A part of history

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Old library building cost $8,000 to build in 1889


 Residents in Campbellsville will join thousands of individuals across the country to celebrate National Preservation Month this May.

As part of the month’s celebration, Campbellsville Renaissance/Historic Preservation Commission has provided information about four historic buildings in Campbellsville.

One is the former Taylor County Public Library building on North Columbia Avenue.

Situated on the corner of Broadway and Columbia Avenue, this two-story brick structure was built as the Campbellsville Baptist Church between 1889 and 1890 under Reverend W.D. Arvin for $8,000.

Charlie Hoskins built this Gothic Revival church using bricks from his kiln behind Campbellsville College, now Campbellsville University. Lancet windows pierce the façade that is visually supported by buttresses.

The Cumberland Presbyterians purchased the building from the Baptists in 1916. In 1955, an educational annex was added on the rear. In 1972, Laura Sue Toby and Helen Vaughn undertook the task of organizing and pursuing the creation of a public library for Taylor County.

In 1974, the City purchased the building and converted it into the Taylor County Public Library. Under the direction of Elaine Munday, the doors were opened on Jan. 13, 1975, as the Taylor County Public Library with a collection of 16,842 books and other materials.

On this site was a wood-frame Baptist Church where Union soldiers were cared for during the measles and typhoid epidemics that hit Civil War training camps in the county in the fall and winter of 1861-1862. 

It also served as a courthouse after the Taylor County Courthouse was burned during the Civil War.

Currently, the City of Campbellsville is renovating the building by uncovering the stained glass windows, refinishing the hardwood floors, exposing the sloped tongue and groove wood ceiling and renovating the offices to house Team Taylor County and the City Council Chambers.

For more information, contact Downtown Development Coordinator Donna Logsdon at 465-9636 or donna@teamtaylorcounty.com.