South.
During the Siege of 1777, Col. Logan, William Whitley, and several locals were sheltering in the fort when they were attacked by Native Americans and British Troops. Two men were killed but the fort survived. It was just the first attack locally in 1777. The Siege was considered the 2nd most important battle for Kentucky in the Revolutionary War.
One of the rooms in The Stanford Inn includes a mural of Logan’s Fort. This mural shows a peaceful scene outside the fort prior to the Siege of 1777 and is based on a photograph taken from a recent reenactment. The mural was created by Brandon Long, a multi-disciplinary artist from Lancaster, who works as a muralist, graphic designer, and arts educator.
Logan’s Fort is open during daytime hours and visitors can do self-guided tours.
2. L&N Railroad Depot
The L&N Railroad Depot is just a short walk from The Stanford Inn. The L&N Railroad Depot is a historic train depot built in 1911 and was used by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. Today it is used by the local Historical Society and Bluegrass Community Action Agency. It serves as a meeting house and museum.
Tours are available Tuesday through Friday year-round and on Saturdays through the summer months. There is also a nearby walking trail open to the public.
3. Old Presbyterian Meeting House
The Old Presbyterian Meeting House is a short 5-minute walk from The Stanford Inn. This structure was built in the 1790s for residents of the Presbyterian faith in Kentucky. It was eventually restored and currently serves as the home of the Lincoln County Historical Society.
It was once a log structure, and siding was added at a later date. It now functions as a museum and contains artifacts related to the early settlement of Stanford.
The museum is free and open to the public. Hours of operation are seasonal. Call 606-365-2503 for information on guided tours.
Click here to read more here about the Old Presbyterian Meeting House.
4. William Whitley House
The William Whitley House is about a 20-minute drive from The Stanford Inn. It was also known as Sportsman’s Hill. This historic location was the first brick home and circular racetrack built west of the Alleghany Mountains in 1794 by William Whitley and his wife Esther. It was dubbed the Guardian of Wilderness Road and was a gathering spot for early Kentuckians such as George Rogers Clark and Daniel Boone.
Visitors can tour the house and landscape, go on a nature walk, or just spend time with family. Hours include Thursday through Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm. Tours are by appointment only.
5. Constitution Square and Historic Site
Constitution Square and Historic Site, in Danville, KY, is about a 20-minute drive from The Stanford Inn. This is where Kentucky’s statehood was established. Early pioneer Daniel Boone traveled along Wilderness Road from the Cumberland Gap and into the area. The location of the site represented a centralized place for early settlers and politicians to gather. Nearly a decade after the Seige of 1777 at Logan’s Fort, nearby Danville was selected as the seat of government for Kentucky and the following was established – a meeting house, courthouse, and jail. At the time Kentucky was still a part of Virginia, so citizens gathered and formed a group that led to Kentucky being the 15th state in the union.
“Between 1784-1792, ten constitutional conventions took place at the courthouse of Constitution Square. In 1790, Kentucky delegates accepted Virginia’s terms for separation from the state. On June 1, 1792, Kentucky became the fifteenth state in the union, and Isaac Shelby, a Revolutionary War hero, was named the first Governor of the Commonwealth. A bronze statue depicting the state seal is the centerpiece in a circle of plaques dedicated to each Kentucky governor. The state insignia depicts two friends embracing, representing the motto ‘United We Stand, Divided We Fall.'”
The site is located near the McDowell House Museum, where they schedule tours for both.
Click Here to read more about the Constitution Square and Historic Site.
6. McDowell House Museum
The McDowell House Museum is conveniently located near Constitution Square in Danville. McDowell House Museum is an 1800s historic house, an apothecary, and two gardens. This National Historic Landmark site is the former home and office of pioneering surgeon Dr. Ephraim McDowell. They are open year-round for public tours, group tours, and field trips.
7. Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill
Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill is a historic destination located in Harrodsburg – about a 40-minute drive from Stanford. This landmark is made up of 3,000 acres of land dedicated to preserving the spirit of Kentucky’s Pleasant Hill Shakers. The Shakers in Kentucky were the 3rd largest Shaker community in the country from 1805 to 1910. During this time, they built more than 260 structures, and 34 are still surviving today.
While there, visitors can go exploring, eat, and shop. There are three areas that can be explored, including The Historic Centre, The Farm, and The Preserve. Visitors can also eat in their restaurant or shop at their gift shop.
Click here to read more about Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill.
8. Perryville Civil War Battlefield
The Perryville Civil War Battlefield is located in Perryville, Ky – about a 40-minute drive from Stanford. In October of 1862, Perryville was the site of the most destructive Civil War battle in Kentucky. More than 7,600 were killed or injured. The site is now home to a museum that tells the story of the battle. The 1,200-acre property is considered mostly unaltered from its state during the Civil War. It is also one of the visits along the Kentucky Lincoln Heritage Trail.
The Battlefield hosts both winter and summer hours, so visitors need to check the website ahead of time while planning their trip.
Click here to read more about the Perryville Civil War Battlefield.
Interested in planning a group retreat? Contact us at 606-879-0555 or fill out the groups request form by clicking on the button below. Stay tuned for future blogs that will focus on other topics such as outdoor activities, horses, arts, and bourbon.