Governor's Office for Local Development

Press Release Date:  Thursday, May 17, 2007  
Contact Information:  Lanny Brannock
Andi Johnson
Public Information Officer

Governor Ernie Fletcher and the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD) today awarded a $38,000 Renaissance on Main grant to the city of Springfield for facility renovations to the downtown courthouse. On behalf of Governor Fletcher, Stan Cave, chief of staff, made the announcement and presented local officials with a ceremonial check for the project during a visit to the Washington County Courthouse.


The grant funds will be used for costs associated with converting the courtroom into the Abraham Lincoln Ancestral Museum


“Governor Fletcher recognizes the economic importance of heritage tourism to communities in central Kentucky,” said Cave. “The Renaissance funding for the new Abraham Lincoln museum allows the city of Springfield to showcase its historical ties to one of our nation’s greatest leaders.”


Built in 1816, the existing courthouse, currently houses historical documents from President Abraham Lincoln’s ancestors in central Kentucky. Documents include the marriage record and bond of Lincoln’s parents, Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks, who wed in Washington County on June 12, 1806.


“The museum will make available to the public many new documents and artifacts from President Lincoln’s life that previously have not been available for mass viewing,” said Sen. Dan Kelly (R-Springfield). “The Renaissance funding for the museum project helps to preserve an important part of Kentucky history and serves as a catalyst for future economic development in the city of Springfield and Washington County.” 


Renaissance on Main, formerly Renaissance Kentucky, is a community revitalization grant program that provides cities with funding to restore and maintain their downtown areas. The grant program focuses on promoting economic development and preserving local heritage. 


“Each year thousands of visitors from across the commonwealth travel to central Kentucky to learn about the early life of President Lincoln,” said Rep. Mike Harmon (R-Junction City). “While the project has tremendous cultural and educational value, it also has the potential to strengthen the local economy as new businesses are attracted to the area to meet the needs of tourists.”


Renaissance on Main grants are available for certified Renaissance on Main cities through a competitive application process. The Renaissance on Main program partners with the Kentucky Heritage Council/Main Street Program, the Kentucky Department of Tourism, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the Kentucky League of Cities, the Kentucky Housing Corporation, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati and GOLD. GOLD is the agency responsible for administering the program.