Old Talbott Tavern – Bardstown, Kentucky

Exterior view of the Old Talbott Tavern

Photo by Cindy47452

The Old Talbott Tavern was built in 1779 as the western-most (at the time) stagecoach stop in the frontier wilderness of a new nation. The town of Salem (later renamed to Bardstown) grew up around it. Originally called the Hynes Hotel after it’s first owner, this building has continuously operated as an inn and tavern under a variety of names and owners since it opened.

During its history, the inn and tavern played host to a number of famous and infamous people including Daniel Boone, Jesse James, Henry Clay, John Fitch, John James Audubon, Louis Philippe I, and three future presidents: Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison, and Abraham Lincoln.

The Tavern was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 30, 1973.

Today you can stay in the Inn or visit the tavern and partake of the remarkable Bourbons produced in the region


The Old Talbott Tavern is also considered one of the most haunted Inns in America. Witnesses report seeing various apparitions including a woman in 18th century garb, a little girl, and a man. Objects are also reported to move or disappear without visible cause. Strange sounds are heard and orbs of light are seen. In addition…

  1. The misty image of a little girl sitting in one of the dining room chandeliers was photographed in 1998. It’s reported that these chandeliers would sway for no apparent reason. The little girl has been seen throughout the building and one guest was awakened to feel a small child spooning her back and playing with her hair.
  2. A guest in the dining room asked the manager if she could make his fork stop moving. Both the guest and manager watched the fork balance itself on the rim of the salad plate.
  3. Throughout the restaurant, dinnerware and silverware have been moved and seen to move on their own volition.
  4. One of the infamous guests to have stayed at the tavern was outlaw Jesse James. It is believed that he left the bullet holes in the murals upstairs while drunk. His spirit has been seen by staff. Interestingly, James and members of his gang spent time at the St. James Hotel in Selma, Alabama and his spirit has been reported there as well.


Address: 107 West Stephen Foster Avenue, Bardstown, Kentucky 40004
Phone: (502) 348-3494
Website: http://www.talbotts.com/

Tours and Events

At the time of this posting, The Old Talbott Tavern was one of the stops on the Patti Starr’s Bardstown Ghost Trek which runs every Saturday night from June through October starting at 8:00pm. The cost is $15.00. Be sure to check the Ghost Trek website or call 859-576-5517 for current details.


Special thanks to Lewis of the Southern Spirit Guide and Jimmy of the Happy Hour Guys for providing information about the Old Talbott Tavern. Be sure to visit their websites.

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