Harrodsburg, the county seat of Mercer County, was founded in 1774 by a stalwart band of pioneers led by James Harrod, of Pennsylvania. It was the only “colonial” city and the first permanent English settlement west of the Allegheny mountains. Referred to as the “Birthplace of the West,” Harrodsburg has a proud and remarkable heritage.
From here the pioneers filtered through – conquering the wilderness and going on to populate and settle the rest of the Western frontier. Harrodsburg was first the county seat of Fincastle County, Virginia, then Kentucky County Virginia. When Kentucky County was divided into the counties of Fayette, Jefferson and Lincoln, Harrodsburg was the county seat of Lincoln County, which at that time covered over a third of the soon to be state.
In 1785, Mercer County was taken from Lincoln and Harrodsburg remained the county seat of Mercer County. The Kentucky territory became a state in 1792.