Home How To Repository Roundup: Hopkinsville Holdings

Repository Roundup: Hopkinsville Holdings

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P4222512cHere we are again, on the road, bringing you details about another great repository in Kentucky! In this case, we will be showing you three wonderful repositories in Hopkinsville, Christian County, which lies in the southwest part of the state, along the Tennessee border. For those of you with Western Kentucky roots, Hopkinsville should be on your radar, as it’s well worth a detour. On a side note – the local restaurants are also worth the detour – and we all know, nothing goes better with genealogy research, than some fantastic home-style cooking and barbecue! Also, don’t be surprised at hearing the local term for Hopkinsville – ‘Hoptown’ – they even love putting it on t-shirts!

Hopkinsville-Christian County Public Library, 1101 Bethel St.:

P7209280cWe first visited this wonderful library during a Piecing Together History event in 2013. As questions about the history of the community came up, we simply had to walk over to the genealogy/family history area on the second floor to access their wonderful collection. This area of the library contains a large collection of newspaper clippings arranged by surname, family vertical files, as well as a significant collection of local histories/resources collected from the surrounding counties, as far west as Paducah. The staff was very helpful and knowledgeable about the area – and the reference desk can be a great place to ask about connecting with local experts.

PTH_7.20.2013_Hopkinsville_SM (19)c

Pennyroyal Area Museum, 217 East 9th St.:

P4222496cJust one stop among the Historic Museums of Hopkinsville, the Pennyroyal Area Museum is the crown jewel among the three. Not only is the museum a large and engaging exhibit space, but the museum offices have some resources available for research. Some of the resources they have include:

Compiled Cemetery Inventories (Riverside, Rosedale, County wide)

Census Records

The African American Local Obituaries Program (Several binders full of obituary copies)

Military profiles of local Veterans – great memory wall in the back full of photos!

Information about the Black Patch Wars – complete with one of the scariest masks you will ever see in a museum!

Christian County Historical Society, 306 East 9th St.:

P4222538cThis unique treasure trove of history can be accessed by invitation only, or random happenstance. When I was fortunate enough to get a personal tour, I came out with the distinct impression that I had just toured the warehouse seen at the end of the first Indiana Jones movie. The Historical Society is the brain child and collection of William Turner, and was begun in 1963. Sitting just across the street, diagonally, from the Pennyroyal Area Museum, the brick building stretches the width of a block, and is chock full of documents, artifacts, architectural antiques, photographs, and ephemera. Built in 1908 as a hardware store, it got a new life in 2003 as the storehouse of Christian County History. Again, just to reiterate, access is BY APPOINTMENT ONLY – OR – open when they’re open, and closed when they’re closed! You get the idea. When you do call for an appointment, let them know which family you are researching, and they just may know of some additional tidbits residing in the back of the warehouse. Local expertise is another HUGE benefit of visiting this facility!

P4222527cIf you snag an appointment, here are just some of the gems you will find:

City Business Directories from 1897

Telephone Directories from 1900 onward

Locally authored titles

Glass negatives from one of the first photographers in town, who started his business in 1858.

Personal papers, clippings, letters, family collections

P4222530cYearbooks (High School & Bethel College)



Odds and ends – ask to see the fun stuff: Like the doors and desks from the original Carnegie Library still standing in town and currently under renovation – or the artifacts discovered while renovating the Hopkinsville Court House!

Well, that’s it for another Repository Roundup! See y’all next time!

that nil would transform.

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  1. wrote on January 15th, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Vikki Burke

    I have some photographs taken by Ezra Lewis Foulks that my grandmother had before she passed away. I don’t know who the people are in the pictures. Reading about the photographer who started in 1858 sounds like it might be E. L. Foulks. I have scanned the tin types and Carte de vistes or CDV’s so they are now digitized. I wondered if someone there could contact me by phone at 817.239.7594. I plan to be in Danville, Kentucky in July. Perhaps I could stop by and visit your collection. Thank you, Vikki

    • Profile photo of Cheri Daniels
      wrote on January 28th, 2015 at 2:41 pm

      Cheri Daniels

      Thank you Vikki! Your collection sounds wonderful! I have forwarded your contact information to our archivist, and she should be getting back to you shortly.

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