History of the Duncan Tavern

According to primary documents our historic building was probably constructed in the mid-1790s. Joseph Duncan purchased the land in 1792 and first appeared on the tax rolls in 1793.  In the mid-19th century, it was known as the Burr House and during the 1890s became a boarding house. But it had fallen onto hard times by the early 20th century and was condemned by the City of Paris in 1940.

It was at this time that the Tavern was saved from demolition by Julia Spencer Ardery and the Kentucky Society Daughters of the American Revolution. From 1940 to the current date, the members of the KSDAR have maintained and preserved the Duncan Tavern Historic Center through private donations and sponsorships.

Research is ongoing, with new developments and information being discovered regularly. Please visit to get the most up-to-date information regarding the site and to see new exhibits and interpretations of the Duncan Tavern story.

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Advertisement for the sale of the Goddess of Liberty Tavern in 1803, after Joseph Duncan's death.