The Major Impact of People on the Development of Historical Sites in Louisville: An Expert's Perspective

Discover how people have had a major impact on historical sites development over time in Louisville, Kentucky. Learn about George Rogers Clark's establishment of an American settlement near present-day Louisville during the American Revolutionary War.

The Major Impact of People on the Development of Historical Sites in Louisville: An Expert's Perspective

Louisville, Kentucky has a long and storied history, with many people having a major influence on the development of its historical sites over time. George Rogers Clark was the first to establish an American settlement near present-day Louisville in 1778, during the American Revolutionary War. Christopher Gist, an explorer from Maryland, explored areas along the Ohio River in 1751, and Daniel Boone, an American pioneer, created a trail from North Carolina to Tennessee in 1769. Captain Thomas Bullitt led the first group of explorers in Jefferson County in 1773, surveying land on behalf of Virginians who had received land grants for their service in the French and Indian War. James Harrod began building Fort Harrod in Kentucky in 1774, but battles with Native American tribes forced American colonists to retreat.

The following year, Boone built Wilderness Road and established Fort Boonesborough on a site near Boonesborough, Kentucky. Native Americans allocated an area of land between the Ohio River and the Cumberland River for the Transylvania Land Company in 1776. The colony of Virginia declared the Transylvania Land Company illegal and created Kentucky County in Virginia from the land involved. In April 1779, George Rogers Clark took his soldiers and set out to begin his military campaign. The first local government was established almost immediately, with William Harrod, Richard Chenoweth, Edward Bulger, James Patton, Henry French, Marsham Brashear and Simon Moore being selected as trustees. The first permanent settlement on the continent was established when civilians cleared land and built huts and a spring.

On June 24, Clark took his soldiers and set out to begin his military campaign. In April, it was named Louisville after King Louis XVI of France, whose government and soldiers aided the colonists in the Revolutionary War. During the Civil War, Louisville was a major stronghold for Union forces which held Kentucky firmly in the Union. It was the center of planning, supplies, recruitment and transportation for numerous campaigns. James Speed, a prominent Louisville lawyer and brother of President Abraham Lincoln's close friend Joshua Fry Speed, strongly advocated keeping Kentucky in the Union.

Seeing its strategic importance in freight transportation industry, General William Tecumseh Sherman formed a military base in Louisville in case the Confederacy advanced. In 1893, Louisville Presbyterian Seminary was founded on First and Broadway in the center of the city (now occupied by Jefferson Community College). Eight years later it absorbed a former Presbyterian seminary in Danville. In 1963, Louisville Seminary moved to a modern campus on Alta Vista Road near Cherokee Park. Camp Taylor was established during World War I.

In 1917 Omar Khayyam became the first foreign-breed horse to win the Kentucky Derby and two years later Sir Barton became the first horse to win the Triple Crown. Unfortunately, sewer explosions devastated part of old town Louisville and near University of Louisville early morning hours of February 13th 1981. The Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company (L&N) was founded by James Guthrie in 1850 who was also involved in founding University of Louisville. Visitors can enjoy some of America's best music at Louisville Bats minor league baseball games right next to Louisville Slugger Field. Oxmoor is a rare historic site with original slave dwellings that are still standing as well as other agricultural outbuildings. Fortunately many top attractions are located just few blocks from each other on West Main Street in center of city.

In 1988 Louisville Falls fountain began operating on Ohio River which is tallest computerized fountain in world. The days of frontier quickly faded away log houses and forts began to disappear and Louisville saw its first newspaper Louisville Gazette in 1807 and its first theater 1808 as well as first building dedicated to church 1809.

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