Shelby County Hemp

US 60 & KY 714, 3 1/2 mi. E. of Shelbyville, KY



"One of chief producing counties. Crop income reached a yearly high of $150,000 in 1860. Nine hundred tons of hemp were consumed to produce 2,000 bales of twine and 5,000 coils of rope this same year. One of the ten Bluegrass counties which accounted for more than 90 percent of the yield of the whole country in the late 1800s.

(Reverse) Hemp in Kentucky - First crop grown, 1775. From 1840 to 1860, Ky.'s production largest in U.S. Peak in 1850 was 40,000 tons, with value of $5,000,000. Scores of factories made twine, rope, oakum to caulk sailing ships and cotton bagging. State's largest cash crop until 1915. Market lost to imported jute, freed of tariff. As war measure, hemp grown again during World War II."


Hemp (1)
Historic marker (523)
US 60 (23)

Update Log 

  • April 16, 2011: Updated by Bill Eichelberger: Changed duplicate entry to hemp entry.
  • August 7, 2010: Added by Bill Eichelberger