Most Notorious Tourist Attractions In Kentucky
From cave explorers to feuding families, Kentucky’s past is filled with storied to keep morbid-minded adventurers entertained.
Here is a collection of some of historical sites that inform tourists of some of Kentucky’s darker days.
The Floyd Collins Museum
On January 30th, 1925, cave explorer Floyd Collins became trapped in Sand Cave while trying to find a new entrance to the Mammoth Cave system. What followed was an early 20th century media circus, and a week-long attempt by rescuers to free Collins by accessing him through the cave itself. When that cave collapsed further rescue efforts failed to reach Collins before he died.
The Floyd Collins Museum is dedicated to this event. It is part of the Wayfare Bed And Breakfast, located at Cave City, 1240 Old Mammoth Cave Road, just off of highway 70.
The Waverly Hills Sanatorium
What began in 1910 as a place to care for Tuberculosis patients has turned into one of the most famous haunted buildings in the U.S. It has been featured on several paranormal television shows such as Scariest Places On Earth and Ghost Hunters. Even for those who are skeptic of ghosts, the history of the hospital is fascinating.
Waverly Hills is located on Paralee Lane in Louisville, just off of 31W. The property is privately owned, and visitors need to make advanced reservations and follow the rules and guidelines of the owners. Tours include two-hour, four-hour, or overnight stays for ghost-hunting visitors, or two-hour historical tours, offered sporadically. For more information, visit the official site.
Cherokee Trail Of Tears Commemorative Park
President Andrew Jackson signed the Indiana Removal Act Of 1830, which led to the forcible removal of several American Indian tribes. Cherokee tribes were forced by the military to move from their lands in Georgia in 1838, and executions, disease, exposure, and starvation claimed around 4,000 lives.
The Trail Of Tears Commemorative Park, located on Trail Of Tears Drive in Hopkinsville, is one site that was used as a camp along the Cherokee trail. The park hosts the Heritage Center, which is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Visitors also can view the graves of two Cherokee chiefs. A powwow is held at the park every year, usually on the first weekend after Labor Day.
The Hatfield-McCoy Tour
Pike County is were the McCoy family lived, and eastern Pike County is believed to be where the feud began between Kentucky’s McCoys and the West Virginian Hatfields. The battles between the two families were so violent that the governors of both states had to send in members of the militia to try to settle it.
The Pike County tourism office offers CD’s of an audio driving tour that visitors can purchase and follow to tour sites of the famous feud. Pike County is also home to the Dils Cemetery, which holds the final resting places of several of the McCoy participants. Those who are interested in learning more can call 800-844-7453.