Logan County, formed in 1792, was Kentucky's 13th county and is the state's fifth largest. Twenty-eight counties have been formed wholly or in part out of Logan. In its infancy, our county was known for its lawlessness, being refuge to criminals of all kinds, until the Great Revival of 1800 took place in southern Logan County. The "Great Awakening" as it was called, introduced religion into the wild west.
As you travel into Logan County from Todd County, you see a great deal of what gave the county its early economic foundation agriculture. Rolling hills full of wheat, beans, tobacco and livestock fill this end of the county. As you drive along this great four-lane road, not only do you get to enjoy the rural scenery, you get the comfort of a safe, smooth ride.
When approaching the City of Russellville, you begin to see the business community spring to life. Along this section of highway, you will find all kinds of small businesses, as well as some large industrial sites.
Since Highway 68/80 runs right through the center of Russellville, travelers may enjoy the epitome of small town, southern charm. Shortly before reaching the Park Square, you will see the 1904 Courthouse.
Close to the Courthouse is the 1869 Jail, which is now the Logan County Archives operated by the Genealogical Society. This building holds a wonderful collection of early court records dating back to 1792 in its old stone cell blocks and is visited by researchers from all over the United States. Other sites of great importance in downtown Russellville include the following:
Convention House of the Confederacy, site of the Confederate Convention, held on November 20th, 1861. Delegates from 64 Kentucky counties met to form a provisional government for the Confederate State of Kentucky. Town Square, featured in The Kentucky Explorer as one of Kentucky’s Most Beautiful downtown park, contains a number of historical markers and memorials and is the center of a 60+ square block National Register Historic District.
Located on the Town Square, the 1887 Harrison-Hite Building, today houses the Logan County Chamber of Commerce and Logan Economic Alliance for Development.
4th Street Theatre, currently under renovation as a cultural, multi-use facility.
1817 Saddle Factory Museum, (left) a four-story brick building that may be Kentucky's oldest industrial building. Exhibits include early saddles and leather goods. One focus of the Museum is the indentured servants who provided much of the skilled labor and who lived on-site. The fourth-floor living quarters are available for touring and display preserved pre-1835 writings on the walls.
Historic Russellville, Inc. Visitor Center, Gallery and Archives provides changing exhibits of interest to locals and travelers alike.
Bibb House Museum, (left) located just off the Square, a Palladian style townhouse, former home to Revolutionary War Major Richard Bibb.
Russellville Independent School District's Rhea Stadium, with its impressive stone walls and entrance was built in 1938-39 as a WPA project. The Stadium is Russellville's most recent addition to the National Register of Historic Places.
African-American Heritage Center, consists of the Payne-Dunnigan House, associated with the family of Alice Allison Dunnigan, the first African-American woman to be a member of the White House Press Corps; the Cooksey House, the Morton-Kimbrough House, the oldest still standing brick building in Russellville and the West Kentucky African American Research Center, contains a vast collection of information invaluable to historians and genealogists.
Old Southern Kentucky Bank, (left) site of the first documented bank robbery of the Jesses James Gang in 1868.
Historic southern homes are located all around the Highway 68/80 stretch throughout downtown
Logan County Glade State Nature Preserve, located just directly off Hwy 68/80, 41 acres with limestone glades occupying the SW facing midslope of an 810 ft. knob. The steep rocky slope is dominated by prairie grasses such as bluestem & sideoats grama. Rare plants include Carolina Larkspur, Glade violet & Fame flower. Self-guided tours.
As travelers leave Russellville on 68, they pass by the City of Russellville's Hampton Park, the location of many neighborhood and area activities, including the annual 8th of August Emancipation Celebration.
As you travel east from Russellville toward Auburn, you'll see more of the agricultural beauty and the start of the Knobs, for which the region is noted.
The City of Auburn is a treasured jewel and 136 properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The homes along Main Street, which is Highway 68/80, are so inviting, you may just want to stop and stay. From the Auburn Museum & Library complex to the Federal Grove Bed & Breakfast, (right) to antique shops, home-cookin’ restaurants and Colonial House Furniture, where some of the U.S.’s finest hardwood furniture is made, Auburn excels as a small Kentucky community. Also located in the Auburn area is the Hall’s Prairie UK Natural Preserve.
The Auburn Museum contains over 1,000 artifacts. In the land behind the museum, a visitor will find a creation of a historic village, with a furnished one-room schoolhouse, a little "outhouse," a reconstructed and outfitted barn and a two-cell jail with period cell equipment.
When leaving Auburn, you travel toward the Warren County line but not too fast! Don’t miss the Shaker Museum at South Union. The Shakers came to South Union in 1807 and were here until 1922, which included some very turbulent years during the Civil War, 1861-1864. The Museum (left) has an impressive display of genuine Shaker artifacts, and houses a great gift shop.
Just 1/2 mile from the Museum is the Shaker Tavern Bed & Breakfast (right). Built in 1869 by the Shakers as a hotel for "people of the world."
Located directly beside the Shaker Museum grounds is the Chapel of Divine Mercy. This newly constructed chapel has a very old-world European feel, featuring many stained glass windows, marble and porcelain floors and an antique alter.
Festivals are very much a part of Logan County, particularly along Highway 68/80. From the Logan County Tobacco & Heritage Festival to the Antique Engine & Tractor Show to the Hoedown at Shakertown, the community is always coming together to celebrate our unique heritage.
If you choose to venture off Highway 68/80, Logan County offers a great variety of interests. The following are a few possibilities:
Lake Malone boating, fishing, restaurant, lodging, marina
Scenic byways of Iron Mountain Road & Duncan Ridge Road
Red River Meeting House & Cemetery home of the Second Great Awakening