• History of Mercer County

  • Southend Welcome Sign.jpg

    Founded in 1786, Mercer County was named in honor of Revolutionary War hero General Hugh Mercer, a close friends of George Washington, who died as a result of wounds received at the Battle of Princeton. The history of Mercer County predates the history of the state of Kentucky, as it is the home of Harrodsburg, the oldest permanent English settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains.

    Now a thriving and progressive community, Harrodsburg was founded by James Harrod as "Harrod's Town" in 1774. In 1776, Harrod's Town became the county seat of Kentucky County, Virginia, and was then named the county seat of Lincoln County when it was formed in 1780. When Mercer County was formed, Harrodsburg became the county seat and remains so to this day. The then "colonial city" was termed the "Birthplace of the West" and was an important hub for communication with eastern settlements.

  • Historic Downtown Harrodsburg

  • A National Register Historic District, downtown Harrodsburg is a streetscape that is reminiscent of an earlier time, with most of its preserved buildings dating back to the 1880s and 1890s. The downtown area offers many gift and specialty shops, restaurants, and activities, all with a regional flavor, and self-guided walking and driving tours are available. Find the Mercer Chamber of Commerce at the corner of Main Street and Lexington Street.


  • Places of Interest

  •  Big Spring

     Beaumont Inn

    Dixie Belle Riverboat

    Kentucky River

    Lincoln Marriage Temple

    Mansion Museum

    Old Fort Harrod State Park

    Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill

    William Poague Cabin

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