Mercer County, KY Sinkhole Map
Mercer County, KY FAQs
What is the history of Mercer County, KY and what are its notable landmarks?
History of Mercer County, KY
- Mercer County was formed from Lincoln County in 1786
- named in honor of General Hugh Mercer, a Revolutionary War hero.
- The area that is now Mercer County was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Cherokee and Shawnee.
- European settlers began arriving in the late 18th century, primarily of Scotch-Irish and English descent. They established farms, mills, and communities, and agriculture became the backbone of the local economy.
- Harrodsburg, the county seat of Mercer County, is the oldest permanent settlement in Kentucky, founded in 1774 by James Harrod. It played a significant role in the westward expansion of the United States.
Notable Landmarks in Mercer County, KY
- Old Fort Harrod State Park: Old Fort Harrod State Park in Harrodsburg is home to a replica of the original fort built by James Harrod in 1774. Visitors can explore the reconstructed fort, learn about the early pioneer history of Kentucky, and experience living history demonstrations.
- Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill: Located in Mercer County, the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill is a historic site and living museum. It was once home to a thriving Shaker community from 1805 to 1910. Today, visitors can tour the restored buildings, learn about Shaker culture, and enjoy nature trails and workshops.
- Isaac Shelby Cemetery State Historic Site: This historic cemetery in Danville is the final resting place of Isaac Shelby, Kentucky’s first governor and a Revolutionary War hero. Visitors can pay their respects and learn about Shelby’s contributions to the state.
- Centre College: Centre College, located in Danville, is a prestigious liberal arts college founded in 1819. The campus features beautiful historic buildings and is known for its academic excellence and vibrant student life.
- The Old Courthouse: The Old Courthouse in Harrodsburg is a historic building that served as the county courthouse from 1835 to 1980. It is an excellent example of Greek Revival architecture and is now used as a visitor center and museum.
- The Pioneer Playhouse: The Pioneer Playhouse, located just outside of Danville, is Kentucky’s oldest outdoor theater. Founded in 1950, it showcases professional summer stock theater productions and has hosted many notable actors and playwrights over the years.
- The Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial: The Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial, situated in Danville, is dedicated to the men and women from Kentucky who served and sacrificed during the Vietnam War. It serves as a poignant tribute to the state’s veterans.
What are the recreational activities available in Mercer County, KY?
Here are some of the recreational activities available in Mercer County, KY
- Outdoor Recreation: Mercer County boasts beautiful natural landscapes, including rolling hills, forests, and the nearby Kentucky River. Outdoor enthusiasts can engage in activities such as hiking, biking, and horseback riding on the many trails available in the area. Popular spots for outdoor recreation include Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill and Herrington Lake, where visitors can enjoy fishing, boating, and water sports.
- Golf: Mercer County is home to several golf courses that cater to both casual and avid golfers. The Bright Leaf Golf Resort offers a scenic 18-hole championship golf course, while the Danville Country Club and Dix River Country Club provide additional options for golf enthusiasts.
- Historic and Cultural Attractions: The rich history and cultural heritage of Mercer County provide opportunities for engaging recreational activities. Visitors can explore the historic sites, museums, and architecture in Harrodsburg and Danville. Places like Old Fort Harrod State Park, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, and the Centre College campus offer a glimpse into the county’s past and present.
- Festivals and Events: Mercer County hosts various festivals and events throughout the year that offer recreational activities and entertainment for all ages. The Fort Harrod Jazz Festival, Kentucky State BBQ Festival, and Pioneer Playhouse performances are just a few examples of the vibrant cultural events that take place in the county.
- Picnicking and Relaxation: Mercer County offers numerous parks and picnic areas where visitors can unwind and enjoy the outdoors. Chimney Rock Marina & Restaurant, Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site, and many local parks provide opportunities for picnicking, relaxing, and enjoying the natural surroundings.
- Dining and Shopping: Mercer County is home to a variety of restaurants, cafes, and shops where visitors can indulge in local cuisine, browse unique boutiques, or discover antique treasures. Exploring the downtown areas of Harrodsburg and Danville offers a mix of dining, shopping, and cultural experiences.
- Wineries and Distilleries: Wine and bourbon enthusiasts can explore the wineries and distilleries in Mercer County. The county is part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour, offering opportunities to tour distilleries and sample local spirits. Several wineries, such as Talon Winery and Springhill Winery, provide tastings and scenic views of the surrounding vineyards.