Many Kentuckians know June 1, 1792 as Kentucky’s birthday, but fewer know about our Commonwealth’s actual birthplace: Constitution Square in Danville. While the block of trees and log cabins can be easy to miss as you drive down Main Street, the unassuming public square holds some of our state’s earliest and most fascinating history. Never been to the park? Here are the parts of the park you need to see:
Arguably the most important building in the park, the courthouse is a log-style replica of what the original frontier courthouse may have looked like at the turn of the 19th century. On the site of the existing courthouse, Kentucky’s constitution was signed by delegates to the state’s constitutional convention.
Want to know more? Head to Grayson’s Tavern, also in the park, to see where members of the Danville Political Club, a group of prominent citizens, met to discuss plans for a constitution and separation from Virginia.
The jail is also a log-style replica of what the original jail may have looked like. In Danville’s frontier days, the jail was one of the most important places, ensuring that criminals were confined and punished appropriately. In a place as far-flung as Danville, establishing law and order wasn’t always easy.
Want to know more? Walk down Main Street to see another building dedicated to law and order: the Boyle County Courthouse, built in 1862. It's one of our most stunning landmarks!
The meeting house is where early congregations of Christians worshipped in Danville. Established by Presbyterian ministers, the meeting house was another important element of structure and order in the sometimes chaotic frontier town of Danville.
Want to know more? Head down Main Street to First Presbyterian Church, built in 1832. It’s just one of the many historic churches in our area!
The post office is an original building dating back to the 1790s and was the first post office west of the Allegheny Mountains (a portion of the Appalachians running from Pennsylvania to Virginia if you were curious!). The first mail was delivered on Nov. 3, 1792.
Want to know more? You can explore another location of the Danville post office, the Federal Building, which served as a post office from the early 1900s until the 1960s (it's now home to the Community Arts Center
Governors Circle is a monument to our Commonwealth’s governors; in the center is a bronze sculpture of the state seal; surrounding the sculpture are plaques for each governor.
Want to know more? Head to Grayson's Tavern in the park for information on Kentucky's first governor, Isaac Shelby, and the political club he helped form in Danville. The group was instrumental in achieving Kentucky's statehood and met regularly in the tavern, which is still standing!
These buildings are just part of what make the park a wonderful destination--there’s loads more to learn about, including Danville’s historic African-American business district
, a Civil War march to Camp Nelson
, a frontier herb garden, and more!