10021 Lower River Rd • Rabbit Hash, KY 41005 • 859-586-7744   |   Open every day from 10:00 AM until 7:00 PM
  • About the General StoreIn Operation Since 1831

    The Rabbit Hash General Store is a major tourist attraction featuring antiques, collectible Bybee pottery, hand-woven towels from Boston Weavers, brooms made at Berea College in Kentucky, hand-made soaps, wooden kitchen utensils, enamelware, and more. We are open every day from 10:00 AM until 7:00 PM.Read More
  • History of Rabbit HashSurviving floods and fires...

    Little documented history of Rabbit Hash actually survives, primarily because devastating Ohio River floods in 1884, 1913 and 1937 ruined many records. There is still mud in the store's attic crawl space from the historic 1937 flood, and the only reason it is still here is that it's anchored securely to the ground by a series of iron rods.Read More
  • News and Upcoming Events Music, celebrations and more

    If you want to know the particulars on what's happening in Rabbit Hash such as music, events, fundraisers, and elections, click on the button below to see the upcoming events.Read More
  • Photo Gallery Photos of Rabbit Hash, events, etc.

    View photos of Rabbit Hash during Old Timer's Day, Mayoral Elections, fundraisers, barn dances, river sweeps, musical performances, or just plain hanging out. Many of these photos have been submitted by professional photographers and we sincerely thank them for contributing to our photo gallery!View Photos
  • Shop Online Special items we sell online

    Now you can purchase items from the Rabbit Hash General Store online! Simply click on the button below to start browsing through what we have to offer.Shop Now
  • 1 About the General StoreIn Operation Since 1831
  • 2 History of Rabbit HashSurviving floods and fires...
  • 3 News and Upcoming Events Music, celebrations and more
  • 4 Photo Gallery Photos of Rabbit Hash, events, etc.
  • 5 Shop Online Special items we sell online
How Rabbit Hash Got Its Name

How Rabbit Hash Got Its Name

The name "Rabbit Hash" strikes a chord with almost everyone that hears the name. Some people laugh, others mistake it for "Rabbit Hatch," but most just stammer "rabbit what???" with a perplexed look on their face. I have to admit, it sure is fun telling people I'm from Rabbit Hash, Kentucky. It never fails to raise an outsider's eyebrow and to stir up curiosity about the burning question...

How in the world does a town get to be named Rabbit Hash?

On January 3, 1879, a Post Office was established with the name "Carleton." Two months later the folks from the Post Office decided to change it because it was getting confused with "Carrollton." So they re-named it to "Rabbit Hash" and here are some of the theories why that name was chosen.

In his book "Kentucky Place Names," Robert Rennick refers to A.M. Yealey's "History of Boone County" from 1960. The story he derived from there goes like this...

During the flood of 1816, two travelers were looking for something to eat. When they asked about the availability of food they were told that because the flood drove so many rabbits into the hills, there were plenty of rabbits available to make hash.

The travelers, according to Yealey, were salt or fur agents looking for something to eat while using Meek's ferry. Meek's ferry crossed from Rising Sun to Rabbit Hash from 1816 to 1840.

This particular story has many versions. Below is an article run in The Kentucky Times-Star on May 21, 1923:

How "Rabbit Hash" Derived Its Name
of Unusual Appellation Being Applied to Town

How the name Rabbit Hash found its place in the directory of Kentucky towns is related by R. T. Stephens, one of the residents of that town, in the following manner:

Christmas Day, 1847, the Ohio River was at flood stage. The residents of Rabbit Hash that were on the banks had been flooded, and the owners were compelled to seek quarters with their more fortunate neighbors. Snow, two feet deep, covered the ground, and that, combined with extreme cold, made communication with the outside world extremely uncomfortable and somewhat hazardous.

Instead of the usual rejoicing, a pall of gloom overspread the country. No roast turkey and mince pie, nor eggnog, nor rum flip were to be had, or expected. On this Christmas morning conversation was spiritless and few words were uttered.

At length, one stimulated by hunger and the visions of past Christmas dinners turned to talk on that interesting theme. Then, in turn, each joined the conversation. One said that he would have roast goose, caught in the drift; another had a fat hen, caught in a similar manner; another a fat possum caught napping in a hollow log, and so they went from hominy to hog, until all but one announced their bill of fare for the day. This one had been made the butt of the conversation. He stood somewhat apart, shivering violently. When it was noticed that he had taken no part in the gastronomical conversation, some one asked:

"Well, Frank, what are you going to have for your Christmas dinner?" He answered in just two words: "Rabbit Hash."

This version's timeline of Christmas 1847 is actually 32 years before the name was changed from Carleton to Rabbit Hash. Regardless of the date, this is one of the most popular of Rabbit Hash stories. The common denominator appears to be a flood which renders more than enough rabbits to eat for supper. Where it starts to vary, besides the date, is that the story's "punch line" is delivered by either a poor unfortunate wretch, a town wit as a joke, or even the town drunk.

On October 15, 1983, the Cincinnati Enquirer repeats the Christmas story above, but also gives a name to the man who uttered the two words -- Frank Elson.

An entirely different version was published by The Kentucky Times Star on March 2, 1955:

Rabbit Hash!

A somewhat unusual name for a community, yes, but still pretty much at home with names like Big Bone, Beaver Lick, Gunpowder, or even Idlewild.

Boone County Historical Society learned recently how Rabbit Hash got its name. The explanation came in a letter to Mrs. Schuyler Lockwood, Florence, and was revealed by William Fitzgerald, society secretary.

The writer of the letter was Mrs. Millicent Piatt Floyd, who formerly lived near Rabbit Hash. Her grandfather, John Piatt, built a rambling white house near East Bend on the Ohio River, which was washed away in the flood of 1937.

Her uncle, Robert Piatt, ferryboatman between Rabbit Hash and Rising Sun, Ind., and "quite a practical joker," played a leading role in the village's naming, Mrs. Floyd recalled.

A young doctor of the community known only as Cowen (believed to be Dr. C. L. Cowen, who died in Rising Sun in 1920) was fond of rabbit and often hunted them, according to Mrs. Floyd. Once, he returned with a full game bag and hung his bunnies up to freeze while he went about making his calls.

Robert Piatt took the rabbits, and later invited the physician to his home for a dinner of rabbit hash. Accepting, Dr. Cowen enjoyed himself and his dinner but didn’t know he was eating his own game. As the joke spread, the victim became known as "the rabbit hash doctor," Mrs. Floyd wrote.

"The village, from whence he came, finally accepted the name Rabbit Hash," she added.

So which is it? No one really knows for sure. Got an idea? Post your comments below if you think you know!

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Rabbit Hash General Store Soft Style Cotton T-shirt

Rabbit Hash General Store Soft Style Cotton T-shirt

Crafted for comfort this soft style cotton tee makes a colorful canvas for the world reknowned image..

$21.95

Rabbit Hash General Store Ceramic Coffee Mug

Rabbit Hash General Store Ceramic Coffee Mug

Basic 12oz. ceramic mug with Rabbit Hash logo on both sides in black ink. Available in white...

$10.00

Herb The Hillbilly Oversized Coffee Mug

Herb The Hillbilly Oversized Coffee Mug

An oversized, 16oz coffee mug with a logo of Herb the Hillbilly on both sides. A perfect memory to w..

$10.00

Shot Glass with Herb the Hillbilly logo

Shot Glass with Herb the Hillbilly logo

Rabbit Hash, KY shot glass with Herb the Hillbilly logo...

$3.50

  • 02 Sep 2017
    Old Timer's Day All Day

Stay at The Old Hashienda in the Heart of Rabbit Hash

hashienda-pic1.jpg Nightly accommodations are available in "The Center of the Universe" aka Rabbit Hash, Kentucky! We have converted one of the classic buildings of downtown Rabbit Hash into a lovely, rustic inn we call The Old Hashienda. During your stay in the heart of Rabbit Hash, you can sit on the porch swing with a cool drink, watch as the riverboats pass by, catch a great sunset, or even take in some incredible live music from your own porch.

 

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