TriCounty Community Guide 2019 - Page 12

Falls State Resort Park continue to be two of the largest attractions in Corbin. Corbin is the home of the Colonel. Colonel Harland David Sanders began his famed Ken- tucky Fried Chicken restaurant and perfected the secret recipe in the town. A KFC and mu- seum dedicated to the Colonel still stands in the original location. Then just down the road is another, new tribute to Sanders. In 2015 the Corbin Tour- ism Commission and nonprofit group Friends of the Colonel erected a bronze, life-sized statue of the Colonel. He can be found wav- ing to passing motorists in Sanders Park on Main Street. For those who wish to get off the beaten path and away from the bustle of the city streets, Cumberland Falls State Resort is a quick 20-minute drive from the outskirts of town. The park is home to the 65-foot-high and 125-foot-wide waterfall known as the "Ni- agara of the South." When the nighttime con- ditions are just right, visitors can view the moonbow. The only other place in the world where a moonbow can be seen is at Victoria Falls in Africa. But just because the Original Kentucky Fried Chicken and Cumberland Falls State Re- sort Park are two of the town's biggest attrac- tions doesn't mean there isn't more to explore. The beautiful Laurel Lake, the Daniel Boone National Forest, the Engineer Street Bridge and Ed Tye Creekwalk, and the L&N 2132 steam engine give locals and tourists a chance to get outside with a nice view. Laurel Lake is easily accessible from the city. Year round, fishermen scour the lake hoping for the next great catch. During the warmer months, the lake area is bustling with boaters and swimmers looking for a quick cool down from the summer heat. Downtown Corbin is home to a slew of shops and restaurants, and continues to ex- pand. Just by taking a walk along Main Street, a person could pass by an antique shop, a clothing boutique, a coffee shop, art studios, and a number of dining establishments. And if food is what you like, then foodie events like January’s Finger Lickin’ Chicken Week and June’s Burger Week will give you a chance to try special dishes for just $5 all throughout the city. Downtown Corbin will continue to offer a variety of experiences throughout 2019 in- cluding a monthly yard sale in the downtown area, a weekly farmers' market, Moonbow Nights which features live music, the annual NIBROC Festival, the downtown trick or treat, Christmas parade, October Festival and Moonbow Eggfest where a variety of food will be available to taste. And in 2019, the unique experiences Corbin has to offer only looks to expand. THE ORIGINAL KFC - COLONEL SANDERS CAFÉ America in the 1930s was a society in love with the automo- bile and the freedom of travel it provided. Harland Sanders rec- ognized the opportunity to meet the growing demand for gasoline, food and lodging along the side of the nation’s highways. In 1930, he came to Corbin and went into the ser- vice station business on U.S. 25. The Dixie Highway, as it was known, was a major thorough- fare from Cleveland to Miami. In 1931 he crossed the highway and leased the service station of a competitor. He expanded what had already become a bustling lunch trade and started cooking three meals a day for the traveling public. A prospering café business encouraged him to look at another opportunity, lodging. By 1937, he was operating one of Corbin’s first motor court and café complexes, which he boasted was known from Canada to Cuba. The tourist trade was a leading component of the local econo- my. Cumberland Falls was a major attraction and enticed many travelers to spend the night. It was in the economic and social environment that Harland Sanders developed a secret recipe for fried chicken that would make him, the town and the state where he created it, world famous. In 1939 a disastrous fire destroyed the original Sanders Café, but it was rebuilt in 1940 and a motel with 17 rooms and a service station opened with it. Business was booming until the onset of World War II. After the war, his business flourished. He entered into a franchise agree- ment with a restaurant owner from Salt Lake City, where Sanders would ship him his spic- es and in turn would get five cents per chicken sold. When Interstate 75 was built, Page 12 — The Times-Tribune • Community Guide 2019 traffic patterns changed and his business dipped. He sold the business to pay off all his debts and with his Social Security check of $105, he started anew and began to build a new business based on his franchise concept. The café now features informa- tion about the origins of the KFC empire, displays of his original kitchen and history about the home for the Colonel’s humble beginning. Just like then, the café still serves the original recipe made from 11 herbs and spices and a side of history in this landmark a testament to one man’s drive to succeed. Now downtown Corbin honors Colonel Sanders with a statue on Main Street so make sure to stop by Sanders Park at the cor- ner of Monroe and Main streets to grab a photo with the Colonel.