Historic Map - Louisville, KY - 1883

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View of Louisville, Jefferson County, K.Y., 1883 / drawn & published by W. F. Clarke.

This bird’s-eye view print of Louisville, Kentucky and Southern Exposition montage was drawn by William F. Clarke and published by M. P. Levyeau & Co. in 1883. Louisville was established in the late 1700's along the Ohio River. The river’s falls made it necessary to off-load riverboat cargo at this point until Beargrass Creek was formed into an alternate route.

The early community maintained as a high bank riverfront trading center, with local farms producing wheat, oats, corn and many varieties of fruit for exportation. At the head of the falls a certain limestone was quarried that, when mixed with silica, produced a rather hard cement substance. Several cement factories were established in Louisville producing the hydraulic cement. The first Kentucky Derby was held in 1875 at the Louisville Jockey Club.

In 1883 Louisville was the site of the first in a series of five international industrial and mercantile shows referred to as the Southern Exposition. The celebration of advancement lasted 100 days each year beginning in August. The huge main pavilion, designed by Kenneth McDonald and Cornelius Curtain, was 900 feet long and 600 feet wide, situated on fine grounds of ten acres. The fair in 1883 was opened by President Chester A. Arthur and featured incandescent lighting recently invented by Thomas A. Edison.

The colorful image dedicated by the publishers to the “Louisville Board of Trade” and manufacturing industries includes exposition buildings, grounds and railroad route. The riverfront panoramic illustration portrays steamboat activity and notes steamers “Hays”, “Madison”, “Springer” and “Rainbow”. Featured are the following fair activities and displays:

• Derby Day.
• Tobacco Industry.
• Cement Industry.
• Leather Industry.
• Agricultural Industry.
• Packing Industry.
• Distilling Industry.
• Glass Industry.
• Town Seal. City Hall. U. S. Life Saving Station. Water Works. Masonic Widows’ and Orphans’ Home.
• Historic Montage: Indians attacking settlers, 1769. Beargrass Creek in 1780. First keel boat, 1780. Louisville, a primitive forest with Indian tribes, etc. Six families on Corn Island planting corn, first settlers. Fort Nelson, built on 7th St. in 1782, by General Geo. Rodgers Clarke. Louisville was first laid out in 1780 by William Pope, William Peyton and Daniel Sullivan. First settler, Colonel Daniel Boone. The Gov. Shelby was the name of the first steamboat built in 1818, 120 ton
• Map of Louisville and its Environs.

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