Anderson County has been home to at least 14 distilleries over the years – dating as far back as 1810 – and several of the bourbon barons who operated them spent some of their profits building fine homes in Lawrenceburg.
Visitors and residents often wonder about the history of these houses along South Main Street. They can now learn a little more by taking a walking tour and reading the information on the banners outside seven of these homes that were “Built By Bourbon.” The Lawrenceburg-Anderson County Tourism office gathered information about the distillers who built and lived in these houses, along with photos of them, to provide a brief history of each, starting with the Ripy House and working on down to the Routt-Bond cabin.
“A number of people have come into the tourism office over the past few years and asked ‘What’s the story behind those beautiful homes on South Main Street?’” said Kendall Clinton, the tourism commission’s executive director. “We decided to answer the question by putting the histories right outside on banners.”
The research and photo collection for the project was done by Gene Wilhoit – a member of the tourism commission – and his daughter Kara.
At least one area tour company has already been highlighting the histories of some of these homes as part of a monthly tour it leads in Lawrenceburg, which focuses primarily on the Ripy House. Now anybody can park downtown, walk south on Main Street and find out a little history about which distillers were associated with which houses.
Lawrenceburg’s new Built By Bourbon banners were presented during a ribbon cutting on Friday, July 16th outside the Ripy House, located at 320 S. Main Street. To see all of the banners, plan a trip to downtown Lawrenceburg and take a stroll down South Main Street.