Work has begun on one of Logan County’s oldest buildings located on West 4th Street in Russellville. The structure that once housed the county’s jail in 1874, is now home to the Logan County Archives and Genealogical Society, the keeper of our community’s historical records.
The archives is the home of some of the county’s oldest documents; from genealogical material and marriage and death records, to land acquisitions and places where people are buried around the county. Many services are provided by the archives and genealogical society for the citizens of Logan, as well as visiting inquirers.
The archives is operated by part-time employees and a handful of volunteers.
The building was erected in 1869. The bars from the old jail are still visible from the outside of the structure and the cells are all intact. The building is listed on the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society.
Some of the work being done on the historic structure includes extracting the old deteriorating mortar that holds the brick together and replacing it with new mortar that has the same coloring originally used. In fact, the old mortar was sent off to Chicago where it was matched almost perfectly to what was used when the structure was built.
Other issues to be addressed are outdated electric that runs throughout the building.
Architect Robert Burge, who was hired by the county to oversee the project, said the mortar between the bricks was literally crumbing. This caused severe problems with rain getting into the building and threatening the county’s historic records.
Some of the other issues the building has are its windows. An initiative began in 2012 to replacing the 10 windows as funds became available. Donations and fundraisers were held to replace the over 100 year old windows made of Southern Red Pine. The windows have been worn down by age and weather. Most, however, still have the original glass within them, which is being maintained if at all possible. So far six have been restored by Eugene Hall, who has worked on historical structures in Shakertown.
The county had applied for funds from the Kentucky Historical Society, but, unfortunately, were not awarded the money needed for the renovation. This, however, did not stop the magistrates from moving forward to repair a building they knew was an important part our community’s heritage. The fiscal court agreed to repair the building and hired Dixie Renovation Company out of Greensburg, Ky. for $120,000.
“We need to be stewards over our history,” said Judge Executive Logan Chick. “We cannot allow our historical documents to be in danger of deterioration. This is a project that needed to be done.”
To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.