Big Bone Lick State Historic Site (Ky.)



Big Bone Lick State Historic Site (Ky.)

Alternate name

Big Bone Lick State Park (Ky.)


Historic Status: National Register of Historic Places
The most famous landmark of the Big Bone area, Big Bone Lick, is now the site of a state park. The salt lick, or lick, as it is more generally known here, was long known to the original inhabitants of the area. It was discovered by people of European descent about 1735, the first recorded instance being one Robert Smith, an Indian trader.
The extraordinarily large bones of mammoths and mastodons found in the swamps around the salt lick frequented by animals, who need salt in their diets, was the most notable feature to be found in the entire geographical region. Even the first maps noted it as “the place the big bones are found.” It was a source of huge bones for paleontologists for several centuries.
The area is rich in history, and was the site of a “Watering Place”, a hotel that catered to the well-to-do in the early part of the nineteenth century. There have been at least three hotels associated with the springs.

Has beginning

Construction Date: Bef 1600


Kentucky Historic Resources Inventory designation: BE 354
National Register reference number: 72001585
National Archives identifier: 123849296

Full address

3380 Beaver Road

Political division

Located within

Related resource





Target coordinates

698270.635 m
4321727.278 m


Item sets

Linked resources

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Title Alternate label Class
Zachary Baker Cemetery (Big Bone, Ky.) Located within Location
Big Bone Methodist Church Building (Big Bone, Ky.) Located within Location
Big Bone Salt Springs (Boone County, Ky.) Located within Location
Title Alternate label Class
Big Bone Creek (Boone County, Ky. : River) Related resource Location
Ferguson, Bruce S. Related resource Person
Big Bone Lick Association (Boone County, Ky.) Related resource Organization
Clay Hotel Building (Big Bone, Ky.) Related resource Location
has site
Title Alternate label Class
Friends of Big Bone (Boone County, Ky.) Has site Organization
Big Bone Lick Historical Association (Boone County, Ky.) Has site Organization