In December of 2012, the Russellville Lion’s Club, along with contributions from individuals, began working on a project of restoring windows at the Logan County Archives building. The archives serves as home to a great deal of the county’s old documents, from genealogical material and marriage and death records, to land acquisitions and places where people are buried around the county. These are among the many services provided by the archives for the citizens of Logan, as well as visiting inquirers.
There are 10 windows in the building which are over 100 years old and 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.
“He is terrific and does everything the old fashioned, correct way,” said Judy Lyne, longtime archives volunteer and local historian. “He’s not just replacing, he’s restoring.”
Each window costs a minimum of $500 to repair, depending on the damage sustained over the years. Some are in worse condition than others. There are four windows left to restore, one on the north side of the structure and three on the front. Lyne says Hall will be waiting on the boarded up northern window until some work can be done on the building itself. It is very fragile and he is afraid it may succumb to tampering at this time. The three in the front are not in as bad a shape as the others, but will be restored as well.
The building will soon be seeing a restoration of sorts along with the windows. The Logan County Fiscal Court is looking into funding options to replace the outdated electrical system, as well as repair some of the crumbling mortar keeping the structure together.
Over time the weather has affected the windows and the building. The normal wear and tear and the age of the windows is what has caused the issues.
This building, which was once used as the county jail, has been listed on the historical register since the 1970s.
If the windows were not restored but just repaired, it would dramatically decrease the historical significance of this building.
The Lions club has held a barbecue in front of the archives and donated 50 percent of the money generated to the archives window project. The club also held a singing and donated $1,200 for the project.
Russellville Lions Club member Logan Chick said the project had to be done one way or another.
“I think it is an important project. They call it the archives and I think it should continue to be restored in its original form,” said Chick.
Others who donated to the project include descendents of the Morton family. They visited Logan County in May and gave over $600 to help in the restoration. Marmaduke Beckwith Morton was the clerk in Logan County in the 1830’s as was William Jordan Morton.
“I think it is marvelous the windows are getting restored,” said Lyne. “I am so proud of how they look. They could have come in here and put up aluminum windows, that would have solved the problem, but instead they took their time and restored them.”
If you would like to donate to the window restoration project, you can visit the archive which is located at 206 West Fourth Street in Russellville, Ky. 42276 or send a monetary donation.
If you wish to sponsor a whole window’s restoration, the archive will place a plaque on the windowsill with the name of the group or individual who donated to its repair. For more information about the archives window restoration project call 726-8179.