About This Place
Fancy Farm is a census-designated place in Graves County, Kentucky, United States, about ten miles west of the county seat, Mayfield on Kentucky Route 80, in the rural western portion of the state called the Jackson Purchase. Fancy Farm was settled by Roman Catholics starting in 1829, and is known for its strong Catholic community. The community grew around St. Jerome Church, built in 1836. The first post office opened in 1843. The colorful name was apparently chosen when the post office opened, by a man who was applying to be postmaster. First mentioned in the U.S. Census in 1870 as a post office in Boswell Precinct; first mentioned as a town in Magisterial District 5 in the 1910 census; finally enumerated as a town in its own precinct in the 1920 census. The 2010 United States Census reported that Fancy Farm's population is 458.
The village is the site of the annual Fancy Farm Picnic, famous as a traditional political gathering attracting statewide and occasionally national candidates. The picnic began in 1880 as a purely local affair. It takes place mostly on the grounds of Fancy Farm Elementary School. Since 1956 it has been held on the first Saturday in August. It has come to represent the traditional starting point of the fall campaign season in Kentucky.
The picnic was of purely local interest until A.B. "Happy" Chandler began making appearances, going for the first time in 1931 while running for Lieutenant Governor.