The Old General Store, Rabbit Hash, Kentucky, in continuous operation since 1831
In the rolling hills of Boone County, Kentucky in that part of the state adjacent to the Greater Cincinnati, Ohio area that is known locally as “Northern Kentucky” and on the southern side of the banks of the Ohio River, exists a small hamlet with a most unusual name of Rabbit Hash.
Like much in history, how the place got a name like Rabbit Hash, is pretty well unclear and one of those things that the true origin of the name is lost in the mists of time, but this page from the Rabbit Hash website, offers a few of the stories: http://www.rabbithash.com/about_rabbit_hash_general_store/then_and_now/how_rabbit_hash_got_its_name.html but like lots of things—the stories about how the name came to be are good ones and just part of the Rabbit Hash vibe.
Old photo of the General Store, Circa 1920s, borrowed from Rabbit Hash.com website
I had heard of Rabbit Hash for a number of years but for some reason it took me a long time to get there, but once I did I was immediately smitten by this most special place.
The main reason I had heard of Rabbit Hash is that it is sort of a hub of the sort of music I tend to prefer these days, music that is sort of off the beaten path, with it all generally falling under the genre of “Americana” or “American Roots Music,” which is actually sort of a catch all for several strains of music that includes blues, bluegrass, folk, traditional, alternate country, Rock-A-Billy and other related forms of music.
Down at Rabbit Hash, groups that play all these forms of music from around the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky and Southeastern Indiana perform regularly at one of three venues the place offers musicians to perform.
Perhaps the most popular place is right inside the old General Store itself, with bands coming to play their music each Sunday during the winter, tucked into a tight corner—“behind the old wood stove.”
During the warmer months, bands will play out in the “dance barn” that sits almost out over the Ohio River, and in recent years, out on a bandstand platform that was built in an open area between the store and barn.
While the photos I am sharing here have been taken over the years since I finally got down to Rabbit Hash, many of them come from my first visit to “the Hash” which took place one fine weekend in November 2007, when I had heard through the grapevine that many groups were going to be on hand for a weekend long fundraising event to help raise funds to pay medical bills of one of Rabbit Hash’s regulars who was fighting cancer and had no insurance. The fund raiser was a big success in helping to raise the money for the bills and that he got cured.
I am not going to give a full on story of this great place in this blog—a place that calls itself “The Known Center of the Universe.”—I like to call it “A little slice of heaven on Earth.” Some of the links I provide at the end of this piece can offer you a bit more about the history of Rabbit Hash, if you are interested in what I have talked about here, please do go check out those sites.
Rabbit Hash is not a very big place—its really just a collection of interesting and historic buildings and is not really a true town, with but a few actual residents, but it is the hub for a core of nearby residents and those like me, who love the place, but come from a distance.
Rabbit Hash is on the register of historic places both in Kentucky and at the federal level, and is owned by an organization dedicated to its preservation and continuation.
I don’t get down there as much as I like—sometimes I am down there a whole lot in a short period of time—but then with being busy and that if I am at home in Dayton, Ohio–its a two hour ride and even when I am at my boat in Cincinnati–it still takes an hour to make the drive down there.
It is great to know that a place like this exists and I can get to it–I am so glad it is at least, “in my back yard.”
Since I will be sure to do more blogs on Rabbit Hash—I can get into other aspects of the place—but I will show some more pictures of Rabbit Hash, scenes of the “notions and potions” found in the General Store, photos of dogs, kids and Harleys—and of course some of the more colorful folks that are “Hashers” in some way, and some pics taken of bands performing in the dance barn.
These photos are just a sampling of what probably totals nearly a thousand images I have captured in my forays down to Rabbit Hash, and in future blog posts–I will take more time to talk about each element of what I think makes Rabbit Hash, Kentucky such a great and special place.
For more info about Rabbit Hash, here are some links to sites relating to this fine place: