A Day in Elkton, KY

Hey Guys!

My sister and I recently visited the small town of Elkton, KY.

Elkton is steeped in history and is home to the oldest Amish settlement in Kentucky.

There’s approx. 2100 people that reside in Elkton.

See a map of Elkton here

On the way, we passed a beautiful historic home called Hightower (AKA the Haddox House).

I can’t find much about this house even though it had a sign in the front yard saying it was a National Historic Register home….there was also a website on the sign but the site is no longer active.

I did find an article about where the house was listed for sale for $1 million back in 2015.

The house is located in Allensville, KY and was built in 1850.

To see pictures of this gorgeous house, click here

Read about the history of the town and the buildings in this area that are listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings here & here

Across the street from the house was a cute little historic church.

Arriving to Elkton

The Historic Todd County Courthouse, built in 1835 is one of the oldest courthouses in the state. It’s located in the center of Elkton and is home to the Historic Courthouse Todd County Welcome Center.

The small square in Elkton boasts 20+ buildings that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which are now home to various local businesses, including gift shops, antique stores, cafes and restaurants.

Our first stop of the day was the Jefferson Davis State Historic Site.

You definitely can’t miss the monument because it stands 351 ft tall!

On the way to the monument, we passed the Country Barn Garden & Farm Market.

The Country Barn offers plants, hanging baskets, nursery, garden décor and produce. They also just recently opened a cafe that offers fresh baked goods, homemade pizzas and subs, homemade ice cream, and more!

We definitely plan on making a trip back to try this place out! It was so nice!

Jefferson Davis State Historic Site is a memorial to the Kentuckian who was born on this site on June 3, 1808.

Tip: 10 months after Jefferson Davis was born, and not more than 100 miles away, another great Kentucky statesman was born, Abraham Lincoln.

Jefferson Davis was the first and only president of the Confederate States of America, the nation formed in 1861 by the secession from the Union of 11 southern states.

After arriving, we walked into the small building next to the monument that houses a small museum and gift shop.

There’s also an elevator that takes visitors to the top of the monument…so, I decided to purchase a ticket for the elevator while my sister decided to visit the museum.

Tickets for both the elevator and museum are $6.50 each.

After purchasing my ticket, one of the sweet employees walked me over to the elevator.

An employee has to ride to the top with you which was totally fine with me!

Construction of the monument began in 1917 but stopped in 1918 at a height of 175 feet due to building material rationing during World War I. Construction resumed in January 1922 and was finished in 1924 at a cost of $200,000.

The monument is the tallest unreinforced concrete structure in the world. No steel was used to reinforce the concrete walls below its pyramidal top.  It is also the tallest concrete obelisk in the world and the fifth tallest monument in the United States!

When getting on the elevator, you will see a few historical plaques hanging inside the building.

It takes about 2-3 mins to reach the top!

At the top of the monument is an observation room with a window in each of the four walls.

Before the elevator was installed in 1929, this room could only be reached by climbing stairs which went around the interior of the monument.

The views from the top gives you a bird’s eye view of the beautiful countryside.

After taking a few pictures, we headed back down.

After exiting the elevator, I went back inside the building to join my sister in the museum.

The museum features exhibits detailing Davis’ political life before and after the Civil War and the building of the monument.

Visitors can also watch a video describing Davis’ life and the construction of the monument.

The gift shop sells books and memorabilia about Davis, the American Civil War, and the surrounding area, as well as Kentucky handcrafts.

Read reviews here

Tip: Just 25 mins from this monument is the historic home of Robert Penn Warren. Robert was a local author who was born in the house on April 24, 1905. He is the only author to win Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry and fiction. Two of his fiction works were made into feature films, All the Kings Men(1949 & 2005) and Band of Angels

After leaving here, we drove over to the nearby Bethel church that sits very close to the monument.

The church was built in 1886 and sits on the property where Jefferson Davis’s home was located.

He donated the land but said it could only be used for the building of a church.

It’s beautiful!

Tip: You can also visit Jefferson Davis’s last homestead in Biloxi, MS which is now a museum

After leaving the church, we headed to our next stop, the Amish owned, Sauder Farm Country Market.

The market has an extensive variety of seeds, handmade rustic & outdoor furniture, general store items, kitchenware, home goods, and a wide selection of market specialties.

I loved this store!

I ended up purchasing some honey, tomatoes, fruit, chocolate & my favorite knives!

After leaving here, we headed back to the small square in Elkton to have lunch at the historic L & R Soda Bar.

The restaurant has the original tin ceiling and a vintage soda fountain with its marble countertop and back bar—and it proudly displays the original vintage pharmacy cabinets from Weathers Drugs that date back to 1875.

It seats about 75 people and includes a full-blown restaurant with hamburgers, soups, salads, wraps, chicken, even rib-eye steaks.

The restaurant was very busy but we got seated right away.

Tip: Click here for restaurants in Elkton & Click here to read about a farm to table restaurant called Billy Goat Hill in Elkton…see their menu here

After looking over the menu, I decided on the grilled chicken wrap with sweet potato fries and my sister ordered the chicken salad sandwich with fries.

The food was really good!

Read reviews here

After lunch, we walked around the historic square checking out some of the cute little shops.

This small boutique’s building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places like so many of the other buildings that are on the square.

I loved this old clock!

We passed this bronze statue of an elk …there was a sign explaining that Elkton got it’s name from the large herds of elk that were once drawn to a salt lick in this area.

Read about the history of Elkton here

As we continued our walk around the small town, I spotted this old looking hotel sign.

So, we went inside the store to check it out.

This building used to be a hotel back in the 1800’s but closed in 1970 and the sign hanging outside is the original hotel sign.

The hotel was originally named the Elkton Hotel but changed it’s name to the Hotel Jefferson Davis in the late 1920’s after a change of ownership.

The old hotel is now a cute little boutique called Something Special.

The building still has the original tin ceiling and the hotel’s front desk where customer’s would check into their rooms.

After purchasing some jewelry and a candle, we continued our walk through town.

Tip: There’s another historic hotel 15 mins away called Stagecoach Inn…it was built in 1833 and legend has it that Andrew Jackson, Jenny Lind, and Jesse James were patrons. It was a Civil War Confederate hospital.

As we were walking through the square, we spotted a cool mural on the side of a building so, of course, we had to get our picture taken in front of it.

Tip: On Sept 22, 2023 the town of Elkton will be be holding an event called, “evening under the stars” on the Elkton square…it features a meal showcasing local flavors to benefit Historic Todd County, Inc. and rehabilitation of the Historic 1835 Todd County Courthouse.

After leaving here, we headed to our next stop, an Amish bakery called Schlabach’s. It’s located 10 mins from the main square in Elkton.

Most of the Amish in this area drive tractors instead of using a horse and buggy

Schlabach’s Bakery has been opened since 1970.

The bakery offers all kinds of fresh and delicious Amish-style baked goods such as handmade cakes, cookies, bread, fried pies, granola, jellies, jams and more!

They always use simple ingredients in their recipes and their baked goods are made fresh daily.

I always get a little carried away when I come to places like this and ended up buying way too much….I highly recommend their apple filled cinnamon rolls and their homemade breads!!

Tip: Now you can order their yummy baked goods online!

After purchasing our goods, we headed to another Amish store called Country Pantry.

However, as we were leaving the bakery, we walked over to check out another Amish owned store near the bakery where they make swings and other hand made items.

They had some really nice stuff but it was very expensive!

Read here to find the Amish communities in KY – Kentucky the eighth-largest Amish state in North America.

Arriving to the Country Pantry.

This Amish-owned store has been around since 1889.

The store was full of veggies, fruit, grocery items, cheese, eggs, meats, etc.

After making our purchases, we decided to head home.

On the way, we passed Jo Ann’s Flowers.

They had so many beautiful plants & flowers!

I really wanted this hanging basket but there was no one around so we ended leaving.

On our way home, we stopped off at another locally owned business called Hancock Family Farm Market.

They sold fresh veggies, fruit, honey, jellies, jams, locally made cheese, meats, milk, etc.

They also sold soft serve ice cream so my sister ordered that while I purchased some cheese, milk and veggies.

After our purchases, we headed home!

Tip: 30 mins from Elkton is Christian Way Farms where you can tour the farm, play miniature golf or have lunch at their cafe. In the fall, you can pick a pumpkin or take a hay ride.

Thanks for reading!

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