Whiskey Walks and Bourbon Talks Digital Tour of Downtown

Website ScreenshotLast week, the City of Bardstown Historic Preservation Office launched their newest digital walking tour. The tour, titled Whiskey Walks and Bourbon Talks, focuses on the history of bourbon production in Bardstown and Nelson County. It is the second in a series of five planned tours focused on Bardstown history.

To complete the tour, participants access a mobile website and walk the path indicated on the map. As they arrive at each tour destination, they can view a corresponding historic photo and description. In addition to photos and text descriptions, the tour is narrated by Author and Historian Dixie Hibbs. Several of the stops are written as first-person accounts. These stories are brought to life by the help of professional voice actors and old-fashioned music.

 Talbott Tavern Interior Talbott Tavern Interior 1940s

The digital walking tours are part of a grant from the Certified Local Government Program through the Kentucky Heritage Council. Historic Preservation Coordinator RaShae Jennings said “We are hoping to make the history of our community come alive through these tours. We want the history of our town to be appreciated, and we feel that this new innovative platform is a method for this information to be made available to everyone.” Along with Jennings and Hibbs who wrote the text for the tour, several members of the City of Bardstown team contributed to the project. GIS Coordinator David Evans completed the mapping and programming, and Hannah Bowman helped with design and audio. High School Students Phillip Wagoner, Victoria Coxcon, and Syndey Judd also worked on the project, editing and compiling the historic photographs, as part of an internship with the Historic Preservation Office.

The tour boasts an impressive 16 stops (and 75 photos). But for those who may be intimidated by that amount of information, there is a distilled down version of the tour. It focuses on the highlights of the longer tour and can be walked in one hour.

This release comes just in time for the 2019 Kentucky Bourbon Festival. About the timing of the release, Jennings said “We feel this tour will be a highlight for our community members and for the many visitors who will be attending the KY Bourbon Festival. The information in the tour is directly related to the history of bourbon and whiskey in Nelson County.” The tour routes are designed to be physically walked. However, those less inclined to enjoy the great outdoors or who have limited mobility may still view the photos, read the descriptions, and listen to the narration from the comfort of their living room on any device that can connect to a web browser.

To take a tour, visit www.bardstowndigitalwalkingtours.com