NoDestination: Duncan Tavern

Anne Duncan House (l) and Duncan Tavern (r), Paris, Ky.
If you have been to historic Williamsburg, Va., you know the import of the local tavern in colonial America. I think of all the taverns near Virginia's colonial government seat, where our nation's founders would gather to discuss the issues of the day.

When Kentucky was divided by Virginia into three counties, one of these counties was Bourbon County. Its seat has always been Paris (originally chartered as Hopewell, Va. [*]). Thirty-three counties have been carved from Bourbon's original borders. Needless to say, people traveled long distances to visit the county seat of Paris. And these individuals needed a place to stay and to eat.

The Goddess of Liberty, the original name of the Duncan Tavern, was the gathering place for Kentucky's earliest leaders, including Daniel Boone, Simon Kenton, Peter Houston and Michael Stoner. [*]

The three story tavern was constructed in 1788 by Maj. Joseph Duncan. According to the Kentucky Encyclopedia, the architecture is remarkable given that most structures of the day in Paris were log buildings. According to at least one account, the tavern towered over the 20' x 30' log courthouse below. [*] Duncan Tavern now houses the Kentucky Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution;the Anne Duncan House was erected in 1801 and now houses a genealogical library.