Old Cole Tavern in Woodford County, Kentucky
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  1. #1
    hu
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    Ozarks
    12,686
    304 times

    Old Cole Tavern in Woodford County, Kentucky

    Cole’s Inn, was located on Cole’s Road, (now Lees town Pike, U.S. 421), and one mile west of Midway across from Fisher’s Mill road.

    The Wait's Place, on the Site of the Old Cole Tavern in Woodford County, Kentucky.
    Burned down April 12, 1956.
    Cole’s Tavern in Woodford County Had Dubious Reputation
    Popular Hangout For Hearing Politics and Gossip in Early 1800’s
    By Frieda Curtis-Wheatley - 2002
    Richard Cole, Sr., born April 23, 1729, in Pennsylvania and his wife, Ann Hubbard-Cole, born in 1730, were early pioneers to what is now Woodford County, Kentucky. Woodford County was created from Fayette on November 12, 1788.

    Richard Cole, Sr., a Revolutionary War soldier, arrived in Kentucky County about 1782. He located on a farm situated on the Leestown Pike ( US 421) better known for more than a half-century, after the formation of Woodford County, as Cole’s Road. During this era settlers were making their homes in all parts of the county. The beautiful, fertile, timbered land, with many springs of cool water, seemed to lure settlers. Mr. Cole was a prosperous and painstaking farmer. Soon after arriving in Kentucky County he built a large building on the premises near the road. It housed his family, as well as being used as a tavern to accommodate the traveling public. The road was the main thoroughfare from Maysville and Lexington, to Frankfort and Louisville. On July 1, 1794, Richard Cole, Sr., was appointed to work on part of the old Leestown Road of which he was surveyor, along with his son, Richard, and others. All gatherings of the politicians in that end of the county met at either Cole’s Tavern or Offutt’s Crossroads. The vicinity in which Cole’s Tavern was located was known as Sodom. The village of Sodom, located on Elkhorn Creek, had flour and grist mills; as well as cotton and hemp factories, a tannery, shoe shop, carding machine, and a storehouse.

    The manufacturing town of Sodom has passed into the annals of history. Railroads drew the trade to other localities. Later known as Fishers Mill, the remains of old buildings could be found by turning north off Leestown Pike in front of the Wait’s Place.

    (second attachment )The cookhouse, right, and the springhouse, left, were both spared when Wait's Place burned in 1956. Today, the old buildings are difficult to see as you travel US HWY 421 in Woodford County, because of the trees and brush grown up beside the road.

    Richard Cole's tavern had a dubious reputation. Cumming, on his tour to the Western country between 1807 and 1809, states, "Quitting Frankfort, we took a different route which brought us, after riding ten miles mostly through woods, to Cole's who keeps an inn on this road in opposition to Daly, on the other end. But any traveler, who has once contrasted Cole's rough vulgarity and the badness of his table and accommodations, with the taste, order, plenty, and good attendance of his mulatto competitor, will never trouble Mr. Cole a second time; especially as there is no sensible difference in the length or goodness of the roads, and that by Daly's is through a generally much better settled country."

    Cumming had been to Leestown, which had been laid out by Hancock Lee in 1775. It was one of the earliest settlements in Kentucky, located on the Kentucky River below present day Frankfort.

    Since it was commonplace for people to frequent taverns to learn what was going on in the Eastern states from the travelers passing through, as well as hearing the local politics and gossip, the taverns became a hangout for idlers. Manners were often rough in the country taverns. The host of the early taverns and inns had little choice in selecting the daily menu, as he was dependant on a hunter's prowess to provide the meat. Venison, bear, wild turkey, or other small game was usually served. Most tavern's lodging consisted of rooms with two beds, often shared with three or four strangers. When the rooms were full, the overflow travelers had no choice but to roll up in their blankets and stretch out with their feet toward the fire on the public room floor.

    Ann Hubbard-Cole died at the age of 65 on February 11, 1795, and was buried in the Cole cemetery on this site. Richard Cole married Emsey Margaret James, after the death of Ann. In 1810 Richard Cole, Sr., had two members in his family and five slaves.

    In the winter of 1811, Richard Cole's Tavern & Inn was destroyed by fire. Mr. Cole died three years later, on November 21, 1814, at the age of 85 years. He, too, was buried in the Cole family cemetery. He had nine children, some leaving their mark in history.

    Richard Cole, Jr., bought the Offutt Inn in 1812. Offutt had obligated himself to put his dwelling house and kitchen in good repair and to erect a log stable, about 1840, to be used as the first stage tavern and halfway house for travelers between Lexington and Frankfort. It later became known as the Black Horse Inn and stands today at Nugents Crossroads, south of Midway in Woodford County, Kentucky. Richard Cole, Jr., was the grandfather of Zerelda Cole, mother of Frank and Jesse James.

    Alsey Cole, daughter of Richard Cole, Sr., married Anthony Lindsey in 1788. Anthony Lindsey built Lindsey's Fort in Scott County about 1790.

    Attachment 3 MAP

    In October of 1874, William Edward Waits and R. L. Waits purchased land located on the Leestown dirt road from Thomas H. Bedford, the guardian of several Bedford children. On April 11, 1891, Henry Waits bought the property containing about 146 acres from Edward Waits. The one-acre graveyard was not conveyed. Mr. Waits, a bachelor of Woodford County, died intestate in 1925. On January 5, 1926, Thomas Roach bought the property from the Waits heirs. The land was located on the Leestown turnpike, four miles west of Midway.

    An 11-room frame house was constructed on the side of the old Cole Tavern, about the years 1866 to 1871, making it between 85-90 years old when it burned on April 12, 1956. The cookhouse, located about 50 feet behind the house, was spared along with the springhouse. The springhouse was built over a small stream which ran under the building, for cooking purposes, and out the other side. An old map shows this stream of water called Cole's Branch. In later years the property was referred to as the Waits Place. My aunt's family occupied this house, located on the Leestown Pike (US 421) for a number of years in the 1930s and early 1940s. My sister, Maxine, and I were born in this house, even though our parents, Wesley and Atha Pettit-Curtis, had a home in Scott County, Kentucky. Some years before this house was destroyed by fire, the road elevation in front of the house was raised. Today the old cookhouse and springhouse are difficult to see as you drive by, because of the trees and brush grown up beside the road. The one lone tombstone stands for Ann Hubbard-Cole (1730-1795), surrounded by a black wooden fence on the hill. In the 1930s many stones were in the graveyard, but have disappeared with time.

    I have always heard the tavern referred to as Cole's Bad Inn, justified or not, I don't know. There is no historical marker.

    Information obtained from the History of Woodford County, by Railey; Early Western Travels; Stagecoach Days in the Bluegrass; Court Records and a Lexington newspaper.



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    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow

  2. #2
    Kentucky Kache

    Re: Old Cole Tavern in Woodford County, Kentucky

    Thanks gypsy, I might have to check this one out.

  3. #3
    Timber tromper-Bushwhacker-Cornstalker

    Jul 2006
    Northeast KY
    2 Whites MXT's Goldscan 5 PI
    446
    9 times

    Re: Old Cole Tavern in Woodford County, Kentucky

    You had better hurry if you want to beat me there. (Just kiddin)

    Thanks Gypsy!
    Have detectors will travel

  4. #4
    hu
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    Ozarks
    12,686
    304 times

    Re: Old Cole Tavern in Woodford County, Kentucky

    I thought this looked great also....Hope someone gets there and hunts it.!
    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow

  5. #5
    us
    Do you have Jesus in your heart?

    Feb 2007
    Kentucky
    Nautilus DMC IIb/White's 6000 Di Pro
    1,895
    8 times

    Re: Old Cole Tavern in Woodford County, Kentucky

    I think it's on Pin Oak Horse Farm.

    Burt
    "Those who love me will keep my word, and my father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them." (John 14:23 NRSV)

  6. #6
    us
    Oct 2006
    Kentucky
    White's Prizm V
    142
    8 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Old Cole Tavern in Woodford County, Kentucky

    I have always wondered about that place... its about a 1/2 mile from my house. I asked permission once about detecting around there but I never could get an answer from the owner...

  7. #7

    Nov 2005
    Minelab E-Trac
    53
    1 times

    Re: Old Cole Tavern in Woodford County, Kentucky

    That was the first place I focused on when I moved here a few weeks ago. I know someone who knows someone who knows the owner, who said that at least a dozen other people have asked for permission to detect it over the years but the owner will not allow it.

  8. #8
    Kentucky Kache

    Re: Old Cole Tavern in Woodford County, Kentucky

    Quote Originally Posted by epi-hunter
    That was the first place I focused on when I moved here a few weeks ago. I know someone who knows someone who knows the owner, who said that at least a dozen other people have asked for permission to detect it over the years but the owner will not allow it.
    There goes that Idea.

  9. #9
    hu
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    Ozarks
    12,686
    304 times

    Re: Old Cole Tavern in Woodford County, Kentucky

    One thing that I have discovered over the years....I do not rely on anyone elses oppinion when it comes to asking permission. I have gotten permission to hunt many places that other people told me were "off Limits".
    You need to seek out and talk to the owner IN PERSON . If the answer is no.....wait a few months and approach them again. I had a woman tell me No and 1 year later I stopped by and asked again. She had changed her mind and now lets me hunt any of her property when I want.
    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow

  10. #10

    Nov 2005
    Minelab E-Trac
    53
    1 times

    Re: Old Cole Tavern in Woodford County, Kentucky

    Quote Originally Posted by gypsyheart
    One thing that I have discovered over the years....I do not rely on anyone elses oppinion when it comes to asking permission. I have gotten permission to hunt many places that other people told me were "off Limits".
    You need to seek out and talk to the owner IN PERSON . If the answer is no.....wait a few months and approach them again. I had a woman tell me No and 1 year later I stopped by and asked again. She had changed her mind and now lets me hunt any of her property when I want.
    I did ask in person, but good point. Who knows what will happen in the future.

  11. #11
    Timber tromper-Bushwhacker-Cornstalker

    Jul 2006
    Northeast KY
    2 Whites MXT's Goldscan 5 PI
    446
    9 times

    Re: Old Cole Tavern in Woodford County, Kentucky

    Quote Originally Posted by gypsyheart
    One thing that I have discovered over the years....I do not rely on anyone elses oppinion when it comes to asking permission. I have gotten permission to hunt many places that other people told me were "off Limits".
    You need to seek out and talk to the owner IN PERSON . If the answer is no.....wait a few months and approach them again. I had a woman tell me No and 1 year later I stopped by and asked again. She had changed her mind and now lets me hunt any of her property when I want.

    You are sooooo right.
    Have detectors will travel

 

 

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