Kentucky Living History Farm

Kentucky Living History Farm is a 530-acre working family farm in the heart of the Bluegrass where guests experience the sweep of agricultural history from 1829 to the 21st Century. See, hear, and touch the things that real farmers experience every day: Burley tobacco, cattle, corn, soybeans, wheat, horses — and perhaps the blue heron pair down on Goose Creek.

The educational video above relates to a family’s journey to Kentucky in the late 1700s. It gives a clear picture of what it took to go down the Ohio River on a flatboat to reach the rich Kentucky land. The video is about the hardships that came with pioneer life and the continuous search for new fertile land as the early pioneers and settlers set out beyond the Mississippi.

Walk in the footsteps of Abraham Lincoln’s mentor
At the Kentucky Living History Farm, you can learn the story of Denton Offutt, the man who employed young “Honest Abe” Lincoln at his store in New Salem, Illinois, and who went on to become America’s most famous horse trainer — as his protege became the Savior of Our Nation.

The Farm includes restored Waterwild Hall (c.1830) — “One of the finest country homes in Kentucky [with] one of the finest staircases from its period in America,” says Patrick Snadon, Ph.D., Professor of Interior Design, University of Cincinnati.

You can marvel at Waterwild Hall, an 1830 country house which is regarded as one of the few 19th-century Kentucky residences to have retained its original beautiful design. Waterwild Hall was featured on “Restore America”, and is recognized as an important historical site by “the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation”. It is regarded “an unusual and fine house” is expected to be enlisted in the National Register of Historic Buildings soon by the Historic Commission of Lexington-Fayette County.

Now you’ve got the chance to learn more about the archaeology and history of long-gone buildings and about the fascinating Offutt family that settled in the Kentucky area in 1801. Here, they gained considerable wealth and earned the respect of Abraham Lincoln, but unfortunately, they tragically lost all of their fortune!

You can learn all about the Kentucky Saddler (the original horse breed of Kentucky), American Saddlebred), as well as the Welsh Mountain Pony, the breed that King Henry VIII condemned till his death! Check out also this article about year-round activities in Hopkins County and while there, don forget to pay a visit to the small but astonishing town of Hanson with its annual Hanson Village Arts and Crafts Festival. 

Pack a picnic lunch and bring a blanket to stake out that perfect secluded spot creekside under a towering sycamore or hike the natural Goose Creek Trail if you want to discover spring freshets, limestone strata, and marvel at indigenous wildlife such as a blue heron pair, some redheaded woodpeckers, goldfinch, indigo bunting, Canada geese, and golden hawk — or even a bald eagle at times. You may view such abundant wildlife as white-tail deer, red fox, and the wile coyote.

Depending on the season, special agricultural events might include:

  • Planting corn, tobacco (mid-late Spring), wheat (late Fall), and soybeans
  • Plowing (early Spring)
  • Rolling hay (late Spring)
  • Cutting and housing tobacco (late Summer)
  • Fertilizer, herbicide, and pesticide applications, and general pasture maintenance (periodically)
  • Sorting and baling tobacco (late Fall)
  • Combining corn and soybeans (mid Fall)
  • Wood cuttin’, fence fixin’, cattle tendin’, and grass mowin’ all the time!