Visit the smallest park in the park system where the ½-acre burial grounds of the Shelby family sits amid the peaceful countryside of Lincoln Country. The stone-walled cemetery contains the monument and resting place of Kentucky's first and fifth governor, Isaac Shelby (1750-1826), along with the 22 graves of his wife and family. They rest in what Shelby once called, “the most beautiful land he had ever seen” when first visiting KY as a surveyor of the region in 1775 — it is indeed a photo-worthy spot.
Before leaving the area, he cleared cane, planted corn, and improved the grounds so that he could secure his claim to it. Records indicate that the 1,400 acres were officially granted to him in 1780 and his home, Traveller's Rest, was completed in 1786. Upon his death, Shelby was buried in the cemetery of his estate.
The historic home was destroyed by fire in 1906, but the original detached brick kitchen still stands on private property and can be seen from a distance while visiting the site. Today, the Isaac Shelby Cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
to view a listing of those buried here.
Open all year.
The cemetery is five miles south of Danville off US 127. It is located on Kentucky Route 300 between Stanford and Junction City. Its proximity to Lexington and the Daniel Boone National Forest provides plenty of opportunity for adventure should the mood arise.