After Madison, Indiana, our next stop was small (but historical) Bardstown, Kentucky.

Bardstown was one of the earliest frontier settlements in what is now Kentucky, and it boasts an awful lot of national, state, and regional history for such a small town … and a lot of lovely old architecture.

This building is the Old Talbott Tavern. Its original section (on the left) was built in 1779, and it’s still used as a restaurant, tavern, and inn.


this eighteenth-century tavern is said to be the country's oldest western stagecoach stop


According to both news reports and legend, several notable figures have stayed here, including Abraham Lincoln, when he was a young boy, and his family; Daniel Boone; and the exiled French King Louis Phillipe and his entourage (they even painted murals on the upstairs walls). Jesse James, who had family in Bardstown, is also reported to have stayed here, and he’s believed to be responsible for the bullet holes in the French king’s murals. Sadly, portions of the inn were heavily damaged in a 1998 fire. The murals have not yet been restored, so we weren’t able to see them for ourselves.