Grant – Williamstown, Dry Ridge – 2 Sites

Host Committee:  Grant County Tour120 Committee

Event:  Guided Tours

Sites: William Arnold Log Home, 203 South Main Street, Williamstown

Historic Sherman Tavern, 3815 Dixie Highway/US 25, Dry Ridge

Days:

Hours:  

Admission:  Free

Neither site is routinely open to the public. This is a special opportunity to showcase a range of architectural styles and time periods – frontier Kentucky log cabin, stagecoach travel – and a unique history and purpose that interprets diverse subject matters such as post-Revolutionary War, stagecoach travel and inns in Kentucky.

Directions:  Conveniently linked via US-25 with easy access from I-75, both  sites are less than ten miles.  Local restaurants are nearby.

Parking: Ample   Restrooms: Onsite   Accessibility:  Disabled accessibility 1st floor, log home

Websites:  www.visitgrantky.com / www.wtownky.org

Facebook:  Friends of Historic Sherman Tavern  /  Visit Grant County Williamstown, Kentucky

Contact: Amy Roe, 513-314-1881, toxdocs1@fuse.net / Grant County Tourism, 800-382-7117

Description:  The William Arnold Log Home (WALH), a two-story log structure built circa 1790s, is the original home of Revolutionary War Captain William Arnold.  Arnold was also the founder of Williamstown, KY.  With its log construction, this site represents frontier Kentucky post-Revolutionary War.  With the exception of the May 18-19 event, it is only open one-day a week for approximately four hours, April through October. The site has interpretive panels inside and an herbal garden with important medicinal and culinary herbs of the time period outside.  A restroom facility and small picnic area are also on the grounds.  The Grant County Historical Society manages the site, and it is maintained by the City of Williamstown.

During the Tour120 event, the WALH will be staffed by members of the Grant County Historical Society to serve as docents for the site, and members of the William Arnold Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution dress in period uniform.  Visitors will have access to self-guided interpretive panels inside the home, as well as the medicinal herb garden.  Members of the local Boy Scout troop will help guide visitors on the use of medicinal and culinary herbs during pioneer days of Kentucky.

The Historic Sherman Tavern, built circa 1820 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a stagecoach inn and an important example of an early nineteenth century tavern located on a major thoroughfare linking central Kentucky to the river and Cincinnati, OH.  The wood frame structure of the tavern building is an unusual feature since frame construction is the exception rather than the rule for ante bellum structures in Kentucky, where log construction predominated.  The method of framing is also unusual in that it indicates that the builders came from a mid-Atlantic rather than Tidewater Virginia building tradition typically found in Kentucky.  The interpretation of this site in addition to the structural features includes stagecoach travel and the importance of inns within local communities, and evolving travel routes (traces, stagecoach lines, railroads, and I-75 can all be seen running in parallel from this site).  The site has a small cemetery that includes burial sites of one of the original owner families and several unmarked graves thought to be enslaved people.  The institution of slavery can also be interpreted at this site, as the original National Register applications lists as many as ten slave houses once onsite. A self-guided walking tour of the small but impressive arboretum that exists on the grounds is also available. With the exception of the May 18-19 event, the Sherman Tavern is not regularly open to the public yet, although beginning this spring, it will be open on a limited basis.  A restroom facility and ample parking are available and the site is disabled accessible.

The Sherman Tavern is managed by the Friends of Sherman Tavern, and falls under the Grant County Parks and Recreation System.  During the May 18-19 event, the Friends of Sherman Tavern will serve as docents to guide visitors throughout the house and grounds.

In addition to the self-guided tour of the arboretum, members of a local boyscout troop will also be available to serve as arboretum guides.

Because neither of the sites is routinely open to the public, this is a special opportunity to showcase a range of architectural styles and time periods – frontier Kentucky log cabin, stagecoach travel – and each has a unique history and purpose that interprets subject matter as diverse as post-Revolutionary War, stagecoach travel and inns, and slavery in Kentucky.

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