A Plain Marker Alludes to Rich History for Duncan Tavern in Paris

Historic Marker for Duncan Tavern  - Paris, Ky.
I'm amazed at how much information we now fit into the roadside markers with great care being taken to sentence syntax, etc. In its early days, however, the program might simply list a few notable facts about a person or place being memorialized. This was the case with Duncan Tavern in Paris, Ky. Reads Marker #93:
Duncan Tavern
Built 1788
Gathering Place of Pioneers
Shrine, Museum, Library.
Restored by
Kentucky Daughters of the
American Revolution.
That's all folks!
But if you simply bear it and must know more, (and you should, because Duncan Tavern - formerly the Goddess of Liberty - was a hotbed of political activity in Kentucky's early days) read on!

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 from its original three counties, one of the earliest new 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. [*]

So while it may have a plain marker, its history is remarkable.