Founded in 1786, Mercer County was named in honor of Revolutionary War hero General Hugh Mercer, a close friend of George Washington, who died as a result of wounds received at the Battle of Princeton. The history of Mercer County predates the history of the state of Kentucky, as it is the home of Harrodsburg, the oldest permanent English settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains.
Now a thriving and progressive community, Harrodsburg was founded by James Harrod as “Harrod’s Town” in 1774. In 1776, Harrod’s Town became the county seat of Kentucky County, Virginia; and was then named the county seat of Lincoln County when it was formed in 1780. When Mercer County was formed, Harrodsburg became the county seat and remains so to this day. The then- “colonial city” was termed the “Birthplace of the West” and was an important hub for communication with eastern settlements.
A National Register Historic District, downtown Harrodsburg is a streetscape that is reminiscent of an earlier time, with most of its preserved buildings dating back to the 1880’s and 1890’s. The downtown area offers many gift and specialty shops, restaurants, and activities; all with a regional flavor. Self-guided walking and driving tours are available.
Perfectly meshed with the history of Harrodsburg is the business and industry of modern life. Harrodsburg not only boasts several privately and family owned places of business, but large industrial establishments as well. Industry giants such as Toyota Boshuku and Hitachi Automotive call Harrodsburg “home”. You can also find Corning Glass, the sole producer of Gorilla Glass; which is used in all iPhones today.
Harrodsburg offers a bit of everything for everyone: various employment opportunities, long-standing traditional festivals, and affordable housing close to quality school systems. It’s a friendly, family-oriented community conveniently located just minutes from Danville, Lexington, and Louisville.
For more information on what Harrodsburg has to offer, click here.