The Old Louisville Journal

A Monthly Summary of News and Events in Old Louisville
Published by OLIC, Inc., a 501(c)(3) Corporation

Volume 25, Issue 11

November 2003

Looking like a Million:

Holiday House Tour Presents
The Mansions on Third

The 16th annual Old Louisville Holiday House Tour, the primary fundraiser for the Old Louisville Information Center, will be held December 6 and 7, 2003, noon to 6 PM daily. The tour will feature historic homes of the Victorian era decorated for the Yuletide holidays. This yearís tour features "The Mansions on Third," eight elegant homes all on Third Street, an area which was known historically as Millionaireís Row for its huge, extravagant, ornate homes and wealthy homeowners.

Tickets are $15.00 in advance and $20.00 on the day of the tour. Tickets are available at the Old Louisville Information Center in Central Park, Tuesday through Friday, 1-5 PM, Saturday 10AM-4 PM, and Sunday 11:30AM-3:30 PM. You may also purchase by calling (502)635-5244, or online at here at  All tickets will be available for pick up at tour headquarters at Treyton Oak Towers, 211 West Oak Street.

The Holiday Gift Boutique located at Treyton Oak Towers is also part of the festivities. Over twenty vendors will present their wares for sale. Jewelry, candles, soaps, greenery, decorations, and antiques are among the items available for purchase as unique holiday gifts. The boutique is during tour hours.

A sneak preview of the boutique is on Friday night, December 5, from 6-9 PM . This is also a shopping opportunity for Old Louisville and Treyton Oak Tower residents, and house tour volunteers. The Louisville Mandolin Orchestra will provide music: wassail, wine, and light refreshments will be served.

Also included as part of the tour is the annual Taste of Old Louisville, featuring many of Old Louisvilleís finest restaurants. Participating restaurants include Central Park Cafť, Erminís French Cafť and Bakery, Granville Inn, Old Louisville Coffee Shop, and Third Avenue Cafť.

Complimentary parking for the House Tour is once again available at Cochran Elementary School, 500 West Gaulbert Avenue. Shuttles will provide transportation between Cochran Elementary and Tour Headquarters, as well as between all restaurants featured on the Taste of Old Louisville and the Holiday Gift Boutique.


Help Spread the Cheer at the Holiday House Tour

Volunteers are needed to assist with this yearís Holiday House Tour on December 6 and 7. Shifts are from from noon until 3 PM, and from 3 PM until 6 PM.

Volunteers are needed for both shifts as greeters, ticket-sellers, van drivers, command center workers, and tour-guides in each home. All ages are welcome; preteens and teens are also needed to ride in the vans and assist guests needing help getting in and out of the vans.

Volunteers receive free tour tickets and lots of good food at the hospitality house to be held at Treyton Oak Towers.

Volunteers are integral to the success of the tour. Call Diane Glaser-Kleier at (502) 636-0428, or email  . 


25th Annual 5K Run set for November 22

The 25th Annual Fall 5K Run through Central Park will take place on Saturday, November 22, 2003, at 9AM.

Sponsored by the Cherokee Road Runners, the 3.1 mile run is a figure-eight course consisting of three loops in and around Central Park. The course is considered fast and flat.

A commemorative shirt is being offered to celebrate the 25th year of the race. Those who register by November 10 are guaranteed a shirt on race day; those who register later, including race day, will receive shirts at a later date. Fees are adults: $15 (with shirt), $8 (without shirt); youth (17 and under): $10 (with shirt), $4 (without shirt).

To celebrate Thanksgiving, runners are asked to supplement their entry fee with canned goods which will be donated to West End Baptist Church at the corner of Magnolia and Fourth to feed the homeless.

Entry blanks for early registration are available at the Old Louisville Information Center. Day of race registration begins at 8AM in the Information Center.

Post race water, cider, brownies and cookies will be available at the Information Center. Contact Dianne Ernst, 425-6798 or email for additional information.

Letters to the Editor:

Dear Editor:
Re: Mark Perraultís Letter of October 2003

As a planner and proponent of light rail, I agree with much of what you have to say about the need for mass transit and our dependence on the automobile. Unfortunately, while many things sound good in theory, the truth is in the execution. Yes, as a close in neighborhood, Old Louisville could benefit greatly by a light rail system, if it were implemented properly. And therein lies the problem.

The light rail system, as proposed, does nothing to help Old Louisville. There are no stops in Old Louisville, nor are there any that are convenient to the residents of the area. The proposed route takes the trains along the eastern edge of the neighborhood, on an elevated roadbed, through one of the most economially fragile areas we have. Prices in that area are just now reaching the point where banks will lend renovation monies. We are just now reaching the point of pushing out the absentee landlords that dominate that area. Imagine what a year or more of heavy construction will do to property values. And once we pass that hurtle, the residents of the east side of Floyd Street will live with a 20 to 30 foot tall concrete retaining wall in their back yards. I doubt that will have a positive affect on property values. And all this is for what benefit to us?

In all fairness, I must admit that the original proposal was to route the trains down streets in the center of the neighborhood. That would have provided transportation for many of our residents. However, the trains are not small trolleys like San Francisco or New Orleans which could operate in much the same manner as a bus. Instead the trains will be 200 to 400 feet long and will wipe out the parking on both sides of the street on which they are routed. In an area that already has problems with parking for residents, compounded by students from the University of Louisville who dominate the on street parking all day long, can you seriously imagine removing several hundred parking spaces through the heart of the neighborhood?

No neighborhood is free of NIMBYíism, but before you use that term, you should look at things from this side. This light rail system is designed to move a lot of people over a significant distance, not the mile or two we need to travel; it is damaging to the property values of the historic district; it will not stop in the neighborhood and, therefore, will not benefit our children, aged or disabled; and the proposals where it did stop wiped out a significant amount of badly needed parking. Mark, I am in 100% agreement with your remarks about the benefits of light rail, and I will gladly support any system that will benefit us. I just can not find any benefit at all to Old Louisville in this latest proposal.

Gary Kleier
Old Louisville Resident


Letter to the Editor:
Ok, I know this must be a problem that many people have already addressed. Now remember that I am new in town and I am sure this must be the first reaction other people have, but I am totally disgusted with the enormous amount of litter in the Old Louisville Area. I try to imagine the faces of people coming off of 65 into Old Louisville and think, "oh my gosh...where are we at...the ghetto..? " The three worst areas are the three most important.

#1. St. Catherine St. (The main street into Old Louisville)
#2. Oak St. (the main street out of Old Louisville)
#3. Floyd St. (the main street to 65 north)

These streets yesterday were terrible and they will stay that way for days. There must be something that can be done. If everyone e-mailed Citycall or picked up a phone and complained, someone might listen. They must come in numbers..One or two calls wonít make any difference. If I was a tourist I would be very hesitant to refer or come back to Old Louisville if this was my first impression. If we want to build up tourism in this area we must tackle these very fixable issues. I know my tax bill is hefty and I would think keeping trash off the streets would be a part of it. Any ideas?

Richard Lowrimore
1888 Historic Rocking Horse Manor

Wedding Bells for 
Debra Richards and Charles Cash

Charles Cash and Debra Richards exchanged wedding vows in a ceremony at the Samuel Culbertson Mansion on Third Street on October 26, 2003. Rabbi Gayla Rooks presided at the double ring ceremony. A champagne reception followed at 610 Magnolia.

Charles Cash is the Director of Metro Louisville Planning and Design Services. Debra Richards is Historic Preservation Specialist with the Metro Louisville Department of Inspections, Permits, and Licenses,

After a wedding trip to New Orleans, the newlyweds are at home in Crescent Hill. A long time resident and advocate of Old Louisville, Debra admits it is difficult to leave the neighborhood.

Memories of Holiday House Tours Past

Looking back on the last twenty years or so of Holiday House Tours brings to mind years of fun, near-disaster, multiple planning sessions, and constant last minute adjustments. One of the best feelings recalled is the one on Sunday evenings when the vans are returned, the houses have been cleared, and the volunteers are able to relax and chalk up yet another successful tour.

A great resource for an overview of tours past is Paula Grover. For the last decade Paula has been the liaison of the House Tour Committee to the homeowners on the tour. It was Paula who inspected the houses, laid out the tour route inside the house, and generally smoothed the rough edges for the homeowners in preparation for the onslaught of volunteers and tour patrons. Although Paula and her family have recently moved to Anchorage, she was glad to provide some details about events of some of the tours she helped coordinate.

The House Tour Committee and its planning is always an integral part of getting each yearís tour off to a good start. This yearís tour committee began coming together in late spring for planning sessions. In prior years, although the meetings might not have started as soon, planning was always very important. The ongoing participation of committee members like Zane Lockhart, Jim Trousdale, Madonna Wilson, and Paula was very important in giving the tour an institutional memory as we brought on board new members of the committee. Zane is still on board telling us how many vans we need, drawing up the van route, and getting the walkie-talkies into service. Madonna continues to direct the Holiday Boutique.

Weather can also make or break a tour. Some of the tours were held on weekends when the temperatures were more like July than December which makes for some real droopy red velvet. Some weekends there were deluges of rain when umbrellas were really at a premium. And then there would be the occasional snowfall, which made things really pretty but also pretty slippery and the snow shovels came in handy. No one is more conscious of the weather forecast than the chair of the house tour in the last week of November.

Pinning down houses for the tour can be a real headache. What sounds like a delightful December weekend to a homeowner considering the tour back in July can turn into a real panic attack in November. Paula could recall a homeowner backing out and trying to come up with a substitute house at the last minute, post-brochure printing. Another year a homeowner said that it had been agreed that their home would be on the tour but the tour committee was not aware of it and the house was added on at the last minute. Itís always feast or famine!

One of the most difficult tasks has always been coordinating volunteers: getting knowledgeable house managers, shifts changed smoothly, and keeping all the house sites well staffed. No tour would be possible without the participation of our many annual volunteers from the neighborhoods, community groups, as well as the local high schools and universities.

Being prepared for the unanticipated developments is almost impossible. Just when you think youíve seen it all the unexpected will arise. One year it was wet leaves as a trip hazard on the side street. Another it was insufficient backyard lighting at a houseís exit. On one tour while many praised the fact that we had a number of students from local schools as musicians there were some who complained that proud parents were taking too many photos of their musician children and holding up the lines.

Last year was the first time the tour located its headquarters to Treyton Oaks. The tour did very well from this center and residents of Treyton Oaks, some of whom were not able to negotiate the tour itself, were able to Christmas shop at the Holiday Boutique. We will have the command center for the 2003 Holiday House Tour at Treyton Oaks again this year.

Joan Stewart, this yearís Holiday House Tour Chair, and the rest of the committee invite everyone to take part in the 2003 tour: The Mansions on Third Street. Hope to see you there on December sixth and seventh this year.

Peggy Cummins, Secretary
Holiday House Tour Committee

Fair daffodils, we weep to see You haste away so soon:
As yet the early-rising sun Has not attained his noon.

Those "bloomin bulbs" will be be the topic at the next Old Louisville Gardeners meeting to be held on Wednesday, Nov. 12th at 7pm in the Old Louisville Information Center in Central Park. Tim Sunkel of Buntonís Seed Company will teach us all about "Forcing bulbs, the parts of bulbs, planting, caring and fertilizing bulbs for a spectacular Spring show". Buntonís Seed Company (in business since 1924 and still family operated) is located at 939 East Jefferson St. and has the most awesome selection of bulbs that I have ever seen! Just tell them you are part of the OLD LOUISVLLE GARDENERS and receive a 10% discount!

At our October meeting we were pleased to have Peggy Thieneman speak on Perennials. It was extremely interesting. We welcomed some new gardeners and had a lively discussion. Peggy is with Thienemanís Greenhouses at 9120 Bowling Tree Road.

The Old Louisville Gardeners group is open to everyone and is free. We donít read minutes, use a gavel or vote on anything - we just want to learn about gardening in the Louisville area. We donít care if you have a green thumb or not-come and join us!

Thanks to all of you that helped make the Old Louisville area so beautiful for the St. James Court Art Show - even the alleys! We have a wonderful community.

Missy Murphy 502-637-3456


YaYa Sisters Toast St. James with a High Tea

A strange and wondrous sight greeted passersby on South Sixth Street across from Central Park on the Saturday of the St. James Court Art Show. Seven elegant women wearing vintage clothing complete with hats and white gloves were sipping tea and wine around a lace-clothed table adorned by a sterling silver tea service.

It was none other than the YaYa sisters, graduates of Decatur High School in Decatur, Indiana, and life-long friends who periodically get together for special events and surprise weekends.

This time they had gathered at the home of Missy Murphy to celebrate fall and enjoy the Art Show. Missy had instructed them to bring vintage dresses but didnít tell them why. She borrowed hats from the collection of Old Louisville resident, Gail Warren, supplied her friends with white gloves, and then surprised them with a high tea in her garden. The result was a winsome tableau evoking the charm and grace of an earlier era.

Went to a Garden Party.... From left to right: Cynthia McCaskill, Durham, North Carolina; Mary Jane Darbro, Morgantown, Indiana; Rita Dubois, Trafalger, Indiana; Colleen Goodell, Detroit; Gloria Harvey, Decatur Indiana; Missy Murphy, Old Louisville; and Katy Gordon, Strongsville, Ohio

2003 St. James Court Art Show 
High School Art Scholarship Competition

Seven high school seniors received $6,500 in college scholarship awards at the St. James Court Art Show. The scholarship competition was begun in 1973 to support students in visual arts education.

This yearís scholarship winners are: Susanna Crum - $2,500 Ann Higbie Memorial Scholarship;
Becky Fenton - $1,500 St. James Court Association Scholarship; Kenneth Lewis - $1,000 David Salyers Memorial Scholarship; Hannah Kandle - $500 Fourth Street Association Scholarship; Caleb Sears and Alyson Seiz - $300 St. James Court Art Show Scholarships; and Lauren Bricking - $400 Betty Cory Watercolor Award.
Ms. Crum and Ms. Seiz are seniors at Ballard High School. The other five are students at Du Pont Manual High School.

The annual St. James Court Art Show Scholarship Competition is open to seniors from all high schools with full-time art teachers in seven Louisville area counties. This year twenty-eight students from eight

schools submitted art portfolios. Portfolios were reviewed by a jury of regional art educators. The studentsí artwork was displayed during the Art Show.

For additional information about the scholarship competition please contact Art Show Director Susan Coleman at 502-635-1842 or scholarship coordinator Norm Nezelkewicz at 812-282-1470.

Pick Mine, Please!

With Joan Stewart, Vice Chair of the Old Louisville Neighborhood Council, holding the bowl containing the entry blanks on high, Greg Keller, Southwest Airlines representative, drew the 12 lucky winners of roundtrip tickets for two on Southwest Airlines. The drawing on the Sunday of this yearís St. James Court Art Show was sponsored by Southwest Airlines, the St. James Court Art Show Consortium, and the Old Louisville Inofrmation Ceneter.

Winners included JoEtta Miller, Brent Kleier, Dave DeFoe, Rose Nett, Ashley Brooks Hoffman, Ced Denny, Wendi Grant, Sheila and Larry Thomas, Pat Brierly, Linda Speed, Beth Denham, and Larry Ambers


Old Louisvilleís Predecessor:
The 1883 Southern Exposition

By Kathryn Anne Bratcher
Cataloging Librarian
The Filson Historical Society

A letter to the Louisville Courier-Journal in July 1880 suggested the idea of having a grand cotton exposition in Louisville. Louisville had held smaller expositions since the mid-1850s, and the hope for this large-scale exhibition was to show the South and the world that Louisville was ready to claim her place in the trade market. The Louisville Board of Trade quickly appointed a committee of 12 prominent civic leaders to investigate the idea. Atlanta moved faster, however, and announced its readiness for a cotton exposition in late 1880.

A second committee was appointed in October 1882. Major J. M. Wright, superintendent of the Louisville Board of Trade, was in charge of management and fundraising. Stock subscriptions were set up at $25 per share. From late November 1882 to January 1, 1883, over $221,000 was subscribed. Although short of the hoped-for $300,000, the planning and building of the Exposition proceeded. The site selected for the grounds included land from Weissinger Avenue (now Park Avenue) to Hill Street, between Fourth and Sixth streets, encompassing the existing Central Park.

The Southern Exposition opened on August 1, 1883. Thousands of people crowded the streets as President Chester A. Arthur pulled a silken cord, setting the machinery in motion. Admission was 50 cents for adults and 25 cents for children under twelve, with a 25-cent admission for all on Saturdays. A total of 770,048 people attended the Exposition in the first 88 days. Originally planned to be open for 100 days, the popularity of the Southern Exposition allowed it to remain open for several years until it ended in 1887.

The Expositionís main building was a large two-story wooden and glass structure designed by McDonald Brothers and Curtin that covered approximately 12 acres. Maps and drawings show four interior courts with fountains that would have provided light and ventilation within the building. A variety of exhibits were featured around the perimeter of the building. A branch post office, barbershop, boot-blacking stand and restaurants were available to visitors of the main building.

In addition to the main building, the Exposition featured a variety of curiosities for visitors to explore. A large carriage house displayed vehicles of all kinds. A lumber mill annex demonstrated modern milling techniques. A large art gallery built in Central Park held masterpieces from many famous international collections. The park also hosted several refreshment stands, a shooting gallery and a music stand. Visitors were treated to concerts, lectures, theatrical performances and weekly fireworks displays. The headquarters for the department of police and fire protection, organized to ensure the safety of visitors and exhibitors, was also located in Central Park. A police substation exists there today.

The Expositionís agricultural department presented a working farm and horticultural garden of about three acres, featuring crops of cotton, tobacco, maize, hemp, flax, peanuts, corn and castor oil plants. This department also identified the trees in Central Park with labels.

The use of electricity made the Southern Exposition the first successful nighttime exposition in the country. The exhibition grounds, main building and art gallery were illuminated by recently introduced electric lights. Forty-six hundred lamps, made by the Edison Company for Isolated Lighting of New York, lit the main building. The courts and parks were illuminated by arclights created by the Jenny Company of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Electric lighting allowed for late afternoon and evening entertainment with the evening highlight being the illumination of the lights as the sun set.

The Southern Exposition marked the beginning of a new industrial era for Louisville and other cities of the South. As stated by a Courier-Journal writer the day after the Exposition opened, "We know now that whatever is worth doing Louisville can do, and when she undertakes it, the end will be entirely satisfactory."

The Filson Historical Society is fortunate to have several rare artifacts and items from the Southern Exposition in its collections. The Filsonís carriage house museum on Third Street displays some of these items.

Article from "The Filson" magazine, vol. 4, no.1, courtesy of The Filson Historical Society.


Old Louisville Information Center
1340 South Fourth Street - in Central Park
Louisville, Kentucky 40208
phone: 502.635.5244
fax: 502.635.5245
hours: Tuesday - Friday 1pm - 5pm
Saturdays - 10am - 4pm
Sundays - 11:30am - 3:30pm
Monday: closed

Old Louisville Neighborhood Associations

          Association Chairperson Number

  • 1300 S. Third Street Chuck Anderson 636-3396

  • Belgravia Court Hank Triplett 636-2925

  • Central Park West Penny Johnson 636-1675

  • Conerstone Area Ron Loughry 583-2984

  • Fourth Street Dot Wade 635-7885

  • Garvin Gate Norma Laufer 637-3266

  • Ouerbackerís Arts & Crafts Jeff Schooler

  • OLB&PA Gary Kleier 634-1006

  • Old Louisville Shalom Com. Peter Barnes-Davies 634-9694

  • St. James Court Louise Shawkat 637-3606

  • Second Street Jerry Birschbach 635-0220

  • Third Street Mary Martin 637-4000

  • Toonerville Ken Cordle 637-4514

  • Treyton Oaks Jane LaPin 587-1028

  • West St. Catherine Street Rhonda Williams 584-9231

Click here for the November Meeting's Calendar

Please visit our Sponsor's Page!


The Old Louisville Journal is published monthly by the Old Louisville Information Center, Inc. (OLIC), a 501(c)(3) corporation, incorporated in 1984, for the purpose of receiving tax deductible contributions. OLIC is affiliated with the Old Louisville Neighborhood Council (OLNC), a 501 (c) (4) non-profit association incorporated in 1976 to serve as the recognized voice of the Old Louisville Neighborhood.

Submit Journal contributions to the Editor:
Old Louisville Information Center
1340 S. Fourth St., Louisville, KY 40208.
Phone: (502) 635-5244

Advertising rates available upon request.
Please submit ďLetters to the EditorĒ to the above address.
The 15th of each month is deadline for submission of all ads and articles.

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