Preserve America Community:
Russellville, Kentucky (population 7149), the county seat of Logan County, has a long and colorful history. Known as “Rogues’ Harbour” and “Big Boiling Spring” to the early settlers, it has held the name of Russellville since 1798 in honor of Revolutionary War General William Russell. The majority of the early settlers came from Virginia and North Carolina.
Russellville’s 1887 Harrison-Hite building is a notable downtown landmark that originally was used as a combination grocery/furniture store and funeral parlor! Over the next 119 years it was used for many purposes, including as the first full-service filling station in town. The City purchased the building in the 1980s to house offices for Economic Development, the Russellville/Logan County Tourist and Convention Center, and the Chamber of Commerce. A recent public-private effort restored the building and has been the catalyst for several other downtown preservation efforts.
The local theatre is now being renovated as an arts and meeting facility. The KP Hall, a music venue on the “Chitlin Circuit” in the time of segregation, is being preserved as part of a project known as the African-American Heritage Center and Museum and used as a multipurpose center for youth programs. Out-of-town business owners have become interested in relocating to historic downtown Russellville, helping bring back jobs lost through the closing of local industrial plants and businesses.
Historic Russellville, Inc. runs walking tours led by reenactors, and a self-guided walking tour is available at other times. Other Russellville attractions include the 1817 Saddle Factory, probably the oldest industrial building in Kentucky, and the Bibb House Museum, home of Revolutionary War Major Richard Bibb.
For more information
Russellville Home Page/Historic Photo Gallery: www.russellvilleky.org
Updated June 11, 2009