Cole’s Bad Inn

*The Kentucky Explorer is a Copyrighted Publication. Thanks to the Kentucky Explorer for the use of this article & image, used with their permission.

The Wait's Place, on the Site of the Old Cole Tavern in Woodford County, Kentucky.
Burned down April 12, 1956.

Cole’s Tavern in Woodford County Had Dubious Reputation

Popular Hangout For Hearing Politics and Gossip in Early 1800’s

By Frieda Curtis-Wheatley - 2002

Richard Cole, Sr., born April 23, 1729, in Pennsylvania and his wife, Ann Hubbard-Cole, born in 1730, were early pioneers to what is now Woodford County, Kentucky. Woodford County was created from Fayette on November 12, 1788.

Richard Cole, Sr., a Revolutionary War soldier, arrived in Kentucky County Virginia  about 1782. He located on a farm situated on the Leestown Pike ( US 421) better known for more than a half-century, after the formation of Woodford County, as Cole’s Road. During this era settlers were making their homes in all parts of the county. The beautiful, fertile, timbered land, with many springs of cool water, seemed to lure settlers. Mr. Cole was a prosperous and painstaking farmer. He soon became the "High Sheriff" of Woodford County and his son in law Benjamin Graves was the Justice of the Peace.  Soon after arriving in Kentucky he built a large building on the premises near the road. It housed his family, as well as being used as a tavern to accommodate the traveling public.  The road was the main thoroughfare from Maysville and Lexington, to Frankfort and Louisville. On July 1, 1794, Richard Cole, Sr., was appointed to work on part of the old Leestown Road of which he was surveyor, along with his son, Richard, and others. All gatherings of the politicians in that end of the county met at either Cole’s Tavern or Offutt’s Crossroads. The vicinity in which Cole’s Tavern was located was known as Sodom. The village of Sodom, located on Elkhorn Creek, had flour and grist mills; as well as cotton and hemp factories, a tannery, shoe shop, carding machine, and a storehouse.

The manufacturing town of Sodom has passed into the annals of history. Railroads drew the trade to other localities. Later known as Fishers Mill, the remains of old buildings could be found by turning north off Leestown Pike in front of the Wait’s Place.


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