Russellville Historic Tour Provided by the Logan County Chamber of Commerce
We hope you enjoy your tour of historic Russellville.
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1-Harrison-Hite Building -c.1887, Carter Harrison and his son concurrently operated a funeral parlor, a grocery, and furniture store here. In the mid-1920's, W.T. Hite purchased the building and converted it to Russellville's first gasoline station. It currently houses the Logan Co. Chamber of Commerce and the Logan Co. Economic Development Commission.
2-Opera House -The Opera House was built in 1903 to accommodate traveling shows and operas. The original entrance was in the center of the building, with a wide staircase leading to a second-floor foyer where the opera room was complete with stage, boxes, balcony, and dressing rooms. It was later converted to a movie house.
3-Jones House -c. 1810. Home of Walter Jones, the town's first doctor. It was later owned by the Norton Family, who built the Southern Bank next door.
4-Southern Bank of Kentucky -Built in 1857 by George W. Norton, this structure served as both bank and residence. It was robbed by the Jesse James Gang in 1868 in their first documented robbery. During the Civil War, over one million dollars of currency was removed from the vault and hidden to avoid confiscation by soldiers.
5-Episcopal Church -c.1875
6-Presbyterian Church -c.1878, This church was built with partial funding from the Untied States Government after an earlier building located at the southwest intersection of Eighth and Main Streets was destroyed by Union soldiers during the Civil War.
7-Sacred Heart Catholic Church –Circa 1963. Notable are the stained glass windows added in 1990 which are the work of Logan County artist Ellsworth Strickler. The original church stood on the corner of 5th and Winter Streets; it was a white frame structure built in 1872 by L&N Railroad employees during non-working hours.
8-Sandidge House -c.1894. Home of Judge W.P. Sandidge. This is an outstanding example of Queen Anne architecture. It was at one time a school of Osteopathy.
9-Public Library –Circa 1967. To learn more about Russellville and Logan County you may want to visit our regional library. The library was built using funds from the deGraffenried legacy to the citizens of the city of Russellville. You can find them on the web at www.loganlibrary.org.
10-First Christian Church -Circa 1871. Built by a congregation that had met in private homes from the time of it's organization in 1841. This building was extensively remodeled in the early 1900s at which time the stained glass windows were added and the front was moved from east to north. This lot was the original location of the blacksmith shop of Major Richard Bibb.
11-Morton-Loving House -c.1810. This is a fine example of early architecture.
12-Slaughter-deGraffenried House -Thomas Slaughter, State Senator and son-in-law of Major Richard Bibb, built this house in 1820. It was the boyhood home of Thomas P. deGraffenried, a New York attorney, who left Russellville one million dollars for the education of the citizens at large therein. The small one and a half story building behind this house was used as a school between 1887 and 1908.
13-Bibb House -Major Richard Bibb, a Revolutionary War officer, built this house in 1820. In 1829, he freed 29 of his slaves and returned them to Liberia. He provided for the liberation of his remaining slaves in his will in 1839. One of his sons, John, developed Bibb lettuce; another, George, became Chief Justice of the Kentucky Court of Appeals, a United States Senator, and member of President Tyler's cabinet. Tours available by appointment.
14-Washington House -begun before 1824 by John Whiting Washington, third cousin of George Washington. Bought in 1880 by Thomas Clark. Now run as bed and breakfast by Charles and Regina Phillips, (270) 726-1240.
15-Caldwell-Orndorff House -built prior to 1824 by Christopher Orndorff. He was clerk of the first Logan Court and, later, a merchant. He died in 1835, and is buried in the garden behind the house along with his wife and three of his children. It was later the home of
16-Crittenden House -c.1810. This unique frame and brick house was the home of John Crittenden, who served as Kentucky's Governor from 1848-1850, served in the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and as Attorney General under three presidents. He is probably most well remembered as the author of the “Crittenden Compromise” which attempted to prevent the Civil War. His sons fought against each other in the Civil War, meeting at the Battle of Shiloh.
17-Wallace House -Originally a two-room log house built in 1811 by Judge William Wallace, once served as a tavern and stagecoach inn, reconstructed in 1822 by Augustine Byrne, father of Walter Byrne, first of four generations of physicians.
18-O'Bannon House -The original section of this house was built by Presley N. O'Bannon who came to Russellville in 1807. He launched a political career based on his heroism in the Barbary Wars during which he planted the American flag for the first time on foreign soil at Tripoli. He served in the Kentucky House of Representatives and Senate. In 1814 the house was purchased by Richard Bibb, Jr., who added a two story front entrance.
19-Courts Hall -Built by Winn Courts in 1890. It was later the home of Tom Rhea.
20-Morehead House -c.1820. Home of Armistead Morehead, first Russellville postmaster and father of James T. Morehead, who became governor of Kentucky in 1834.
21-Curd-Coffman House -Built in 1814 by Richard Curd; owned since 1865 by the Coffman family. The late Rev. Edward Coffman, Sr. was the author of four local histories.
22-Atkinson House -In 1815, Major Sherwood W. Atkinson of Virginia bought the lot on which this house stands. The circular stairway on the north side, porch, and Greek revival columns were added later.
23-Methodist Temple –Circa 1852. Oldest organized church in Russellville, dating to 1808. Remodeled in 1917, when stain glass windows were added, to resemble a Greek Temple.
24-Andrews House -Built in the early 1800's, it once sold for $125 and a mare. The wooden exterior of this house resembles cut stone in the style of Mount Vernon.
25-Samuel Caldwell House -Samuel Caldwell came to Russellville in 1793 and was one of the first merchants to settle here. He built this house around 1805.
26-First Baptist Church -c.1899. This Victorian structure replaced an earlier Baptist Church built in 1816.
27-Govenor Breathitt House -This house was built around 1812 by John Breathitt, who was Kentucky's Governor from 1832-34. Governor Breathitt is buried in Logan County, and a monument to him was erected by the State of Kentucky in Maple Grove Cemetery.
28-Breathitt-Morehead House -Governor John Breathitt had this house built for his sister between 1818 and 1828. In the mid-1800's it became an exclusive boys' school and was attended by Charles Morehead who was the Governor of Kentucky in 1855.
29-Public Square -site of Old Court House, c.1822. The first courthouse was a cedar log building built in 1792. Andrew Jackson practiced law in the Logan County Court House around 1794. The Square today contains several historical markers, a Confederate Memorial, a cast iron fountain, and military memorials including a cannon.
30-News-Democrat & Leader -c.1873. The News-Democrat & leader newspaper is successor to Kentucky's oldest newspaper, The Mirror, established in 1806. The building formerly housed a hardware store.
31-Convention House of the Confederacy -The center section of this building was built in 1820 by an Englishman named Forst. It was the site of the Confederate Convention, held on November 20th, 1861. Delegates from forty-three Kentucky counties met to form a provisional government for the Confederate State of Kentucky.
32-Logan County Courthouse -Built in 1904, this is Logan's third courthouse. Court first met in 1793 in a two-story log structure known as Cedar House. From 1822 through the late 1800's the courthouse was located in the middle of Park Square. On top of the present Courthouse is a reproduction of the fish weather vane originally located on top of the 1820 Courthouse located in the Public Square. The original fish, now on display in the 1817 Saddle Factory Museum, has three bullet holes, allegedly shot by either a member of the James Gang or a drunken Union soldier, Jim Atkins of Butler Co., during the Civil War.
33-Old Jail -Built in 1869, the jail houses county records stored there under the direction of the Genealogical Society. Notable for the cut stone cell block.
34-Sosh House -c.1825.
35-Caldwell House -c.1869.
36- Seward House -c.1870.
37- E.M. Clark House -built before 1860. The front section is of log, now sheathed with clapboarding.
38- Married Students Quarters of Bethel College -c.1860. These two adjacent buildings were donated by Nimrod Long to Bethel College
39- Old Baptist parsonage -c.1888.
40-Dudley Evans House -c.1880.
41-Thomas Evans House -c.1870.
42-Sexton's House -Maple Grove Cemetery, c.1870. Fabled site of "ghost" appearance in second floor window.
43-Ryan House -c.1817. Home of Joseph Gray, owner of the Gray Hotel and Tavern. In 1887, the Patrick Ryan family built the four rooms and portico on the east side of the Gray home, making this the front of the house, rather than the south side. Later, lots were sold on each side of the long driveway, which ran east-west, and it was named Ryan drive.
A-Caldwell Saddle Factory -built in 1810 by Andrew and David Caldwell, it is Russellville's oldest factory. Unique to its construction are the 13 wide windows designed to allow two men to work by the light of each. Indentured apprentices were housed on the third floor where, written on one of the walls, are the words, "Two years from today, I will be free. 1812".
B - Kimbrough House - c. 1800. Oldest house in Russellville and the home of Marmaduke Beckworth Morton I. Future home of the African-American Heritage Museum.
C-Roberts House ("Mockingbird Hill") -begun in 1837 and completed in 1850 for Ormond Roberts. Used as a hospital and headquarters by Federal troops during the Civil War. After the war, Mr. Roberts sold it as a site for a Methodist college. The Methodist Conference decided to build the college nearer to town and sold this property to George W. Edwards.