KENTUCKY - A GUIDE TO THE BLUEGRASS STATE - 1939
Railroad Stations: Union Station, Broadway and 10th St., for Louisville & Nashville
R.R., Pennsylvania R.R., and Chicago, Indianapolis & Louisville R.R. (Monon
Route). Central Station, N. 7th St. and Ohio River, for Baltimore & Ohio R.R.,
Chesapeake & Ohio R.R., New York Central R.R., Illinois Central R.R., and
City Ticket Offices: Starks Bldg. Arcade, 4th and Walnut Sts., for all railroads.
Bus Stations: Union Bus Depot, Sth and Broadway, for Greyhound, Blue and
White, Chaudoin (Carrollton division), Meadors & Allen Lines; 403 S. 3rd St. for
Blue Motor Coach Lines; 240 W. Jefferson St. for Chaudoin Bus Lines, all divisions;
502 S. 3rd St., Interstate Bridge Transit Co. (inter-city) for Jeffersonville,
Airport: Bowman Field (Municipal), Taylorsville Rd. E. of Bon Air Ave., 5 m.
from business section, for American and Eastern Air Lines. (Ticket ofhce, Kentucky
Taxis: Separate systems for white and Negro patrons, 15 cents for the first % m., $$
for each additional % m.; maximum capacity for a single cab 4 passengers.
Streetcars and Buses: Fare 10cents or three tokens for 25 cents ; transfers interchangeable.
Toll Bridges: Kentucky and Indiana Terminal R.R. Bridge (Louisville to New
Albany, Ind.), 31st St. and Western Parkway (US 31 W and US ISO, Ind. 63, and
Ind. 64), toll 25 cents for vehicles and all passengers; 5 cents for each pedestrian; Municipal
Bridge (Louisville to Jeffersonville, Ind.), 2nd and Main Sts. (US 31 E and US
150, Ind. 60 and Ind. 62), toll 25 cents for vehicle and all passengers, 5 cents for each pedestrian.
Traffic Regulations: Strictly enforced. Right turns against a red light may be
made from curb lane after a full stop anywhere outside the area between S. 1st and
S. 6th Sts., from Broadway to the river. Left turns in the downtown area only
at intersections indicated by large signs painted on the street. U-turns prohibited
at intersections and boulevards, on through streets, and in central traffic district.
Hand signals required. Pedestrians observe traffic lights.
Street Order and Numbering: Main St. divides the city's N. and S. street numbering,
and 1st St. the E. and W. numbering.
Accommodations: Forty-one hotels (three for Negroes) ; many boarding houses and
tourist homes. During week of Kentucky Derby rates are much higher.
Information Service: Louisville Board of Trade, Lincoln Bank Bldg., 421 W. Market
St., Louisville Automobile Club (AAA), 800 S. 3rd St.
Radio Stations: WHAS (820 kc.) ; WAVE (940 kc.) ; WGRC (1370 kc.).
Theaters and Motion Picture Houses: Five first-run motion picture houses downtown,
25 second-run and community houses (two for Negroes). Road attractions
and local musical and dramatic productions occasionally at Memorial Auditorium,
S. 4th and Kentucky Sts.; Columbia Hall Auditorium, 820 S. 4th St.; Playhouse,
Belknap Campus, S. 3rd and Shipp Sts.; Jefferson County Armory, Liberty St.
between Armory Place and S. 6th St.; and the Woman's Club Auditorium, 1320
S. 4th St.
Baseball: Parkway Field, Eastern Parkway and Brook St., for Louisville and
American Assn. teams.
Swimming: Public outdoor pools: Reservoir Park, Frankfort Ave. and Grinstead
Dr., 25 cents ; Shelby Park, Oak St. between Hancock and Shelby Sts., 25 cents ; Shepard
Park (for Negroes), 16th and Magazine Sts., 25 cents . Indoor public pools:
Y. M. C. A., Broadway and S. 3rd St., 25 cents ; Y. W. C. A (medical examination
required before entering pool), Broadway and S. 2nd St., 25 cents ; Henry Clay Hotel,
S. 3rd and Chestnut Sts., 25 cents .
Golf: Public courses in Shawnee Park, W. end of River Park Dr., 18 holes, greens
fee 50cents ; Crescent Hill Golf Course, Brownsboro Rd. and Lueile Ave., 9 holes, 35 cents ;
Seneca Park, Taylorsville Rd., E. of Bon Air Ave., 18 holes, 50 cents .
Tennis: All major public parks, free. Reservations required.
Steamer Excursions: Up Ohio River at least once daily during summer.
Annual Events: Kentucky Derby 1st or 2nd Sat. in May. Kentucky State Fair,
2nd or 3rd week of Sept.
LOUISVILLE (Loo-i-vil, 463 alt., 307,745 pop.), noted for its fine
whisky, beautiful women, and the Kentucky Derby, lies across the Ohio
River from New Albany and Jeffersonville, Indiana, on a low, level
plain that curves for eight miles along the river. Midway in the adjoining
river are the Falls of the Ohio, which determined the location of the
original settlement and provided it with a name (Falls of the Ohio)
until, as a gesture of gratitude for the aid given by Louis XVI and the
French Nation to the American Revolution, the name was changed to
Louisville. It is the largest and most important city, commercially and
industrially, in the State.
The main portion of Louisville is built on a flood plain, about 60 feet
above the Ohio River, surrounded by the river on the north and west
and by low hills on the south and east. The residential area spreads
into the Highlands. Northeast of the city the Ohio stretches in a bent
swath nearly a mile wide and six miles long, forming one of the finest
harbors in the whole course of the river. Passenger steamers, ferries,
and tugs fill the harbor. An excursion boat, which periodically plies
the tree-banked stream, plays its steam calliope. Across the river the
low skylines of New Albany and Jeffersonville bespeak a more rural
existence than that of their metropolitan neighbor.
The business section extends east and west from Fourth Street, which
runs from the Ohio River southward into the Highlands. Like a giant
chessboard, the taller buildings along this street stand like castles,
knights, and bishops, while the lower business buildings and dwellings
in the downtown area are pawns in the background.
In general, the city has the form of a letter T with the top approximately
three miles wide, extending from the Highlands about nine
miles westward along the south shore of the Ohio River. A southward
projection of this urban area, forming the stem of the T, extends about
seven and one-half miles from the river into the Highlands. Near the
river front are tobacco warehouses, mills, livestock yards, distilleries,
and the wholesale district that make Louisville one of the South's great
In the downtown area old homes suggest the social prestige of their
owners, and indicate that the city was important even at an early date.
On the highways leading into the city are mansions of plantation days,
reminders that this early prosperity depended largely upon agriculture.
Between Jefferson Street and the Ohio River are a number of brick
homes in the Greek Revival style sandwiched between business properties.
Conspicuous among them are the three-or-four-room brick cottages
with pretentious classic fagades. Substantial homes of French
and Italian Renaissance and Georgian design, built after 1835, are set
far back from the street on spacious grounds south of Walnut Street
between Floyd and Sixth Streets. With southward expansion of the
city, continued until the middle 1870's, came the houses of gingerbread
Victorian styles, many of which are still standing.
Louisville's parks ring the city in a loose half-circle. Shawnee Park,
on the west, is formally arranged on flat land near the Ohio River.
Iroquois and Cherokee Parks, thickly planted with trees, climb the hills
that skirt the city on the south and east. Thirty-two miles of boulevard
wind through the parks.
Louisville is a border metropolis that blends the commerce and industry
of a Northern city with a Southern city's enjoyment of living.
The result is an attractive compromise. Louisville is too busy making
and selling things to have the languor of a town in the Deep South;
but it does have its special graces. Its people are friendly and hospitable.
The phalanx of clothing shops on Fourth Street north of
Broadway contributes to the reputation of Louisville women for being
well-dressed. Bourbon and water or a cocktail after work is popular;
amusement and relaxation are nearly as important as work. Downtown
theaters, restaurants, and hotel lobbies are invariably crowded; and it
is still a favorite custom to drive or walk "in Fourth Street" of an
Horse racing is by all odds Louisville's most exciting sport. The
Racing Form is sold on the downtown streets like a newspaper. At
nearby Churchill Downs 29 days of each year are given over to races.
The spring and fall meets provide something to see, and add an extra
fillip to conversation. During Derby Week in May, Louisville is the
most feverish city in the Nation. Highways entering the city carry a
steadily increasing number of automobiles and buses into the downtown
area, hotels are "all out," and the streets teem with thousands of
happy, hysterical townsmen and visitors. "A Kentucky girl," Irvin S.
Cobb has said, "does not consider that she has been properly launched
into society until she has seen a Derby run off." Seventy thousand
people pack the stands, bleachers, and infield at Churchill Downs to
see, in slightly more than two minutes, the start and finish of America's
most celebrated horse race.
When the Kentucky State Fair is held in early September, Louisville
again plays host to Kentuckians and out-of-Staters. The horse show
and the livestock exhibit are outstanding attractions.
Many early planters who later became associated with the life of the
city were large slaveowners, and the residents of Louisville kept house
servants who, after the manner of the time, assumed the family name.
This transplanted Negro stock is the foundation of the city's present
Negro life and culture. Despite his background of decades of slavery,
the Negro in Louisville has adapted himself remarkably to the environment of freedom. Illiteracy among Negroes has dropped from about
96 percent in 1865 to a percentage level only slightly above that of the
whites. Illiterates, white and Negro, reported by the U.S. Census of
1930 reached a low of 2.2 percent. The first free public library for
Negroes with Negro attendants was opened at Louisville in 1905 as a
branch of the city Free Public Library. Louisville is the only city in
the State that has two Carnegie branch buildings for Negro readers.
Local Negroes have a complete system of primary and secondary
schools in addition to the Louisville Municipal College part of the
University of Louisville which, in October 1937, had an enrollment of
224 students working toward the A.B. degree. Opened in 1931, it is
the only institution of its kind in the Nation.
Negro neighborhoods have their own stores, hotels, restaurants, newspaper
publishing houses, and theaters. The 1930 census figures record
45.6 percent of all Negro families as homeowners. This slightly exceeds
the white ownership percentage, but because of the low economic status
of the Negro the individual value of these homes is still sub-standard.
The voting power of the city's 47,354 Negroes is a factor in the progress
of the race in Louisville.
The Ohio River commonplace enough today played a vital part
in the development of Louisville and the surrounding country. The
French were the first to explore the river they called "La Belle Riviere"
(the beautiful river). During the next hundred years a long line of
adventurers, explorers, traders, and surveyors saw the Falls of the
Ohio, stopped here for a time, and passed on.
In 1773, after England had won the Ohio Valley from France, the
first permanent settlement was attempted at the falls. In the summer
of that year Capt. Thomas Bullitt, commissioned by Lord Dunmore,
Governor of Virginia, to locate land warrants granted to Virginia soldiers
of the French and Indian War, camped on the Ohio River shore
near the present interstate bridge. He surveyed 2,000 acres of land,
for which Dr. John Connolly, a native of Pennsylvania who had served
in the war, received a patent from the British Crown. Col. John
Campbell became joint owner of the land with Dr. Connolly, and they
issued proposals for the sale of lots. Before they could establish settlers
here, Connolly was charged with being a Tory and his land was
confiscated by Virginia.
In May 1778 young George Rogers Clark, with 150 volunteer soldiers
and about 20 families, left the Redstone settlement (now Brownsville,
Pennsylvania) on the Monongahela and came down the Ohio.
His purpose was to establish a military base along the lower Ohio before
starting his campaign for the conquest of the Old Northwest, then
held by the British. When the party reached the falls they landed on
an island, long since swept away by floods, where they built blockhouses
and planted corn; Clark and his raw recruits then pushed on into the
wilderness to capture the British posts at Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and
Vincennes. In the fall, Clark sent some of his men back to the settlement
to establish a fort on the mainland. This fort, built during the
winter 1778-79, near the present junction of Twelfth Street with the
river opposite Corn Island, became the nucleus of the settlement and
headquarters of General Clark until Fort Nelson was completed in
1782. The falls, which interrupted navigation except in periods of
high water, determined the site of the settlement. Downstream boats
had to be piloted, and upstream boats towed by men familiar with the
That winter was a hard one, with food and wild game scarce; but
great preparations were made for the first Christmas party. The men
brought in venison. The women made "hoecakes, hominy, and other
frontier fancies." Old Cato, a Negro fiddler, was distressed because
he had only one string for his fiddle. On Christmas Eve a canoe landed,
and in it was a Frenchman with a fiddle. Old Cato traded him coonskins
for new fiddle strings, and gave him an extra skin to say nothing
about the trade, because he wanted to surprise his white folks. To
Cato's chagrin the Frenchman was asked to play for the dancing. He
tried to teach some of the dances of his own country, but they were
too complicated. He gave it up in disgust, and yielded the honors to
Old Cato and the Virginia Reel.
News of Clark's victories in the Northwest lured many settlers to
this region. Three hundred arrived in the spring of 1780, and in May,
Col. George Slaughter and 150 soldiers came from Virginia to protect
the fledgling community. In the same month the legislature of Virginia
passed an "Act for establishing the town of Louisville at the Fall
of the Ohio."
The appearance of the little town was not inviting. A large fort,
and a number of log cabins, occupied by several score families who had
cleared and cultivated garden plots, stood not far back from the river
front. The roar of the falls was sometimes broken by the howl of
wolves and the yell of savages. Indians sometimes attacked the fort,
and usually made their escape across the river. In 1781 such an attack
occurred, and the whites, thinking that the Indians had fled across the
river, started in canoes to pursue them. They were fired upon from the
Kentucky side, and nine were killed. The Indians often fired at the
flatboats of the whites as they plied the river.
The first court convened here on March 7, 1781, and one of its
first official acts was to fix the charges for the "necessities of life."
These included whisky, which could not be sold for more than $15 a
half-pint, and shelled corn, not to sell for more than $10 a gallon. A
man might object if a hotel keeper charged him more than $18 a day
for board or more than $6 a night for a feather bed; the stabling of
his horse was not to exceed $4 a night. These prices were computed
in terms of the depreciated Continental currency.
In 1781-82, Fort Nelson, named in honor of Governor Nelson of
Virginia, was erected north of Main Street between Seventh and Ninth
Streets, covering an acre of ground along the Ohio shore. General Clark
had his headquarters here and the fort served as courthouse and jail.
With the westward expansion Louisville assumed the character of a
commercial city. At the opening of the new century, it had 600 people,
and soon it had sanitary laws and police and fire protection.
The New Madrid earthquake of 1811-12, which shook the greater
part of the continent, and formed Reelfoot Lake (see Tour 10), rocked
Louisville. The first shock, lasting four minutes, was felt here on December
16, 1811, at 2 P.M. It was accompanied by thunder and was
followed by "complete darkness and saturation of the atmosphere with
sulphuric vapor." Eighty-seven shocks occurred during the following
week and temblors continued through part of ,1812. One very frightened
and penitent person rushed in on a group of card players, exclaiming,
"Gentlemen, how can you be engaged in this way when the world
is so near its end?" The party rushed into the street, where, from the
rocking of the earth, the stars seemed to be falling. A member of the
group was constrained to remark, "What a pity that so beautiful a
world should be thus destroyed." Public morals improved noticeably
during this period.
The steamboat New Orleans, first successful steamer on the Ohio and
Mississippi Rivers, stopped at Louisville on its way to Natchez in October
1811. Latrobe describes the occasion in his Rambler in America:
Late at night on the fourth day after quitting Pittsburgh, they arrived in safety
at Louisville, having been but 70 hours in descending upwards of 700 miles . . .
and it is related that on the unexpected arrival of the boat before Louisville, in
the course of a fine, still, moonlight night, the extraordinary sound which filled the
air, as the pent-up steam was suffered to escape from the valves on rounding to,
produced a general alarm, and multitudes rose from their beds to ascertain the
cause. I have heard that the general impression among the Kentuckians was that
a comet had fallen into the Ohio.
This trip inaugurated the steamboat era, which vitally affected Louisville.
In 1815 the Enterprise steamed upriver from New Orleans to
Louisville in 12 days, less than half the time it took broadhorns and
keel-boats to make the journey downstream. Talk revived about building
a canal around the falls in front of Louisville.
From 1820 to 1870 this river town's prosperity was measured by its
boat traffic. During the first three decades of the nineteenth century
portaging cargoes around the Falls of the Ohio was Louisville's chief
concern. Shipments were unloaded, carted overland to Towhead Island
above the falls, and put on boats for the upriver journey. Except in
periods of high water, when the falls were navigable, the same transfer
of goods took place in moving cargoes downstream.
In 1825 a private company was organized to construct the longdeferred
canal project, and in December 1830, the Uncas passed
through the locks of the completed Portland Canal, which ran laterally
across Louisville's river front. The canal opened through navigation on
the Ohio from Pittsburgh to its mouth. The movement of commerce
picked up. Less than a decade after it was completed, 1,500 steamers
and 500 flatboats and keel-boats entered the canal annually, bearing
300,000 tons of produce for Southern markets. Today, along Fourth
and Fifth Streets, near the river, are many landmarks of the gilded
days when river trade brought Louisville its first prosperity; and to the
foot of Fourth Street occasionally comes the Gordon Greene, the only
packet now making the journey upriver to Pittsburgh.
Meanwhile, in 1828, Louisville was incorporated and received its first
city charter. The makeshift village government was superseded by
a mayor and a board of aldermen elected by the voters. The loss of
the portage business following the opening of the Portland Canal
brought on a temporary local depression, made more acute by the
cholera epidemic of 1831.
By the middle 1830's Louisville had two noted hostelries the
Louisville Hotel, still standing at Main and Sixth Streets, and the
Gait House. The spacious architectural design of the Louisville Hotel,
built in 1832 of native limestone, was for many years a model for
hotel building throughout the South and Middle West. The Gait
House, razed in 1920, for 75 years had a reputation for fine Southern
cooking and service. Charles Dickens was a visitor in 1842: "We
slept at the Gait House, a splendid hotel, and were as handsomely
lodged as though we had been in Paris, rather than hundreds of miles
beyond the Alleghenies."
Caleb Atwater, in Remarks Made on a Tour to Prairie Du Chien,
written in 1831, said of Louisville:
Main St., for the distance of about one mile, presents a proud display of wealth
and grandeur. Houses of two and three lofty stories in height, standing upon solid
stone foundations, exceed anything of the kind in the Western States. The stores
filled with commodities and manufactures of every clime and every art, dazzle the
eye ... the ringing of the bells and the roaring of the guns, belonging to the
numerous steamboats in the harbor, the cracking of the coachman's whip, and the
sound of the stage driver's horn salute the ear. The motley crowd of citizens, all
well dressed, hurrying to and fro the numerous strangers from all parts of the
world almost, visiting the place to sell or to buy goods the deeply loaded dray
cart, and the numerous pleasure carriages rolling to and fro, arrest and rivet the
attention of a mere traveler like myself. . . . There are at this time about 1,200
dwelling houses in the town, mostly built of brick. Many are equal to any in the
Atlantic cities. . . . There are probably more ease and affluence in this place than
in any western town their houses are splendid, substantial, and richly furnished.
Louisville in its early years drew its population mostly from Virginia,
Maryland, and the Carolinas. Louisville early became an important
outstation in the expanding New Orleans commercial empire.
Men of wealth, character, and influence came up from that city, entered
the Louisville scene, and left the imprint of their early training and
By way of Pittsburgh and down the Ohio came another, larger
stream of men seeking their fortunes in the expanding West. Among
them were New Englanders and people from the Middle Atlantic States.
This group added materially to the business caution of the roaring
river town and much to its diversity of opinion. Their active participation
in political life explains the fact that Louisville, a Southern city,
was vocally Northern during the War between the States.
During these first few decades, Louisville was influenced by a number
of French emigres. Michel Lacassagne, the first postmaster, reproduced
a French garden at his home on the river front; Tarascon
built mills and utilized the water of the falls; Audubon painted birds
and taught drawing; the young Duke of Orleans, afterwards Louis
Philippe, King of France, was among the first musicians in the city;
the Barbaroux brought mercantile and manufacturing skill; the
Berthouds and Honores, like Tardiveau, were pioneers in navigation
and commerce. Some traces remain of their architectural contributions.
Tradition remembers their graceful living and dancing feet.
The 1840's started off with a fire that burned a large part of the
business district. It was rebuilt, and the town continued to grow.
In this decade many Germans came to Louisville. They brought little
of tangible wealth but much practical education and industrial skill.
They founded stores and industries, and in time exercised a definite influence
upon the social and commercial life of the community. Some
of the firms they established are still doing business under the German
names of the founders.
By 1850 Louisville had a population of 43,194. A new charter,
granted March 24, 1851, provided for election of all city officers.
On election day, August 6, 1855, the Know Nothing Party precipitated
a riot in Louisville. A mob with a cannon went fighting and
burning through the streets. Several lives were lost and a number of
houses were burned. The day is known as "Bloody Monday."
The 1850's were years of general prosperity, and Louisville inaugurated
street railways and witnessed the completion in 1851 of the
Louisville, Frankfort & Lexington Railroad. The Louisville & Nashville
Railroad, actively promoted by Louisville, was completed to
Nashville in 1859.
Louis Kossuth, Hungarian exile, visited Louisville. A member of
his entourage wrote: "We were astonished at the expanse of Louisville
which, we were told, twenty-four years ago was but an insignificant
town. The streets are broad, the houses substantial, with neat front
and back gardens; carriages are numerous; Negro footmen wear livery;
everything looks more aristocratical than economical."
The outbreak of the War between the States brought a bitter division
of opinion in Louisville. The predominant Union sentiment within
the city vied with the pro-Confederate temper of the adjoining rural
section. Many residents with Southern sympathies were compelled to
espouse the cause of the Union as a matter of self-preservation.
Louisville was military headquarters and supply depot for the Armies
of the North throughout the war.
The end of the conflict found the South's traditional plantation
economy bankrupt. Louisville, one of the most important distributing
centers for the Southern States, had to adjust to changed conditions.
It pressed new merchandising methods and established railroad connections
with Memphis, New Orleans, Mobile, Atlanta, and other
Southern cities. Louisville merchants sent salesmen in two-horse rigs
to all parts of the South with instructions to get orders at any cost.
For two decades Louisville and Cincinnati waged an intense struggle
for Southern trade. Eventually it was divided between them.
Louisville's third charter was approved March 3, 1870. Local population
reached 100,753, an increase of 41 percent in 10 years. The
decade from 1870 to 1880 was marked by the completion of a railroad
bridge across the Ohio and the erection of a new city hall.
In the spring of 1890 a devastating wind swept through the western
part of the city, causing the loss of 106 lives and extensive property
damage. In 1893 Louisville again approved a new charter, with
changes to conform to the State constitution adopted the previous year.
A system of bureaus was created, which took charge of business details
previously administered by the city council.
The census of 1900 showed Louisville with a population of 204,731.
Since the World War a new sewerage system has been installed at an
outlay of $8,000,000; the municipally owned water company has spent
$5,000,000 in expansion and improvements; and the elimination of
grade crossings within the city limits (to cost $21,000,000) has been
Louisville boomed through the 1920's. The downtown skyscrapers
that give Fourth Street and Broadway an elevated skyline have all
been built since 1920. In 1925 the Falls of the Ohio were harnessed
for the production of electricity. The depression did not affect it as
severely as many other American cities because of the diverse character
and wide distribution of its industries. Through the lean years
its tobacco trading and manufacturing maintained most of their normal
prosperity, and the revocation of the eighteenth amendment set in
motion the long-idle distilling business. In spite of these material
advantages, unemployment became a pressing problem in an industrial
city, and municipal officials, co-operating with the Federal Government,
began construction and improvement of parks and parkways, the
building of model homes for whites and Negroes, the extension of
street paving, and the construction of a municipal boat harbor.
The city was carrying increased expenditure, with good promise of
lessening its relief load, when in January-February of 1937 the Ohio
swept out of bounds in the greatest flood ever recorded for this river.
Boats patrolled Broadway from the Highlands to Shawnee Park. Except
for a small downtown district, the entire lowland area was inundated.
Transportation of all kinds came to a standstill. . Basements
were flooded. Heating plants shut down. The city was placed under
emergency control. Thousands were evacuated to the Highlands and
neighboring cities. For a month and more the ordinary processes of
living ceased to function, but by rigid enforcement of sanitary regulations
and because of warm weather, an epidemic was avoided. By
April daily life over the major part of the city had returned to normal.
Losses within the city amounted to more than $52,000,000, and necessitated
costly renovation and replacement of goods. With the assistance of rehabilitation loans and Red Cross aid the city by mid-summer
of 1937 had resumed its usual way of life.
Throughout its history, Louisville has contributed to the intellectual
and cultural life of the Nation. Its press has voiced the sentiments
of the early West, the Middle West, and the renewed South. The
first newspaper was the Farmer's Library, which appeared in 1801 as
a four-page, 11- by 19-inch sheet having little more than foreign news
and advertisements. The Public Advertiser was established in 1818
by Shadrach Penn; it began as a weekly, but on April 24, 1826, it
became the first daily published in the West. The Louisville Journal,
edited by George D. Prentice, began in 1830. In 1868 it merged with
the Louisville Morning Courier and American Democrat, started in
1844 but suppressed by the Federal Government in 1861. Henry Watterson
(1840-1921), the South 's most noted editor of the last century,
edited the newspaper for the next fifty years, and made the Courier-
Journal influential in Southern and national affairs through its vigorous
editorials (see Press and Radio).
John James Audubon (1785-1851), the naturalist, lived here from
1808 to 1812. Mary Anderson, born in California in 1859, was Louisville's
contribution to the stage, and Enid Yandell (1870-1934) was
the city's most notable sculptor. Madison Cawein (1865-1914), Cale
Young Rice (b. 1872), and David Morton (b. 1886) are leading
Louisville poets. Alice Hegan Rice (b. 1870) has refreshed readers
everywhere with Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch and other stories.
(Mrs.) George Madden Martin (b. 1866), dean of Louisville writers,
is best known for her delightful chronicles of Emmy Lou. Ellen
Churchill Semple (1863-1932) attained international prestige with
American History and Its Geographic Condition and other scientific
works. Josephine McGill added to Kentucky's published treasure of
ballad material with her Folk Songs of the Kentucky Mountains
(1917). Louisville was also the birthplace (1856) of Louis Dembitz
Brandeis, a member of the U.S. Supreme Court (1916-1939) and the
author of several important books (see Literature).
Since the War between the States, industrial development has centered
about the manufacture of farm implements, tobacco products,
meat-packing products, leather goods, flour, and whisky. Tobacco is
the leading cash crop in the neighboring area. Prior to about 1918
the burley tobacco sold here was packed in great hogsheads, each
containing about a thousand pounds. These containers were broken
open for inspection, and a handful of tobacco determined the grade
of the entire hogshead. From this custom originated the name
"Breaks" for tobacco market floors. Louisville is still the leading
"hogshead market." Principal marketing activities run from about
Thanksgiving to Easter. Approximately one-fifth of the Nation's
cigarettes are manufactured here.
Two-thirds of Kentucky's wealth from manufactures is concentrated
in Louisville and Jefferson County. Livestock receipts and the meat
packing industry are vital factors in the city's business. Since repeal
the old distilleries on Main Street have awakened to new life and made
the city once more one of the Nation's ranking distributing centers for
liquor, especially Bourbon whisky. Plumber's supplies, sanitary equipment,
and mill and factory supplies are extensively produced; and
Louisville is outstanding in the manufacture of reed organs, baseball
bats, boxes, mahogany veneering, nicotine products, hickory handles,
minnow buckets, wagons, and the milling of soft winter wheat.
Local deposits of alluvial sands and glacial gravels, with clays and
some sandstone, have provided the materials for many of Louisville's
residences and business buildings. Underneath this downtown area
once ran the channel of the Ohio River. Long since silted up with
sand and gravel, this channel provides an unlimited supply of cold
sanitary water used in air-conditioning hotels, theaters, factories, and
office buildings, and to some extent in manufacturing processes, particularly
POINTS OF INTEREST
1. ROMAN CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL OF THE ASSUMPTION
(open daily), 435 S. 5th St., was consecrated in 1852, the year of its
completion. Constructed of brick trimmed with limestone, in Gothic
Revival style, the building is the work of William Kelly. The spire
with its 24-foot cross rises to a height of 287 feet. Within the lofty
tower is a 4,500-pound bell, given to the cathedral by the Right
Reverend Monsignor LaBastida, an Archbishop of Mexico. The tower
clock was made in Paris by Messieurs Blin. Among the treasures of
the cathedral is an old painting that depicts St. Bernard with the
Sacred Host. In its bold conception, brilliant coloring, and general
composition, the painting recalls the work of Rubens and Van Dyck.
2. The GRAYSON HOUSE (private), 432 S. 6th St., a broad,
nearly square structure of one-and-a-half stories with outer walls 17
inches thick, is the oldest brick house in the city. It was built not
later than 1810 by John Gwathmey, a Virginian, on an Indian burial
mound. The brick, laid in Flemish bond, was brought from the East
and shipped down the Ohio in keel-boats. The house has 17 rooms
and a large central hall. Slave quarters and a kitchen formerly occupied
the basement level. The earthquakes of 1811-12 and the
tornado of 1890 did no serious damage to this robust house.
3. COLLEGE SQUARE, W. Chestnut St. between S. 8th and S.
9th Sts., was set aside by the city in 1837 as the site for a college.
The Medical Institute, from which the University of Louisville ultimately
developed, opened here in the year 1839. In 1838 Gideon
Shryock, Lexington architect, designed and built the Greek Revival
building on the corner of Eighth and Chestnut Streets. With the
exception of the inner two, the Corinthian columns supporting the
severely plain pediment are square in design. Shryock also designed
the building at the corner of Ninth and Chestnut Streets. A third
structure, midway between the others, and like them in plan, has been
added in recent years. In 1852 a fire gutted the original building at
the corner of Eighth and Chestnut Streets, and subsequent alterations
of the reconstructed building left little of the interior plan. However,
the fagade and exterior, which emerged whole from the flames, are
designed in the best Shryock manner. The property is occupied by
the Central Colored High School, which emphasizes training in the
4. FORT NELSON MONUMENT, NW. corner N. 7th and W.
Main Sts., is an irregular slab of Georgia granite bearing a bronze
tablet; it commemorates a fort, built in 1782, which extended from
this point west approximately two blocks along what is now Main
Street, and north to the river shore. Fort Nelson was a Revolutionary
fort built by George Rogers Clark as a military base and as a refuge
for Louisville's first settlers. The monument, presented to the city by
the Colonial Dames of America, was dedicated in 1912.
5. JEFFERSON COUNTY COURTHOUSE, W. Jefferson St., between
S. Sth and S. 6th Sts., designed in the Greek Revival style with
an impressive Doric portico, is a characteristic work of Gideon Shryock,
designer of the Old Capitol at Frankfort and of the Bank of Louisville
building. The limestone structure was begun in 1838-39, but was not
completed and occupied until 1850. In the center of the rotunda is
a life-size white marble STATUE OF HENRY CLAY by Joel T. Hart, unveiled
in 1867. It is a replica of the original at Richmond, Virginia.
In front of the courthouse is a THOMAS JEFFERSON STATUE by Moses
Ezekiel, the gift of I. W. and B. Bernheim.
6. OLD BANK OF LOUISVILLE BUILDING (open 9-5 weekdays),
320 W. Main St., occupied by the Louisville Credit Men's Association,
is popular with artists who come to sketch the stately fagade.
The structure was designed in the Greek Revival style by Gideon
Shryock and erected in 1837. The fagade is of dressed limestone and
incorporates a portico with a pediment supported by two Ionic columns
and, at either end, a tapered pylon. Within, an elliptical dome and
skylight, supported by four classic columns, forms the major part of
The WHARF AND WATERFRONT, N. end of N. 3rd St., are
closely associated with the history of Louisville. Visible (L) along the
water's edge is the upstream end of the LOUISVILLE AND PORTLAND
CANAL, rebuilt in 1927 to provide a nine-foot navigation stage. The
original canal, dug by slave labor in 1830 at a cost of $740,000, opened
a new era in inland navigation. The canal was twice rebuilt before
the present locks and dam were completed. U.S. GOVERNMENT DAM
41 floods the rapids and eases a drop of 37 feet in the river level.
The dam, largest on the Ohio River, is constructed of reinforced concrete
and was completed in 1928. Backwater from the dam floods
Corn Island, site of the original settlement of Louisville. In the immediate foreground, at the water's edge, is the only inland U.S. COAST GUARD STATION, established in 1881 to protect life at the Falls of the
Ohio. Up to 1937 more than 9,000 persons had been rescued from
drowning. Directly across the river is the Jeffersonville, Indiana, plant
of the Colgate Company, bearing a great illuminated clock that tells
time for people in Louisville. To the right is Towhead Island, so
named because, prior to the building of the canal, it provided the upharbor
on the river between it and Shippingport harbor below the
falls. Goods were transferred overland and boats were towed, except
when periods of high water permitted navigation of the river channel.
Four bridges span the Ohio River at Louisville; one of them, generally
known as the K. & I. (Kentucky and Indiana) bridge, is just
over the falls and connects New Albany, Indiana, with Louisville, near
North Thirty-second Street. It is a combined highway, trolley, and
railroad bridge. The Pennsylvania Railroad bridge, built in 1870, is
exclusively for railroad purposes. The Big Four Railroad bridge was
rebuilt in 1928 to accommodate railroad and trolley traffic to Jeffersonville,
Indiana. The MUNICIPAL BRIDGE, a giant steel structure 5,750
feet long, built in 1930 for highway traffic, runs from North Second
Street to Jeffersonville. At the Kentucky end of the bridge tall stone
pylons are surmounted by large wrought-iron lamps. In front of each
of these fluted pylons is a lower pylon bearing in bas-relief the seal
of Kentucky surmounted by an eagle. They were designed by Paul
Cret of Philadelphia, who planned the Folger Shakespeare Library in
Washington, D.C. A marker, erected in 1935 by the Colonial Dames
of America on the Kentucky approach to the bridge, records La Salle's
alleged discovery of the Ohio River in 1669.
7. BANK OF THE UNITED STATES BUILDING, 231 W. Main
St., was built by the Government in 1832 to house the Louisville branch
of the Bank of the United States. It is a brick structure two stories
high, chiefly Greek Revival in design, now used as an office building.
8. The SITE OF CROWE'S LIVERY STABLE, 224 S. 3rd St.,
is occupied by a deserted brick building. About 1825 Thomas Crowe,
a retired stagecoach driver, operated a livery on this plot, near which
was the stage entrance to the old City Theater on Jefferson Street.
Crowe had several slaves who were stable hands, among them one
called Jim Crow. Jim was a jovial, elderly Negro, much deformed,
with a high right shoulder and a stiff left leg as bowed as a new moon,
which gave him an odd limp. One day in the spring of 1828 when
the Drake Stock Company was playing at the City Theater, Thomas D.
Rice, a member of the company, was standing at the theater entrance
watching the old Negro and listening to him singing at work. At the
end of each verse Jim gave a queer little jump, and when he came
down, he set his "heel a rockin'."
The words of the refrain were:
Wheel about, turn about,
Do jes so ;
An' every time I wheel about
I jump Jim Crow.
Rice was cast as a Kentucky cornfield slave in The Rifle, then playing
at the theater. Drake reluctantly consented to let Rice insert the Jim
Crow song. Rice made himself up like Jim Crow, sang his song, and
did his queer little dance. The audience went wild. It is said that
he was recalled 20 times the first night. The play ran for many nights
to crowded houses. After that Thomas Rice was nicknamed "Jim
Crow" Rice, and even as late as the forties he was still playing Jim
Crow and other Negro impersonations. Jim Crow terminology, with
its many variations dealing with the Negro, has developed from this
9. The COURIER-JOURNAL BUILDING, SW. corner S. 3rd and
W. Liberty Sts., is a plain four-story dressed limestone structure built
in 1858 by the U.S. Government as a post office and Federal building.
It later became the home of the Courier-Journal, established in 1868
by a merger of the Daily Journal with the Courier, and Henry Watterson
was made editor-in-chief (see Press and Radio). In August 1918
R. W. Bingham purchased the Courier-Journal and Times from the
heirs of W. N. Haldeman. As editor emeritus, Henry Watterson continued
to direct its policy until his death in 1921.
Robert Worth Bingham (1871-1937) was born in Orange County,
N.C., and was graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1888.
In his early twenties he became a resident of Louisville, where he was
admitted to the bar, and received his degree in law from the University
of Louisville in 1897. In Kentucky, Judge Bingham was best known
as a publisher, though he served as mayor, chancellor of Jefferson
Circuit Court, and county attorney before acquiring the two newspapers
associated with his name. He was appointed U.S. Ambassador
to Great Britain in 1933.
10. SEELBACH HOTEL, SW. corner S. 4th and W. Walnut Sts.,
has murals in the main lobby depicting the pioneer life and history of
Kentucky and the Northwest Territory. This work was completed in
1904 by Arthur Thomas. The central panel shows Colonel Henderson
calling to order the first legislature of Kentucky. Adjoining panels
portray scenes in the life of Daniel Boone and Gen. George Rogers
Clark in the march on Vincennes. Smaller panels of a pioneer distiller,
a tobacco field slave, a pioneer farmer, and an Indian chief complete
11. CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL (Episcopal), 419 S. 2nd
St., oldest church in the city, was built in 1822 after plans by Graham
and Ferguson. It was originally a two-story building, almost square,
with two tiers of windows. In 1872 the front wall was removed and
the building extended west to Second Street. Two towers, one topped
with a spire and cross, were included in the later Gothic Revival
fagade. Although the diocese of Kentucky was established in 1829,
Christ Church was not consecrated until 1894.
12. The BENJAMIN SMITH HOME (open 10-5 daily), 114 E.
Jefferson St., now headquarters of the Union Gospel Mission, was
built in 1827 by a retired Southern planter. It is a three-story house
of Classical Revival design. Its massive walls are 6f brick with rusticated
limestone trim. The facade is also of limestone and the four
fluted monolithic columns of the portico were carved by hand. The
rear and side walls are plastered and marked off to simulate stone.
The original hand-wrought ironwork and light standards at the entrance
are still in use. The rooms are finished in solid mahogany woodwork,
Italian marble mantels, and finely etched glass. An oval spiral
stairway winds from the first floor to the third.
13. The HAYMARKET (open day and night throughout the year),
E. Jefferson St. between S. Brook and S. Floyd Sts., in the 1880's was
an abandoned railroad yard where farmers congregated to sell their
hay and other produce. In order to protect the market place against
intrusion by city buildings, the farmers formed a stock company in
1891, which today owns and administers the property. Stalls are
rented to actual producers who, under the charter, pay no license to
the city. No discrimination is made between near and distant producers
so long as they can certify that the produce offered for sale is
of their own raising. The market sells vegetables, fruits, honey, and
other home-grown products.
14. The MEDICAL SCHOOL (open 9-5 weekdays), 101 W. Chestnut
St., is a three-story stone structure of Renaissance design, erected
in 1893 for the Louisville Medical College. In 1909 it became the
home of the original unit of the University of Louisville. Behind the
older building is a modern four-story brick addition, built in 1935.
15. SCOTTISH RITE TEMPLE, 200 E. Gray St., neo-classic in
design, is a huge building constructed of dressed Bedford stone. The
pediment of the portico is supported by six thick Doric columns. The
interior contains an auditorium seating 500 and a room paneled with
cedar of Lebanon. The cedar, pronounced genuine by the Smithsonian
Institution, was obtained from the estate of a French officer, who had
taken it from the ruins of an ancient Syrian building.
16. PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY (open 9-4
weekdays), 109 E. Broadway, forms an open quadrangle fronting on
Broadway. It consists of several contiguous Tudor-Gothic style halls,
the general mass resembling that of Balliol College, Oxford, England.
The battlemented walls are faced with machine-tooled Bowling Green
limestone, and the traceried windows are designed in the English perpendicular
style. The seminary owns the Palestinian Archeological
Collection of antiquarian articles from Palestine. In 1938 the institution
had an enrollment of 62 students.
17. FORD MANSION, SW. corner W. Broadway and S. 2nd Sts.,
now occupied by the Y. W. C. A., was built in 1858 for James Ford,
a retired Mississippi planter. The building was designed by the Louisville
architect, Henry Whitestone, in a modified Italian Renaissance
style. Additions have been made, but the beauty of the original
dressed stone fagade is unchanged. Spaciousness and excellent decorative
detail, carried out in finely carved rare wood, marble, and plaster,
characterize the interior.
18. LOUISVILLE FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY (open 9-9 weekdays,
2-6 Sun.), W. York St. between S. 3rd and S. 4th Sts., was designed
by Tilscher and Tachau and opened to the public in 1908. The twostory
building, French Renaissance in style, is T-shaped in plan and
has a full basement. A wing to the right of the entrance is used as a
reference room and that to the left for open bookshelves and general
reading. Directly opposite the entrance is the circulation room decorated
in the Louis XVI style. Its walls are finished in ivory and
embellished with murals symbolizing the advance of civilization. Two
stairways lead from this room to the balcony above, at one end of
which is the original of Canova's Hebe, and at the other, Joel T. Hart's
copy, of the Venus de Medici. On the balcony is a room housing
Henry Watterson's private library, which he bequeathed to the city.
Adjoining it is the Civics Room, where files of the leading Kentucky,
national, and foreign papers are on racks open to the public. In the
basement is the MUNICIPAL MUSEUM, which contains collections of
minerals, birds, butterflies, and fossils. On the grounds facing Fourth
Street stands Barnard's heroic LINCOLN STATUE, and immediately in
front of the building is Bouly's PRENTICE STATUE.
19. The FILSON CLUB (open P-5 weekdays), 118 W. Breckinridge
St., a square, three-story red brick structure, has served since
1929 as the home of the historical society, which collects Kentuckiana.
The eleventh volume of its magazine, The Filson Club History Quarterly,
was completed in 1937. The Quarterly publishes current findings
of society members and staff workers. The club was founded in
1884 and named for John Filson, first historian (1784) of the State
of Kentucky. The library contains a large collection of books and
manuscripts pertaining to the State.
In the MUSEUM on the second floor, which exhibits pioneer relics,
are mementos of James D. (Jim) Porter, the Kentucky Giant, including
his rifle, 7 feet 10 inches long, and his leather boot, 14cents inches
long. Other Porter relics are preserved by descendants living in Shippingport.
Porter, the second tallest man in the world at the time he lived,
was born in Portsmouth, Ohio, in 1810. A year later his parents
moved to Shippingport where he remained the rest of his life. His
phenomenal growth began at about the age of 1 7 and, as he said, while
he was growing his mother had to sew an extra foot of cloth on his
pantaloons every night. It was a favorite pastime of local people to
measure Big Jim. An inch a week was his greatest record, and at the
age of 24 he had achieved his full stature of 7 feet 9 inches, or "6 feet
21 inches" as he expressed it. Apprenticed to a cooperage, he outgrew
his task of making barrels, then that of making hogsheads, and for a
time he tried hack driving. Annoyed by the curious public, he gave
that up to go into business as keeper of the Lone Star Tavern. After
two years as a tavern proprietor, Porter built an 18-room house with
doors, ceilings, and furniture on a scale to accommodate his stature.
Charles Dickens, who visited him in 1842, described Porter "among
men of six feet high and upwards, like a lighthouse walking among
lamp-posts." Big Jim, a "powerful drinker," was joined in his sprees
by little Elisha Reynolds, 5 feet 4 inches tall, his partner in the Tavern,
which they ran until Porter's death in 1859. He was buried in Cave
Hill Cemetery, Louisville.
20. LOUISVILLE MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM (open by permission),
NW. corner S. 4th and W. Kentucky Sts., is a massive neoclassic
building of Bedford stone opened in 1929 as a memorial to
Jefferson County soldiers, sailors, and marines who died in the World
War. Ten fluted Doric columns support the entablature of the broad,
shallow front portico; behind them are four huge entrance doorways.
Above the colonnade is a high attic, adorned with classic bas-reliefs
and surmounted with decorative tripods at the corners. Beneath the
skylighted dome is the auditorium, seating 3,151. The interior is
decorated in soft shades of blue and gray. Spanish marble surfaces
the lower walls. Lectures, dramas, and occasional operas are presented
on the stage. On the second floor is the Trophy Room where flags
of the Allied and Associated Nations are displayed. Another memorial
of the World War, set within a bit of the soil of France, is a weathered
wooden cross that was erecteS above an American killed in battle and
buried as a Soldat Francents ais Inconnue. When the "unknown soldier's"
nationality was determined by some trinket, he was returned to his
native land, and with him came this graying cross.
21. CENTRAL PARK, S. 4th St. and Magnolia Ave., a 17-acre
tract, contains several huge specimens of tulip poplar, survivors of the
virgin forest. The natural amphitheater here is the scene of occasional
pageants and civic gatherings. West of Central Park, extending along
the railroad tracks for several blocks, is the locale of Alice Hegan
Rice's Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch. The land was originally
used as a cabbage field. Then a sub-division was laid out, but the lots
did not sell. Squatters came in and built shacks of materials salvaged
from the nearby city dump. Comfortable homes now fill the area.
22. KENTUCKY STATE FAIRGROUNDS (open throughout the
year), 1400 Cecil Ave., were acquired in 1908, when the State Fair
became a permanent institution, and the $100,000 livestock pavilion
was built. The MERCHANTS AND MANUFACTURING BUILDING, erected
in 1921, is devoted to industrial and commercial exhibitions. A LOG
HOUSE, built and furnished in pioneer style, memorializes the pioneer
home. In front of the grandstand is a half-mile track on which saddle
racing is held daily during the State Fair in September. The feature
of the fair is the Kentucky Horse Show, where native and foreign
horses vie for honors. The standards of excellence include the breeding
and quality of the horses and the showmanship of the trainers.
23. BOURBON STOCKYARDS (open 9-2), SE. corner Main and
Johnson Sts., received its name because it is on the SITE OF BOURBON
HOUSE, a drover's tavern of the early days where, according to tradition,
Louis Philippe, later King of France, stayed for a time. Spring
lamb marketing is one of the stockyards' most important activities.
24. AMERICAN PRINTING HOUSE FOR THE BLIND (open
9-4:30 weekdays), 1839 Frankfort Ave., one of the largest and oldest
establishments of its kind, prints Braille books for the blind. It was
established in 1858, and was supported by individual subscription and
by the State until Congress in 1879 made an annual appropriation of
$10,000. In 1919 this grant was increased to $50,000. This publishing
house, occupying a three-story brick building, supplies books for
the blind in the United States and abroad. Its catalogue of published
works lists more than 5,000 volumes, including standard works on the
arts, sciences, history, travel, fiction, poetry, and general information.
25. KENTUCKY SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND (open 9-4:30 weekdays),
1867 Frankfort Ave., designed in 1855 by F. Costigan, is Greek
Revival in design. All outer walls are of stuccoed brick with stone
trim, except the first story of the main building on the south elevation,
which is of dressed stone, and is dominated by a graceful Ionic portico.
Its three domes are visible from many points in the city.
The tour 26 m. begins at Third Street and Broadway in downtown
Louisville, covers a portion of the boulevard system that practically
encircles the city, passes through the older residential section,
and into the more recently developed Highlands. It includes three of
the city's finest parks and Cave Hill Cemetery, burial place of many
distinguished former residents of the city.
S. from Broadway on S. 3rd St.
26. CONFEDERATE MEMORIAL, S. 3rd and Shipp Sts., is a
large, tapering, Georgia granite shaft erected by the Kentucky
Women's Confederate Monument Association in honor of Confederate
soldiers. Cavalry and artillery groups are on two sides of the shaft.
A medallion in the center depicts a mounted cavalryman. At the top
is a square decorated with palm leaves, wreath, and crossed swords, on
which stands a sentinel-like figure facing the North. His knapsack,
canteen, and long rifle are characteristic of the Confederate infantry.
This memorial, unveiled in 1895, was designed by the Louisville-born
sculptress, Enid Yandell.
27. UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE, on 55-acre Belknap Campus,
S. 3rd and Shipp Sts., running to Eastern Parkway, is the oldest
municipally owned university in America. The 1937 enrollment exceeded
3,500 students. The university started in 1837 as the Louisville
Medical Institute. In 1846 the Institute and Louisville College were
merged as the University of Louisville, and a law school was added.
For half a century law and medicine were the only courses offered by
the university. In 1907 the College of Liberal Arts was established
through a private fund. Since 1910 appropriations have been made by
the city. In 1911 five medical schools amalgamated as the Medical
School of the university. The School of Dentistry -was added in 1918.
In 1922 co-operation was arranged between the City Hospital and the
university, and in the same year summer terms were initiated. In 1925
the present main campus was purchased and the Speed Scientific
School established, and two years later the College of Music was organized.
On the left of the entrance is SPEED MEMORIAL MUSEUM (open 10-5
Tues.-Sat., 2-5 Sun.), an Indiana limestone structure erected in memory
of James B. Speed, prominent Louisville resident. The building contains
a collection of pottery and porcelain by English, German, and
Austrian artisans. Miniatures by English, American, French, Swedish,
Russian, Austrian, and Persian artists of the past three centuries are
also on display, among them Lord Byron, by C. Q. A. Bourgeois.
Paintings of more than 100 artists include The Arrival at the Inn, by
Vincent Augustus Tack, and portraits by Peale, Sully, Healy, and
Matthew Harris Jouett.
Immediately beyond the Museum is a group of buildings housing
many of the activities of the university proper. The Schools of Medicine
and Dentistry and the Louisville Municipal College for Negroes
are in downtown Louisville.
R. from S. 3rd St. on Central Ave.; L. on S. 6th St.
28. CHURCHILL DOWNS (open), S. 7th St. and Central Ave.,
the 180-acre park-like tract of the Kentucky Jockey Club, provides
one of the fastest tracks in the world for the 19-day spring and 10-day
fall race meets and the Kentucky Derby, usually run the first or
second Saturday in May. The green-trimmed white clubhouse and
grandstands and the landscaped grounds have changed little in appearance
since the course was opened in 1875. It was a l l/2 mile
track until 1896, when it was shortened to 1cents 4 miles. Under the
main grandstand are pari-mutuel betting machines, pay-off windows,
offices, and the cafe. To the right is the clubhouse, and to the left
the Negro grandstand. Directly in front of the grandstand, the bluegrass
lawn of the infield, broken by beds of flowers, shrubs, and lowgrowing
trees, is enclosed by the white guard-rail of the mile oval.
Beyond and facing the oval is a group of one-story green and white
horse barns against a background of forest trees.
The Kentucky Derby, America's supreme racing event, open to the
three-year-olds, was inaugurated in 1875 and has continued without a
break. In 1912 Sotemia established a world's running record at
Churchill Downs by doing 4 miles in 7:10%, and in 1931 Gallant
Knight clipped another world's record for 6cents furlongs in 1:16%.
Famous winners of the Derby include Bubbling Over (1926, time
2:03%) and War Admiral (1937, time 2:03%). The largest Derby
purse was $55,375, won by Reigh Count in 1928. Lawrin was the
first "winter horse" to win the Derby, being first over the line in
Retrace S. 6th; R. on S. 3rd, which at Kenton St. becomes Southern
29. IROQUOIS PARK, Southern Parkway and Taylor Blvd., contains
676 acres of heavily wooded land acquired by the city in 1890
as the nucleus of the present park system. A roadway and footpaths
wind from the base of Burnt Knob, center of the park, to its summit,
from which the countryside can be seen for miles. Point Lookout has
an elevation of 720 feet and looks down on Louisville, the Ohio River,
and the Indiana hills to the north.
Retrace Southern Parkway; R. on Eastern Parkway to Cherokee Rd.
30. CHEROKEE PARK, Eastern Parkway at Cherokee Rd., is a
rolling tract of 409 acres in the eastern section of the city. The
Middle Fork of Beargrass Creek, winding through the area, is fed by
springs from limestone cliffs above.' The BIRD OBSERVATORY houses a
large collection of mounted native Kentucky birds. In a wild spot is
Enid YandelFs DANIEL BOONE STATUE, placed so that Boone, clad
in his traditional hunting garb, seems to be stepping out of a thicket.
The statue was presented to the city by C. C. Bickel.
Follow Cherokee Park Trail beside headwaters of Middle Fork of
Beargrass Creek, past Big Rock to entrance of Seneca Park, just beyond
the city limits.
31. SENECA PARK is a continuation of the city's park system.
The trail climbs from the valley of Middle Fork and passes through a
region of rolling green hills.
L. from Cherokee Trail on Beal's Branch Rd.; R. on Garden Dr.;
L. on Lexington Rd.
32. SOUTHERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY (open
9-4:30 weekdays), 2825 Lexington Rd., a group of Georgian Colonial
buildings of red faced brick with dressed Bowling Green stone trim,
is situated in a 55-acre grove of huge beech trees. NORTON HALL,
three stories high, contains administration offices, museum, and library.
The MUSEUM (open by appointment) has exhibits of the Departments
of History, Religion, and Missions. An eleventh century Greek
parchment of the Four Gospels and a reprint of the 1587 "Breeches
Bible" are among the rare items. The seminary was first opened in
Greenville, S.C., in 1859. It closed during the War between the States,
re-opened in 1865, and in 1877 was moved to Louisville, where it operated
in its own buildings on Fifth Street and Broadway until 1926,
when it was moved to the present location. The 1937-38 attendance
was more than 400.
L. from Lexington Rd. on Grinstead Dr.; R. opposite head of Ray
Ave., through rear entrance to Cave Hill Cemetery.
33. CAVE HILL CEMETERY, main entrance at Baxter Ave. and
E. Broadway, is a 291 -acre burying ground containing the graves of
famous men and women, among them Gen. George Rogers Clark and
George Keats, brother of the English poet. Six miles of driveway,
planted with trees, shrubbery, and flowers, wind through park-like
grounds that overlook downtown Louisville. Near the main entrance
stands a lofty campanile, its clock tower surmounted by a life-size
white marble copy of Thorwaldsen's Angel. Lower, in a niche, is a
copy of the same sculptor's Christ.
POINTS OF INTEREST IN ENVIRONS
Fort Knox, 32 m. (see Tour 7). Monument and Tomb of Zachary Taylor,
72 m. (see Tour 12). My Old Kentucky Home, 39.6 m. (see Tour 15).
This information was Compiled and Written by the Federal Writers' Project
of the Work Projects Administration for the State of Kentucky - 1939