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Rabbit Hash, Kentucky
Official Name: Carlton (until December 1847)
Rabbit Hash General Store
Rabbit Hash General Store
Carlton Voter Precinct, Rabbit Hash (official name since 1847)
Location within Boone County and the state of Kentucky
Location within Boone County and the state of Kentucky
Country United States
State Kentucky
County Boone
 • Total 6.94 sq mi (17.96 km2)
 • Land 5.10 sq mi (13.21 km2)
 • Water 1.83 sq mi (4.75 km2)
 • Total 254
 • Density 49.79/sq mi (19.22/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
41091, 41005
Area code(s) 859
FIPS code 21-63804
GNIS feature ID 0501491

Rabbit Hash is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Boone County, Kentucky, United States, with a population of 315 (2010 census). It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The town is notable for its name, its string of canine mayors, and its historic general store (c. 1831) which was largely destroyed by fire in 2016.

Origin of name

The hamlet was originally known as Carlton, but was required to change its name because mail was being mixed up with the larger community of Carrollton several miles down the Ohio River. The community is still referred to as the Carlton Voter Precinct.

The name Rabbit Hash may derive from the historic use of the local rabbit population as food. During the early 19th century the town was well known for a rabbit hash meal.

It is said that, in December 1847, the townsfolk were said to be discussing what each family would be serving for their Christmas dinner. According to folklore, a man responded that he would be serving rabbit hash dinner. His response led to the other villagers nicknaming him Rabbit Hash as a joke. Eventually, the nickname became the known name of the village itself, and the steamboats on the nearby Ohio River stopping to order the famous hash referred to the town by it.

National Register of Historic Places

The hamlet's most notable building, the Rabbit Hash General Store, is regarded as the best known and best preserved country store in Kentucky, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 2, 1989. On February 13, 2016, the famous General Store was destroyed by a fire, and the latest mayoral election also acted as a fundraiser to restore it.

The Rabbit Hash Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 4, 2003. It includes 330 acres (1.3 km2), 12 buildings, 6 structures, and 3 objects around 10021-10410 Lower River Road.

Canine mayors

The first elected mayor in Rabbit Hash history was Goofy Borneman- Calhoun, who was inaugurated in 1998 for a four-year term, after an election covered in the documentary Rabbit Hash (The Center of the Universe). He died in office in July 2001, aged 16.

The mayoralty remained unfilled until the next election, held in 2004, at which time Junior Cochran, a black Labrador, assumed office. Junior came under the scrutiny of the Northern Kentucky Health Department and was banned from entering the town's General Store due to complaints. According to WXIX-TV on March 13, 2008, the dog's owner would petition for an exemption for the "mayor". On May 30, 2008, WXIX-TV reported that Junior had died in office.

On August 31, 2008 a special election was held to fill the vacancy left by the tragic death of mayor Junior, and was won by Lucy Lou, a border collie, becoming the town's first female mayor. Mayor Lucy Lou shared a "Talking Points" walk with Bill Geist (CBS Sunday Morning), accepted a $1000 stimulus check from Reader's Digest "We Hear You America Tour", served as grand marshall of the Covington Paw-Rade, appeared in a segment of "The List", and has placed 3 years in a row in the Best Elected Official category in Cincinnati CityBeat magazine's Best Of Cincinnati issue (winning 1st place in 2013). On September 7, 2015, Mayor Lucy's office announced that she is considering running for U.S. President, and is the only mayor not to die in office.

On November 8, 2016 a mayoral election took place in Rabbit Hash. Brynneth Pawltro "Brynn", a pit bull took first place having raised $3367 and is now the current mayor of Rabbit Hash.

Bourbon, an Australian shepherd, came in second place raising $2336.

Lady Stone, a border collie, came in third place raising $1621. Proceeds from the election go to the Rabbit Hash historical society and will help restore the Rabbit Hash General store.

In an unprecedented move, the Rabbit Hash Historical Society has given official positions to the 1st and 2nd runner ups, Bourbon and Lady, as Ambassadors to Rabbit Hash. In the case that the official mayor is unavailable for an event or obligation, the Ambassadors will fill in.

List of Mayors, as of 8 November 2016:

Goofy Borneman: 1998-2001Junior Cochran: 2004-2008

Lucy Lou: 2008-2016

Brynneth Pawltro: 2016-

  • In 2001, after the death of Mayor Borneman, the post of mayor was left empty until the next election in 2004.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2020 254
U.S. Decennial Census

Notable people

Emma Bell Miles, a writer, poet, and artist, lived in Rabbit Hash in her early childhood.

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