Bardstown, Kentucky’s old jail is a real trip back in time

Thick walls and narrow windows of the jail

Thick walls and narrow windows of the jail

Bardstown, Kentucky is in Nelson County and is in the heart of the Kentucky Bourbon industry. Bardstown is also home to one of the oldest jails in the area. The original jail structure (now called the front jail) was erected in 1819 and was used until 1874 to house prisoners. In 1874 the “back jail” was built and held inmates until 1987. During this time the front jail was the jailer’s residence. The facility is now a Bed and Breakfast using the rooms in the old residence.

The history of this place is fascinating. You can (for a fee) take a tour of the back jail, with many of the jail cells untouched since the last prisoners left in 1987. There are original photos, some of which show the last hanging that took place in 1894 in the yard in back of the jail.

The structure is quite the fortress! The walls are every bit of 30 inches thick with large metal bars covering the narrow windows. There are mason’s marks on the huge stones where hooks were used to move them into place during the construction. The original wall surrounding the back yard is complete with massive solid metal gates.

There are some nice RV parks in the area, including My Old Kentucky Home State Park. Be sure to check out the old jail and the other attractions in and around Bardstown.

Hood and shackles for the 1894 hanging

Hood and shackles for the 1894 hanging

Back of the jail where the gallows were for the last hanging in 1894

Back of the jail where the gallows were for the last hanging in 1894

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The Cincinnati South RV park is beautiful but loud

Cincinnati South Campground is a former KOA location that is now part of the Good Sam Club list of RV parks. The park is located south of Florence, Kentucky just a couple of miles off of Exit 166 from I-75. Head east to Rt. 25, turn right to the park about two miles south. Full hook up rates are $32 per night for full hookup with 30 amp, $37 for 50 amp. The facility is open from March 1 to October 31.There is no tent camping here.

The pond and overall setting is quite serene

The pond and overall setting is quite serene

Level gravel sites throughout the park

Level gravel sites throughout the park

This park is covered in beautiful old trees throughout. There are over 90 spaces for RVs. Twenty six have full hook-ups with 50 Amp and 30 Amp service, water and sewer. Not all sites have sewer but a dump station is available. You will be escorted to your site and assistance in locating your rig on the gravel pads is provided if needed.

The store is well stocked with basic RV needs, and also has DVDs and books available. The restrooms and showers are exceptionally clean with seating benches in the private shower stalls. The rolling topography, trees and large lake provide a beautiful setting for your visit.

While the park is beautiful, the facilities outstanding, and the staff friendly and helpful, the Cincinnati South Campground does have some issues. It is very close to I-75 so road traffic sounds are always there. However, the most annoying sounds come from the nearby trains. Trains run at close intervals, and the tracks cross several roads. This leads to each train blowing its extremely loud horn multiple times during each passing. The first night we stayed the every hour or so blaring train horns kept us from getting much sleep.

Unfortunately, the noises we experienced will keep us from returning to this otherwise nice park.