Settled in the late 18th century, Paris, Kentucky, (population 9,196) is located on Houston and Stoner Creeks and the old Lexington-Maysville Road. The first courthouse was built in 1787. In 1789, the town of Hopewell was created; its name was changed to Paris in 1790 in gratitude to the French for their assistance during the Revolutionary War. Paris is the seat of Bourbon County, and its motto is “history, horses, and hospitality.”
Paris was the dominant manufacturing center of Bourbon County, with an economy fueled by early grist and saw mills and hemp and cotton factories. Later industries included bourbon distilleries, cultivation of bluegrass seed and tobacco, and breeding and racing thoroughbred horses.
A group of Kentucky’s early settlers built the Cane Ridge Meeting House in 1791. The Meeting House was the site of the late 18th and early 19th Century Western Great Revival and the birthplace of a movement seeking unity among Christians along non-sectarian lines, which led to the development of The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Churches of Christ, and the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ known as the Stone-Campbell family of churches. It is believed to be the largest one-room log structure standing in North America.
The Duncan Tavern Historic Center (DTHC) is a Kentucky Historic State Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. DTHC is comprised of two connected buildings: a Georgian-style 15-room tavern built by Revolutionary War soldier Major Joseph Duncan in 1788, four years before Kentucky became a state, and Ann Duncan’s house, a two-story, eight-room house built by his wife after his death in about 1800. Today, the tavern is headquarters to the Kentucky Daughters of the American Revolution, which operates it as a museum and genealogical research center.
The Hopewell Museum is located in a 1910 Beaux Arts building originally constructed to serve as the U.S. post office for Paris. It features changing exhibits on the art and history of Bourbon County. It offers activity areas and art workshops for children and features guest speakers, artists, historians, and musicians.
The headquarters of The Garden Club of Kentucky is the Nannine Clay Wallis House and Arboretum. Listed on the National Register, the circa 1850s house is open for tours by appointment and may be rented for special occasions.
Designated a Preserve America Community in May 2011.