Four Roses Bus Tour – October 31, 2009

The Filson Historical Society took a bus trip to the Four Roses Distillery on Saturday, October 31st. Yes, Halloween day.  A rainy Halloween morning, but as the day progressed the sky cleared some it turned to a typical brisk fall morning in Kentucky. The bus left the Filson just a few minutes after 9:00 for the hour drive to the […]

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Filson Favorites: Researcher Jennifer Armstrong, History Sleuth with Heart

The Filson has many wonderful and intelligent researchers, but every so often one comes in that really grabs your attention.  Such was the case with Jennifer Armstrong.   Over the past year, Armstrong has repeatedly visited The Filson archives, researching on behalf of the Home of The Innocents, a community institution dedicated to caring for abused, abandoned, and neglected children.  Between 1882 […]

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Spiritualism in Louisville

Truth is often stranger than fiction, and historical societies such as The Filson house some unusual tales within the less explored recesses of their collections.  Spirits may feature prominently in today’s television programs, books and movies, but Louisville’s 19th century residents had a passion for the paranormal, as well, and participated in a trend that would change the face of […]

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Home Movie Day a Huge Success!

Home Movie Day was a huge success! On October 17th, The Filson Historical Society along with the Louisville Film Society hosted the area’s first observance of Home Movie Day.  This annual international event celebrates amateur film making and aims to educate the public about film preservation.  The event presented a unique, and mutually beneficial, opportunity to view and preserve our […]

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Filson Favorites: Chester Harding’s Portrait of Bland W. Ballard

Major Bland W. Ballard (1759 or 1761-1853) was an early pioneer in Kentucky and quite possibly the toughest looking man of his era. The Filson’s portrait of Ballard by Chester Harding depicts a man hardened by the violence of the Ohio Valley frontier. In 1788, a party of Delaware Indians killed Ballard’s father, stepmother, two brothers and half-sister, while Ballard […]

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History Mystery

The first mystery item – our portrait of James Wilkinson by John Wesley Jarvis – was easy. That was a warm up. Now they get tougher. The item pictured here was commonly found in households well into the 20th century – and some are most likely still used today. This item is 11.5″ long and 5″ wide (tappering to 1.5″). It […]

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Genealogical Resources in The Filson Library: Ancestry Library

The Filson Historical Society Library has one of the most extensive Kentucky genealogy related collections in the region. Genealogists come from all around the country to sift through our collection in hopes of either finding that one missing piece of the puzzle, or to simply begin family research on ancestors who lived in Kentucky. Genealogy research can be a frustrating […]

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The Filson Bourbon History Series – Week Four

For the final week of the Filson Bourbon History Series, the subject of the history portion was the post prohibition bourbon world and bourbon in the 21st century. The tasting segment of the night was the “final exam” where the students were asked to take notes on two unknown whiskeys. When prohibition ended in 1933, the distilling industry wanted to […]

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Happy Birthday, Enid Yandell

Today we celebrate the birth of one of Kentucky’s finest sculptors, Enid Bland Yandell, an artist ahead of her time.  She pursued a career in sculpture, a medium dominated by men during the early twentieth century, rather than choosing a life of domesticity.  Although Yandell was from a prominent Louisville family, she relied on her talent rather than her social standing […]

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The Filson Bourbon History Series – Week 3

The third week of the Filson Bourbon History Series started with the discussion of the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897, a precursor to the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906. The law simply states that the whiskey was all made by the same distiller, in the same season (Spring is from January to June and Fall is from July to December), […]

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