This entry in the For Namesake blog is about London, Kentucky and the World Chicken Festival [1}, which this year is being held on September 25 to 28. This is one of 14 "London's" from the book "For Namesake, a Travel Book"
London, Kentucky (37.128670, -84.083341)
London, Kentucky is a town of 7,993 located in Laurel County along US Route 25 and Kentucky Route 80, just east of Interstate 75 in the southern part of the state. London is the county seat of Laurel County. London has a satellite campus of Union College. The main campus is in Barbourville 20 miles to the southeast of London. London also has the Somerset Community College. Corbin, 10 miles south of London, has a satellite campus of Eastern Kentucky University.
The act that created Laurel County in 1825 provided for a popular vote to select the county seat. John and Jarvis Jackson’s offer of the site of London was accepted along with their suggestion that the town be named London. It is believed that they selected the name based upon their English ancestry and the hope that the new settlement might grow to be like its namesake. London was officially found in 1826. The post office was established in 1831 with Branham Hill as the first postmaster. The town was incorporated in 1866. 
London is the home of the World Chicken Festival that can draw as many as 250,000 people on the last weekend of every September. Attractions in London include the Camp Wild Cat Civil War Battlefield, Daniel Boone Motocross Park, Kinlee Stables, Laurel County History Museum & Genealogy Center, London Community Orchestra, London Dragway, London Laurel County Farmers Market, Mountain Life Museum and Rockcastle Adventures Canoe Livery. Barbourville has the Historic McNeil’s Crossing, Knox Historical Museum, and the Dr. Thomas Walker State Historic Site. Corbin offers the Cumberland Star Riverboat, Kentucky Native American Heritage Museum and the Sanders Café & Museum, in Colonel Sanders’ original restaurant. Manchester has the Clay County Community Farmers Market. Mount Vernon offers the Climax Horse Camp, Renfro Valley Entertainment Center, Rockcastle Speedway and Sigmon Farms. Somerset has the Carnegie Community Arts Center, Cedar Creek Vineyard, the Center for Rural Development Performing Arts, Children’s Botanical Garden of South Central Kentucky, Pulaski County Farmers Market, Sinking Valley Winery and SomerSplash Water Park.
The Daniel Boone National Forest located both to the east and west of London, has many campgrounds. Nearby lakes include Laurel River Lake and Wood Creek Lake. State Parks in the area include Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, General Burnside Island State Park, Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park and Pine Mountain State Resort Park.
Notable residents of London include Teel Bruner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee; Chera-Lyn Cook, beauty queen & Miss Kentucky in 1998; Roy L. Gilbert, American thoroughbred horse jockey; Flem D. Sampson, former governor of Kentucky; and Darrell Scott, country singer and songwriter.
3. Rennick, Robert M., Kentucky Place Names (Lexington, Ky: University Press of Kentucky, 1987) p.178
Picture Credit: Laurel County Courthouse in London, Kentucky (Wikimedia Commons - User: W. Marsh CC-BY-SA)
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