Effort underway to preserve Colonel Sanders’ home in Laurel Co.

Colonel Sanders lived in the home that now stands right behind the Sanders Cafe. (Photo: WKYT/Phil Pendleton)
Colonel Sanders lived in the home that now stands right behind the Sanders Cafe. (Photo: WKYT/Phil Pendleton)(WKYT)
Published: Oct. 16, 2019 at 4:26 PM EDT
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People from all over the world come to Corbin, Kentucky just to see where a chicken recipe got its start.

“I loved the museum and seeing all the old things and the way the prices were back then,” says Nilda Dchebarria, visiting all the way from Florida.

Her story isn’t uncommon: license plates from all over the US can be found on cars in the Sanders Cafe parking lot, and tourist buses are common.

“We didn’t have any idea. This was a surprise stop on our tour,” says Cynthia Binion.

The Binion family, who come from North Carolina, marveled at how a secret mix of herbs and spices made a simple cook a famous colonel.

“To see it validated. To see the original silver, the flatware, the dishes. To think what it is now and where it came from.”

Sanders lived right behind that café, and recently an effort started to preserve the home, which has fallen into disrepair over the years.

Currently, the plan is to simply stabilize and clean up the home. There are no definite plans beyond that but Yum Brands is expected to make an announcement sometime later this year.

Part of that is to announce a renovation of the current cafe and museum, but tourists are excited about the possibility of another historic landmark opened to the public.

“If they were to completely refurbish the house - that would be fascinating to see where he lived.”

Regardless of what happens, people say Sanders’ story in of itself is fascinating.

“It’s important that people know that no matter where you start, you can always make something with your life,” says Dchebarria. “And that’s what he did. Didn’t let anything hold him back.”

Local tourism officials say thousands of people visit the Sanders Café every year. They also say that KFC is so popular in some foreign countries, a bucket of chicken is akin to a ham or turkey during holiday dinners.

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