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In Your Backyard | The 'spotted' history Louisville's Butchertown neighborhood

Butchertown was Louisville's original meatpacking district, with the Bourbon Stockyards to accommodate the workforce.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — This summer, the Filson Historical Society's Notable Louisville Neighborhoods series is featuring the people and places of Butchertown. 

“The history has inspired the future here," Vice President of FHS Julie James said. The multi-part speaker series aims to connect people with history in a meaningful way. 

Curator Jim Holmberg says Butchertown was one of the city's first neighborhoods east of downtown, developing in the early 1800's. 

He said the area around Beargrass Creek sprouted up with mills, slaughterhouses and butchers, lending the neighborhood its name. 

Credit: Filson Historical Society

It was Louisville's original meatpacking district, with the Bourbon Stockyards to accommodate the workforce.  

“That industry started developing along the Beargrass Creek, because at that time it was a wonderful dumping ground,” Holmberg said. 

Holmberg says while the 1937 flood hurt the area's development and displaced a lot of neighbors, there were also periods of major industrial development. 

“Butchertown has had a spotted history, and in some ways, an unfortunate history," he said. 

Credit: Filson Historical Society

Around the 1960's, Holmberg said the Butchertown Preservation movement worked to save the neighborhood's distinctive shotgun homes and bits of history like the Heigold Facade

"Let's save our history, let's save what we have left and there wasn't a whole lot," he said. "They left a legacy we can learn from and enjoy today."

James said today Butchertown thrives with features like the Butchertown Market and Waterfront Botanical Gardens, where the Filson is hosting the first part of its feature on the neighborhood. 

“There’s just this wonderful juncture of old meeting new," she said.

Credit: WHAS11 News

James hopes the summer series will inspire people to learn more about the neighborhoods they call home. 

"There’s a deep affiliation with communities and it continues generation to generation," she said. 

The first part of the Notable Louisville Neighborhoods series is Aug. 9 from 5-7 p.m. at the Waterfront Botanical Gardens.

There will be a walk of the gardens, followed by a presentation and 30-minute documentary called "Landfill to Landmark." 

Guests will also be given a self guided walking tour package. 

You can find more information about participating here

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