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Louisville – An Historic View

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

Louisville has so much history the city is literally dripping with the stuff and you cannot help but fall over historical places and locations- home to the Louisville Slugger, the baseball bat of choice and the Muhammad Ali Center which celebrates the life and achievements of the city’s most famous son, there is so much more to explore and enjoy.

Louisville is home to numerous historical properties and landmarks such as the Belle of Louisville which is the oldest Mississippi steamboat still operating in the United States.You will find the Belle moored at the Downtown wharf opposite the Riverfront Plaza when the service is operating and has been working solidly since 1914 carrying passengers and cargo as well as helping the war effort pushing oil barges on the Ohio River.

The US Marine Hospital is the best preserved antebellum hospital in America, designed by Robert Mills who also created the design for the Washington Monument in Washington D.C.. First built in 1845 as one of seven Marine Hospitals for treating sailors and navigators of the western rivers and lakes, it was restored to match its 1899 appearance and has even survived two tornadoes!

Fort Knox is the military base just south of Louisville and world famous as a major repository for the bullion reserves of the United States and second only in terms of amount stored to the Manhattan vault of the United States Federal Reserve Bank in New York. Almost 5,000 tons of gold are stored at Fort Knox along with many other valuable items belonging to Uncle Sam and many other governments around the globe while the Fort was made famous in the 1964 James Bond movie, Goldfinger.

Locust Grove is the home of the founder of Louisville, George Rogers Clark and allows visitors to get a glimpse of life in the very early days of the founding of the city. You can also visit other historic properties from the period such as Farmington House Plantation, home to the Speed family and of particular interest is the now restored Union Station built and opened in 1891.

Louisville provides the visitor with the opportunity to explore and touch history both of the city and further afield with the Frazier International History Museum located downtown but don’t think it’s all museums and landmarks – you will find plenty to do with a calendar that is packed with festivals and events ranging from the world famous Kentucky Derby in May to Shakespeare in the Round in August and the world’s biggest Beatle’s celebration lasting five days around Memorial Day.

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