A Phase II National Register Evaluation at Higbee Tavern (15FA222), Harrodsburg - Lexington Road, Fayette County, Kentucky

Author(s): Henry McKelway

Year: 1996


From July 24 through August I, 1995, Cultural Resource Analysts' personnel completed Phase II

archaeological investigations at site 15FA222 along the proposed Harrodsburg-Lexington Road, U.S. 68

upgrade in Fayette and Jessamine Counties, Kentucky. The Phase II investigations were conducted at

the request of Mr. Clyde Brown of T.H.E. Engineers, Inc. Archival research indicated that the site was

once the Levi Grow Hotel that was built in 1870. Archival research also indicated that a tavern operated

by John Higbee, a prominent settler in the early nineteenth century, occupied the same area. The tavern

should be considered a focal point Of community activity because the location served as a meeting place

for politicians such as Henry Clay, as the place for militiamen to gather, and no doubt a location where

important information was disseminated. The data available documented that Higbee owned slaves who

may have worked at the tavern. Given the commercial service nature of nineteenth century taverns, it

was assumed that the site might also include a complex of buildings performing a variety of functions.

Archaeological research recorded the existence of three distinct Structures. One structure appears to be

the remains of the Iligbee tavern. The other two may be either support facilities and outbuildings or

domiciles of resident workers. These architectural remains were associated with early to mid-nineteenth

century artifacts. Intact midden deposits were associated with two of these structures. There is a high

probability for sub-surface features at the site (e.g., root cellars and privies). A variety of pertinent

research questions may be addressed through archaeological research, and as a result, the site is

considered eligible for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places under Criteria D. A phase

Ill mitigation plan addressing historical and archaeological research questions was prepared and is

presented in this document. If the site cannot be avoided the mitigation plan should be implemented and

phase Ill data recovery excavations should follow pursuant to the regulations Of the Advisory Council

on Historic Preservation (36CFR Part 800).

Cite this Record

A Phase II National Register Evaluation at Higbee Tavern (15FA222), Harrodsburg - Lexington Road, Fayette County, Kentucky. Henry McKelway. 1996 ( tDAR id: 455435) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8455435

Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 1800 to 1870

Spatial Coverage

min long: -84.619; min lat: 37.876 ; max long: -84.47; max lat: 37.978 ;

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