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Take a History Walk in Downtown Nicholasville

While you’re getting outside this summer, why not learn a little bit of history?

Take a self-guided audio tour of downtown Nicholasville in episode three of the Jessamine History Walks podcast. Travel back in time with stories about thirteen different sites, beginning with the Jessamine County Courthouse.

Tour Highlights

On this tour, you’ll learn about:

Nicholasville’s dark past of racial violence, including the 1902 lynching of Thomas Brown on the courthouse lawn and an 1874 attempted lynching at the Old Jail.

The history of Bethel Church and Nicholasville Baptist Church, two African-American churches founded before the Civil War.

The history of First Baptist Church. During the Civil War, Union troops commandeered the church for use as a hospital.

An 1888 lavish feast at the Hotel Nicholas. Enjoyed by both Democrats and Republicans, this “game and oyster supper” was the result of a friendly wager between political rivals.

The 1955 burglary of Farmers Bank. In the pre-dawn hours of January 17, 1955, a blast rocked Farmers Bank on Main Street in Nicholasville. Burglars attempted to blow the safe after tunneling below the bank with nitroglycerin.

The importance of hemp in Jessamine County’s early growth. From 1840 to 1860, Jessamine County ranked as one of the top hemp-producing counties in the country.

And much more!

Tour Stops and Map

View a Google Map of the Nicholasville History Walk. Click each numbered point on the map to see photos of the stops.

  1. Jessamine County Courthouse, 101 N. Main St.
  2. Hemphill Pharmacy, 101 S. Main St.
  3. Nicholasville Baptist Church, 131 S. Main St.
  4. The Old Jail, 200 S. Main St.
  5. First Baptist Church, 200 S. York St.
  6. Public Well, the corner of Main and Maple
  7. Hotel Nicholas, 120 N. Main St.
  8. Bethel Church, 1865 N. York St.
  9. Farmers Bank, 200 N. Main St.
  10. E.R. Sparks Building, 114 N. Main St.
  11. Acme Book Club/Withers Library, 106 W. Maple St.
  12. Withers Memorial Library, 101 S. 2nd St.
  13. The Wagner House, 302 W. Maple St.


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For episode credits and a complete list of our sources, visit the Nicholasville History Walk webpage.