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Duncan Tavern exterior front Bourbon County

Bourbon – Paris – 1 Site

Tour120 Site:  Duncan Tavern Historic Center, 323 High Street, Paris

Owned and managed by the Kentucky Society Daughters of the

American Revolution (KSDAR)

Hours of Operation:  Daily at 1:30 pm Eastern Time, Wednesday through Saturday, or by appointment

Exceptions include DAR luncheons, Fall Festival, Holiday Hop and the annual  Symposium. Call ahead or visit their website to confirm.

Admission:  $10 adults, $8 seniors, $4 students, $2 children ages 6-12

FREE - Military (active and retired), Daughters of the American Revolution, Sons of the American Revolution and Children of the American Revolution

Facebook:  Duncan Tavern Group


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Event Info & Historic Site Features

Event Description
The building now known as Duncan Tavern was built by Major Joseph Duncan circa 1792, and was owned and operated in 1796 as a tavern named “The Goddess of Liberty” by Major Joseph Duncan. This elegant 20-room Georgian style stone building was by far finer and more impressive than most taverns of its time.  The portal features a Palladian window flanked by pilasters with a semicircular sunburst. Among the early pioneers who gathered at the inn were Daniel Boone, Simon Kenton, Michael Stoner, James Garrad and Jack Jouett.  Much of the social life in the early Bluegrass region centered around Duncan Tavern, where theatricals were presented as early as 1808, and the ballroom was the center of many gatherings. Duncan Tavern operated under various names continuously for more than 150 years.  In 1940, plans were made to demolish the building, but responding to an appeal by the Kentucky Society Daughters of the American Revolution, the City of Paris gave the building to the KSDAR to restore and maintain as a public site. The KSDAR carefully restored the tavern to its original condition, removing the exterior stucco,  restoring the stone, and repointing the joints.  The interior features rich timber construction, oak and ash girders, beams and joists; the laths are hand-split hickory and the floor is blue ash.  Eight boarded-up stone fireplaces were opened revealing numerous hand-carved mantels and stone.  A small opening was framed in the second floor hall to show the hand-hewn laths and square-headed nails, which, when available, substitute for square pegs in the construction.  Many of the walls still have the original hog-haired plaster.  A secret panel in one of the cupboards can be lifted to disclose a place where money and valuables were hidden. The Duncan Tavern Historic Center (DTHC), a 501(c)3 public charity, is an historic site that includes the 225-year-old building and a museum with artifacts and exhibits telling the stories of those 225 years of local history.  The building also houses the John Fox, Jr. Genealogical Library and is the state headquarters of the Kentucky Society Daughters of the American Revolution (KSDAR).  It has been owned and maintained by the KSDAR, a volunteer service organization, for the past 79 years. The mission of the Duncan Tavern Historic Center is to preserve and showcase the Tavern’s and Kentucky's history from early settlement to the current time period; to provide educational and research opportunities to all visitors; and to maintain the history of KSDAR for present and future Daughters.


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Preservation Kentucky

Member since 8 years ago
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