Cool Facts And The History Of Paris Kentucky



A historic Photograph Of downtown Paris Kentucky

Carley Stone, Staff Writer

Have you ever wanted to know more things about where we live? We live in a small town, but there are many cool things about Paris and Bourbon County that you may not have known. Starting with a cool fact…Stop what you are doing and look up “what is the tallest three-story building in the world?”… go on look it up. That is a random thing to type in, but you may be surprised by what comes up. Did you look it up? Okay good! Can you believe that the tallest three-story building in the WORLD is in downtown Paris and is a beloved restaurant by many, it is Paradise Cafe! If you have never been to Paradise Cafe it is a Chinese restaurant that doubles as a bed and breakfast. The restaurant is on the bottom floor and the bed and breakfast are on the top two floors. Speaking of downtown Paris, is an attraction to numerous people. 

I interviewed my uncle, Don Adams to help me get information about Paris and Bourbon county because he knows everything about the city of Paris and its history. D for Don and C for me. 

C  “Tell me about the history of Paris and how it came to be.” 

D   “Well for starters Paris was not always called Paris. In 1775 (making Paris 247 years old), it was called Hopewell, that is where the name of the Hopewell Museum came from. They gave credit to the French for their help during the Revolutionary War.” 

C    “When you say they, who are you referring to?”

D    “Lawrence Protzman bought the land from John Reed, but James Garrard, Bourbon County’s Representative, was the first person with the idea to change Hopewell to Paris.”

C  “Where did the name Bourbon come from?”

D   “It was after the Bourbon Kings who ruled France in the 15th… no 16th century.”

I asked him how did he know all of these things and he told me it all started when he was teaching French at Bourbon County High in 1982 





Queen Elizabeth visited Claiborne Farm in 1984.                                  (Photo by Bill Straus)

Paris Kentucky has so many attractions like Claiborne Farm, Reed Valley Orchard named after John Reed, Duncan Tavern, Hopewell Museum, and even the Bourbon County Drive-In. Speaking about Claiborne Farm, did you know that Queen Elizabeth II visited there quite often because she had a love for thoroughbreds? She also loved the Kentucky Derby and attended it in 2007. Claiborne Farm also housed one of the most famous horses of all time, Secretariat, also known as Big Red. Another attraction is downtown Paris. The first built downtown was the courthouse in 1799. From then to 1901 they had to rebuild the courthouse four times due to fire damage on all three. The last one was built in 1902 and is our current one today. Now you know some cool facts about where you live and if you haven’t visited any of the attractions, you need to.

1902, The fourth courthouse was built (Photo from Hopewell Museum Website)