Kentucky Historical Society
Historical Markers Honor Evan Williams, Louisville Fairgrounds

Press Release Date:  Friday, October 31, 2014  
Contact Information:  CONTACT: Becky Riddle
502-564-1792, ext. 4474

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 31, 2014) – The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) will dedicate two historical markers in Louisville, Nov. 8 and 10.

KHS will unveil a marker commemorating the location of a mid-19th century fairground at Crescent and Frankfort Aves., on Saturday, Nov. 8. The event will start at 10 a.m. EDT.

Between 1853 and 1873, the fairgrounds hosted national agricultural and Kentucky fairs. Its proximity to the railroad provided easy access to visitors from outside Louisville. The 38-acre site included a 10,000-seat stadium and many exhibition buildings. By 1875, the land was subdivided into lots. The area, known as Crescent Hill, was gradually annexed into Louisville.

The marker is dedicated to the late Samuel W. Thomas, a Louisville historian known for his illustrated histories of the city’s neighborhoods, including Crescent Hill.

The civic and commercial contributions of distiller Evan Williams to Louisville is the subject of a Nov. 10 marker dedication that will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, 528 W. Main St.

In 1783, Williams built what is believed to have been the first commercial distillery in Kentucky on the east side of what now is Fifth Street. The businessman also was a stonemason and oversaw construction of Jefferson County’s first jail and courthouse, and a city leader whose posts included city trustee. 

Heaven Hill Distilleries Inc. sponsors the marker.

More than 2,200 historical markers statewide tell Kentucky’s history. More information about the marker application process, a database of markers and their text and the Explore Kentucky History app, a virtual tour of markers by theme, is at KHS administers the Kentucky Historical Marker Program in cooperation with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.


The Kentucky Historical Society, an agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, was established in 1836 and is committed to helping people understand, cherish and share Kentucky’s history. The KHS history campus includes the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, the Old State Capitol and the Kentucky Military History Museum at the State Arsenal. For more information about KHS and its programs, visit