Bardstown is the home of My Old Kentucky Home State Park. On their plantation, Judge John Rowan and his wife Ann Lytle Rowan built “Federal Hill,” the mansion that is alleged to have inspired his cousin Stephen Foster to write the song “My Old Kentucky Home.”
The Old Talbott Tavern, built in 1779 and located just off the Courthouse Square in the center of Bardstown, is part of the city’s rich history. Several notable Americans passed through the tavern’s doors, including Abraham Lincoln and Daniel Boone. Bullet holes in an upstairs wall are reputed to have been shot by Jesse James. People claim to have encountered ghosts or other paranormal activity at the tavern.
Several distilleries operate in and around the Bardstown area. They include Jim Beam, Heaven Hill, and Maker’s Mark, which is located in nearby Loretto. The regional production of bourbon is celebrated by the annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival, whose promoters have trademarked the phrase, Bourbon Capital of the World, to apply exclusively to Bardstown.
To find out about the warm reception at the Bardstown Firestation, please click here.