American Legion Post #29 Russellville held its groundbreaking Thursday, June 11 on a new 6000 square foot home and hall at 450 Farmer’s Drive.

The new location is just down the road from where the Legion is currently located. That building was erected in 1952.

This move has been something Post members have thought about for years according to Steve Wagner, Financial Officer for the Post. Wagnor served 12 years in the United States Army. “One of the reasons we made the decision to move was because of the cost of utility bills due to the building’s age and we are really in need of an upgrade.”

Once members made the decision to move, contact was made with the Logan Industrial Development Authority (IDA) who purchased the former Legion property. The IDA owns the county’s industrial properties.

“The Russellville West Industrial Park of 115 acres on US 431 bypass lies to the immediate southeast of the old fairgrounds on Hopkinsville Road,” said Tom Harned, Executive Director of the Logan Economic Alliance for Development (LEAD). “Years ago, both properties were part of the Logan County poor farm for indigent residents. Industrial prospects are increasingly focused on large tracts of land with no immediate neighbors. The old fairgrounds has not been used for over 15 years. The Logan IDA identified the old fairgrounds as a very desirable expansion to West Industrial Park several years ago and has been negotiating on and off with the American Legion for about 10 years. The addition of the 52 acres from the American Legion improves the marketability and access to West Industrial Park now at a total of 167 acres. As our budget allows, we will clean up the old fairgrounds and American Legion Post Home property and incorporate it into the Industrial Park.”

The Legion, which was formed in Logan County in 1923, helps not only veterans but also those who are currently serving in the military. Some of the support comes by providing their families with food and gifts at Christmas time as well as keeping in touch by letting them know someone cares.

For years the American Legion organized the Logan County Fair. They have sponsored numerous events throughout the years and supported youth sports by having a Post team and a ball field. A special service is held each year during Memorial Day by the Legion to commemorate those brave men and women who have lost their lives for the freedom of this country.

“One of the most important roles of the American Legion is to provide support for veterans. This is done in many says, said Barry White, Post #29 Commander. “The group can help older vets when it comes to getting their benefits and finding and getting health care and other support.” White served 20 years in the United States Navy.

The Legion owns and manages Memorial Park located in front of the current Legion. This will be relocated to the new property as well. The memorial features pedestals honoring those Logan County veterans of WWI, WWII, the Korean, Vietnam, and other wars. A tank and ship’s gunnery is also featured in the park.

Current membership at the local Legion is just over 100. Legion officers are trying to increase those numbers by becoming more active in the community.

“Back in the 1960s, membership was over 800,” said Wagner. “There are over 1500 veterans that live in Logan County. We need to get them involved.”

Socializing is also a big part of the Legion. There are monthly dinners, dances, fundraisers, a golf scramble, and fish fry. Veterans are welcome to just come and have a place to hang out, trade stories, and feel comfortable with others who have served and or are serving their country.

“We are excited about the move and the new facility,” said Wagner. “The new Post will allow for a larger crowd and expansion in our membership.”

Completion of the new Post is anticipated in June 2021.