Take a step back in time - back to 1774 - and see how history was started in Kentucky's first permanent settlement. The hustle and bustle of everyday life is forgotten once you cross through the stockade fence. We want you to see what it was like to live in the late 1700s.
Old Fort Harrod State Park commemorates the first permanent European settlement
west of the Alleghenies. In March 1774, Captain James Harrod and thirty-two
determined, brave men left Pennsylvania, and set out for Kentucky to claim
lands and make a settlement. After a long and adventuresome journey, on June
16, 1774, Harrod and his men laid out a town, naming it Harrodstown. Today,
Old Fort Harrod is a replica of the original. Enjoy a "living history"
experience as you visit the cabins and blockhouses--complete with pioneer
furnishings, where costumed craftspeople perform tasks such as weaving, woodworking,
broom-making, and blacksmithing, spinning, tinsmithing, and doll-making. Children
will especially enjoy meeting the creature residents in the fort corral! "Living
History" with interpreters happens from April 16 through October 31.
The Fort Structures
Ann McGinty Blockhouse
Ann Kennedy Wilson Poague Lindsay McGinty brought the first spinning wheel to Kentucky. Widowed three times out of four marriages, her second husband made the first loom in Kentucky, and her third husband was killed in the Battle of Blue Licks.
George Rogers Clark Blockhouse
In this militia blockhouse, George Rogers Clark planned his great northwest campaign, which secured the Old Northwest and opened westward expansion.
Mark McGohon Cabin
This cabin contains possessions that belonged to this pioneer family.
Earliest Settlers Cabin
In this cabin are items used by frontier families in many home industries, such as broom making, candle making, soap making, and hominy grinding.
William Poague Cabin
William Poague made the first loom and plough in Kentucky. He also made all of the buckets, milk pails, churns, tubs, noggins, and piggins for the pioneers.
Bryant Station Cabin
This cabin is a memorial to the brave women of Bryant Station. With Indians concealed about the fort, the women went to the spring as usual to get a supply of water; knowing the fort could not be held without water on that hot August 16, 1782.
The school at Fort Harrod was taught by Jane Coomes, a Catholic from Maryland. She taught her students from a primitive version of the Old English Horn Book, made of clapboard in the shape of a paddle with its handle whittled to fit the children's fingers. On these books the children learned their ABC's, arithmetic, and the Lord's Prayer.
John Lythe Cabin
An integral part of life in the fort was the religion practiced by Reverend Lythe, the minister who came to the fort with a Bible in one hand and an axe in the other.
James Harrod Blockhouse
James Harrod was the unanimous choice to be the leader of the expeditionary company which founded Kentucky's first settlement. He was an expert in the use of a rifle, a successful hunter, and a skillful antagonist of the native American.
Fort open year-round, admission charged, group rates available. (Closed
on weekends in December, January and February, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. March 16 - October 31
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. November 1 - March 15
Extended fort hours during evenings of outdoor drama.
The Mansion Museum is one of the oldest Greek Revival homes built in Kentucky. Click here for the history and a room by room description. Inside its impressive structure, the museum displays Civil War history, a one of a kind McIntosh Gun collection, paintings, documents, music collection, Lincoln memorabilia, Native American artifacts, and much more.
Open March 16-November 30. March 16-October, 9:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m., November, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Lincoln Marriage Temple
A brick building shelters the cabin where Abraham Lincoln's parents were married. The cabin was moved from the original site near Springfield, Kentucky, where Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks were married June 12, 1806.
Gift Shop / Museum Store
Old Fort Harrod State Park has a wonderful gift shop / museum store. Our shop has a wide variety of unique gifts, books, music, crafts, food products, handmade items, children's items, Kentucky handcrafts, souvenirs and many other items. We are a member of the Museum Store Association.
Picnic Area & Playground
A picnic shelter with a beautiful view is available for rental from March 16 through October 31. Shelter contains restrooms. One end of the picnic shelter has a beautiful rock fireplace. Tables and outdoor grills are available. The playground is located near the picnic shelter and contains many items of playground equipment.
Osage Orange Tree
One of the most unique trees in the nation, this specimen is a must-see. This tree is taller and broader that the national champion, but remains the unofficial national champion because of its split trunk. Circa late 18th century.
The park hosts many special events throughout the year, such as June's Heritage Festival and November's Holiday Gala. Click here for a listing of 2003 events at Old Fort Harrod. Or contact the park for information regarding these and other special events, or go to the Kentucky State Parks Booklet Order Page to order the state parks booklet which includes special events.
The park is 32 miles southwest of Lexington on US 68 in Harrodsburg. Here is an area map.
This is a zoomable map. When you click on the map, this frame will go to the MapQuest website, where you can obtain driving directions and other navigation information.
The Fort is open year-round, except on the weekends during December, January and February, on Thanksgiving Day and through Christmas week.
Admission Prices: $4 per adult; $2 per child; under six admitted free.
Group rates of 20 or more are$1.50 per child; $3 per adult.
Hours are as follows:
8 am - 5 pm, March 16 through October 31, 2003
8 am - 4:30 pm, November 1 - March 15, 2003
During the outdoor drama season the Fort is open from 8 am - 8 pm.
Check out the Kentucky's Bluegrass Region to find out more about attractions near Old Fort Harrod.