Using Online Resources to Solve Photographic Mysteries

By Robin Wallace Family history, and in particular family photos, were a very important part of my upbringing.  When I was a child, both of my grandmothers loved to tell me stories about my ancestors, and I treasured the hours we would spend pouring over old family photographs.  At the time, I did not realize how lucky I was to […]

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Fletcher Forage Ration manufactured in Louisville, Ky

Of all the major business enterprises and manufacturing companies existing in Louisville in the 19th century, perhaps one of the most unique was The Fletcher Forage Ration Company. Matthew Fletcher, a native of Louisville, was issued two separate patents. In December of 1863 he was issued a patent for his forage ration, a compressed mixture of hay and grain used […]

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The Cumberland Gap

The Cumberland Gap, situated in the Cumberland Mountains section of the Appalachian Mountains on the Kentucky-Virginia border about a quarter of a mile from where Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee meet, is very important to the history of Kentucky and the Western United States.  The Gap was first used by the Native Americans as a westward gate to hunting grounds in […]

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Whiskey Row Still in Strong ‘Spirits’.

By Sarah-Jane Poindexter Developers, preservationists, and many Louisville citizens issued a collective sigh of relief this week upon Mayor Fischer’s announcement that “Whiskey Row” will not be demolished.  Five buildings of this historic block on Main Street, which could have seen seven buildings demolished as early as next week, will now be saved.  Whiskey Row is a beautiful example of […]

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Chew on This…

I loved chewing gum as a child. Big League Chew was a favorite, as well as Bubble Yum (watermelon – especially if it had the green outer ring and pink center). I patiently put up with Trident and Dentyne when they were the only sticks around (typically grandparent-provided). For a few years, my parents kept me supplied with boxes of […]

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Sustainable Architecture – A New Kind of Historic Legacy

In May, The Filson is holding a Public Conference centered on architecture and what we can learn from historic structures, including the topics of architectural conservation and building within the historic context of a local neighborhood. Having worked at architecture firms in the past, I know that sustainable architecture is a growing area of expertise for many firms. Sustainability itself […]

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The Civil War Begins

Today, April 12th, marks the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, America’s bloodiest and costliest war. The cannon that opened up on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor early that morning would not fall silent for four years.  When the war ended over 600,000 Americans had died and the South faced years of rebuilding and recovery. As we […]

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Louisville’s Lost Skyscraper

By Sarah-Jane Poindexter Today’s ‘Then & Now’ features the Columbia Building, Louisville’s first skyscraper. Built in 1890, the Columbia Building was originally known as the Commercial Club Building, and for a decade was the tallest building in Louisville’s skyline.  The ten-story building was designed by the Louisville firm Curtin and Campbell as a Richardsonian Romanesque high-rise in the First Chicago […]

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Resources not found in the Online Catalog: Family Files, Historical Files, and Newspaper clippings

Often when patrons visit the Filson Library there are a few resources outside of the catalog that I like to introduce to them. For those doing genealogical research, family files can be an excellent resource. Family files are a collection of vertical files that contain information relating to a particular surname. The information in each file typically relates to research […]

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Finding the “Cave” in Cave Hill Cemetery

While perusing the records of Louisville’s Cave Hill Cemetery for a recent reference inquiry, I was suddenly struck by the cemetery’s name – Cave Hill, and wondered, “Is there actually a cave at Cave Hill?” Caves have always been a source of minor fascination for me – not an allure that led me into geology or serious study of them, […]

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