Rabbit Hash – Burlington, Kentucky - Atlas Obscura

Rabbit Hash is a small unincorporated community in Boone County, Kentucky, United States, noted primarily for its name.

To date the original name of town now known as Rabbit Hash is unknown. During the early 1800s the town was apparently well known for a rabbit hash meal. Steamboats often stopped to order the famous hash as they traveled along the Ohio river.

Legend has it that, in 1831, a private ship full of murderous robbers docked and entered the town where they proceeded to burn all of the buildings and kill every person. It is known that the next steamboat to stop saw only a three foot sign with the words “rabbit hash” written - it was the only thing standing and became the name of the town.

In a more believable story, the town’s name is said to have originated during the flood of 1847 when the abundant local rabbit population was driven to higher ground and became a food staple in a special stew called “hash.” Little documented history of Rabbit Hash actually survives, primarily because devastating Ohio River floods in 1884, 1913 and 1937 deluged the little town and ruined many records.

The hamlet’s most notable building, the Rabbit Hash General Store, is regarded as the best known and best preserved country store in Kentucky. The Rabbit Hash General Store looks untouched by time and its large front porch with roof overhang is the town’s social focal point. A large painted sign welcomes visitors to the store itself, which still sells groceries and other staple items for local residents.

Rabbit Hash is unincorporated and therefore without fixed boundaries, which makes its exact population a matter of opinion, but the population is generally regarded as between four and forty depending on how the boundaries are drawn.

In 1998 a dog was elected mayor in an unofficial “election”, an event covered in the documentary “Rabbit Hash (The Center of the Universe)”, and in 2004 a dog was elected mayor once again and is still considered to be the ceremonial mayor of the town. Rabbit Hash is also a motorcyclist destination, with motorcycles outnumbering cars. It is a popular spot to gather for weekend drives. 

Update: The landmark Rabbit Hash General Store was destroyed by a fire on 2/14/2016. As of 11/16/2016 it is rebuilt and reopened.

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