Kentucky History Tours near Louisville

Experience The Rich History of Oldham, Kentucky!

Oldham’s “Step Into History” Tours

Experience Oldham’s Interactive History

By popular demand!  Our most requested tours have a running theme…unique tidbits of local lore, behind-the-scenes tours, interactive touch-and-taste experiences, and our local history. We obviously have it all covered in this tour because it is our most requested itinerary to customize! This tour is perfect for one History Tour day or, can easily be expanded to include an overnight stay and our most popular two-day tour – including a day in La Grange and a day in Crestwood. See Day 2 below for the AWESOME optional extension.

 

The Oldham County History Center has been a partner with the Library of Congress for the Veterans Oral History Project since 2002 resulting close to 100 veteran’s oral history interviews, most of which are WWII Veterans. Since 2007 the Oldham County History Center launched the Living Treasures Oral History Project. These oral histories are monthly features in the Oldham Era newspapers. The Oldham County History Center partnered with the Louie B. Nunn Oral History Library to share the Veterans Oral Histories and the Living Treasures program where they are digitized and accessible through the internet.

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    Full Day #1

    1800’s Historic La Grange: Downtown, The Train & BBQ

    Tour the newly renovated, interactive Oldham County History Center Campus & Museum. Oldham is home of 2 Underground Railroad designations from the National Park Service Network to Freedom. Get a behind-the-scenes tour and historical gossip surrounding these historic gems on campus…starting with the The Peyton Samuel Head Root Cellar, a unique attraction that educates aboutfood preparation and storage in Antebellum America. Here is what you will see on the History Center Campus (Click here for more detailed campus info):

     

    Catered buffet lunch (groups love our BBQ buffet complete with two shredded meats, sauces, 2 sides, dessert, water, tea and lemonade) will be served in the Rob Morris Chapel (now the Educational Building), featuring Nancy Theiss, Executive Director of the Oldham County Historical Society and author (VIDEO INTRO to Underground Railroad speaker).

     

    Reenactments, guest speakers, historical experts, and special exhibits can be requested in advance. Groups love to learn about Dehlia Webster, an Underground Railroad Conductor, who risked her own life to save slaves – and was the only woman in jail as a result!

     

    After Lunch… Discover Historic Downtown La Grange

     

    Step outside the History Center to enjoy a leisurely stroll (or shopping) on our very walkable Main Street in historic downtown La Grangethe ONLY town in the WORLD with a train running ON its Main Street! Enjoy a mini ghost tour (if planned in advance), relax under an umbrella on the courthouse lawn, enjoy a cup of freshly roasted coffee from La Grange Coffee Roasters while you watch the passing trains, or take in an artist demonstration (if planned in advance) in one of our local studios. Galleries, unique toys for the grandkids, boutiques, craft stores, antiques, and snacks can be found in our quaint Downtown, so it’s the perfect one-hour break to walk off lunch before loading the bus for the next stop! You will want to stop in Judith M., the newest addition to Main Street and official milliner of the Kentucky Derby!

     

    Afternoon Tour – Woodland Farm

     

    The Woodland Farm Tour is unique as soon as guests arrive! This historical bison farm tour is enjoyed from a hay wagon! With gorgeous views overlooking the Ohio River (a gorgeous fall foliage tour in itself), Woodland offers so many experiences other than bison, including florescent green rabbits and hot pink snails – art, of course, sprinkled throughout the farm and up in trees.

     

    Dating back to the original land grants of the 1840s, Woodland Farm has been a 1,000 acre working farm for over 150 years. Since then the farm has grown to focus on sustainable growing practices and heritage foods. Woodland Farm was added to the National Register of Historical Places in 1997, and is the single largest Kentucky property on the Register. With gorgeous gardens, modern artwork, organic orchards, fields of wildflowers, treehouses, breathtaking views of the Ohio River, American bison for days, and a sustainable foods farm store, Woodland Farm is one of our most memorable tours! Did we say, hay wagon ride?

     

    Dinner on the Right Side of the Tracks

     

    After a visit to their hotel room to freshen up, Guests will enjoy dinner on the railroad tracks of Main Street. One Nineteen West Main restaurant overlooks the courthouse lawn. They have worked with Oldham KY Tourism to develop a menu of their most popular dishes for a set price. The menu includes an app, a main entree, dessert, drink, and gratuity. No need to worry about a thing other than which delectable morsel to taste first! One Nineteen owns the patent for Bourbon Bacon Pie – a Kentucky favorite!

     

    A Night Cap Under the Stars

     

    If after dinner anyone is interested in a nightcap, Main Street Bourbon & Ale House is on Main Street within walking distance of One Nineteen or a short jaunt to the other end of Main Street on the bus. They are next door neighbors and have a ton of outdoor seating. Also in their front yard, you will find the Downtown La Grange Train Observation Tower.  If local craft beer and mead sound more interesting, we can load the bus and head to 3rd Turn Brewing Oldham Gardens with Hive & Barrel Meadery, 10 minutes away in Crestwood.

    Full Day #2

    Gems of Crestwood (Exit 14 off I-71)

    Enjoy a morning guided behind-the-scenes tour of Yew Dell Botanical Gardens. Yew Dell (read more here) is the former home, garden, and commercial nursery of the late Theodore Klein, an internationally-known nurseryman and plant expert. Klein’s unique collection of rare garden plants, display gardens, and architectural features have been developed into a major horticultural display, education, and research center. Yew Dell is recognized on the National Register of Historic Places and was designated one of the top ten destination gardens in the U.S. by Horticulture Magazine. Yew Dell has the largest collection of hellebore species in the world – 150 varieties – and over 100 ferns! Their slate-roof castle and “green” greenhouse are continuously written about.

     

    Yew Dell is the perfect place and size to meander through the gardens, visit the fairy garden, enjoy a garden lunch, take a pre-arranged gardening class, and take home some great ideas! They also have the coolest little award-winning gardening gift shop built in a tobacco barn! Golf carts are also available with notice.

     

     

    A Kentucky Sip

     

    After lunch, we’ll head back in the direction of Yew Dell, but next door!  Kentucky Artisan Distillery is a unique Kentucky distillery in that it’s called a craft distillery. It’s filled with distilling antiques, and to us, much more interesting! A popular stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour, you’ll learn the importance of growing and using local grains in their high-end bourbons, including Jefferson’s bourbons and Whiskey Row. Whiskey Row is a pre-prohibition style bourbon made with grains grown at the historic Waldeck Mansion just up the street. Groups love this tour because, even if they are not drinkers, this tour offers a look inside the world of making small-batch bourbon by hand! Antiques galore fill this distillery from the still to the distilling equipment! The tour includes a taste of 6 different bourbons!

    We also offer a Kentucky Comfort Foods Buffet for lunch or dinner on the deck of the distillery and the menu is developed around the bourbons produced on the tour. Whiskey Row baked ham, anyone? Country green beans and cucumber tomato salad? But the carrot cake with french buttercream icing is always the show stopper!

    Got More History? We Do!

    We have MUCH more to add to this itinerary! Underground Railroad History Cruises on the Ohio River, Historic Cemetery Tours, Historic Walking Tours, and remember the movie with Shirley Temple, “The Little Colonel,”…? The entire series is based on our town of Pewee Valley and was written by Oldham Countian, Annie Fellows Johnston! More famous people HERE. More historic sites HERE.

    A photo of Kim Buckler Hydes, Tourism Director in Oldham County, KY

    Your Oldham Getaway Assistant

    Kim Buckler Hydes is the Executive Director of Oldham KY Tourism and is ready to help you plan your Oldham getaway! Contact her today at (502) 222-0056 or toll-free at 800-813-9953. You can also email her directly at Director@TourOldham.com.

     

    You can visit the Oldham Visitors Center at 204 S. First Street, La Grange, KY 40031. Our mailing address is Oldham KY Tourism, PO Box 529, Pewee Valley, KY 40056-0529. We look forward to hearing from you!