Bardstown Historic District

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Description

The Bardstown Historic District, comprising the center of Bardstown, Kentucky, is a registered historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. Prominent architecture located within the district include the Cobblestone Path, Nelson County Jail, Old L & N Station, Old Talbott Tavern, and Spalding Hall, all individually on the National Register, and the historic old Nelson County Courthouse.The district consists of twenty-six blocks with a total of 279 properties. Over one third of the buildings in the district are Federal or Georgian architecture dating from the 1780s to 1850, reflecting Bardstown's status as one of the first towns in Kentucky, first settled in 1780 and formally established in 1788. Twenty-four of the blocks are in the initial grid pattern used to lay out the town's lots in 1797.The town was originally to be called Salem when it was first settled in 1780 by 33 people, on land given as 1000acre grant to John Owings and David Bard by Virginia governor Patrick Henry. Bard sent his brother William Bard to manage the holdings, and with William donating 2acre for a courthouse, the town was renamed Bardstown. In 1789 alone 150 log houses were built in the district. In the antebellum area the district became a cultural center for nearby localities, especially for Catholics; Bardstown had the largest concentration of Catholics of any town in Kentucky for a time. Its decline began when the Louisville and Nashville Railroad decided to initially bypass Bards

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