Kentucky's Most Famous Citizen
Birth of a Legend
Most Famous Citizen
Colonel Harland Sanders began the part of his life that brought him fame in a small gasoline service station on the opposite side of this highway. Born on September 9, 1890, near Henryville, Indiana he left school at twelve to support his family. He held a wide variety of jobs as farmhand, soldier, railroader, secretary, insurance salesman and ferryboat operator until 1930 when he came to Corbin, moved his family in quarters behind the station and started pumping gasoline. This was then a main route to Florida from the north. Traffic slowed during the Great Depression so Sanders, who enjoyed cooking, augmented his meager income by selling meals to tourists. His food was liked. His reputation grew and his career as a restauranteur began.
Birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken
In 1932 Colonel Harland Sanders bought the small restaurant near this site. Here he combined good cooking, hard work, and showmanship to build regional fame for his fine food. His restaurant and motel, now gone, flourished. To serve his patrons better Sanders constantly experimented with new recipes and cooking methods. Here he created, developed, and perfected his world famous Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe. In 1956 plans were announced for a Federal highway to by-pass Corbin. Threatened with the traffic loss, then 66 and undaunted, sold the restaurant and started traveling America and selling seasoning, and his recipe for fried chicken to other restaurants. His success in this effort began the world's largest commercial food service system and made Kentucky a household word around the world.