The site of the 1817 Saddle Factory Museum is Kentucky's oldest industrial building. Little is known about the workers through the years though research has shows the workforce was almost entirely indentured workers and slaves. The Saddle Factory Museum exhibits information about the history of the Saddle Factory and information about the area through the Civil War. Currently the Museum is managed by Historic Russellville, Inc.


  • This original fish weathervane that is believed to have been shot by the notorious Jesse James Gang in 1868.
    This original fish weathervane that is believed to have been shot by the notorious Jesse James Gang in 1868.
  • 1817 Saddle Factory Museum Building
    1817 Saddle Factory Museum Building

The building of the Saddle Factory was built in 1817. The structure itself is four stories including a basement, an attic, and two work floors. The multiple windows throughout the structure were used as natural lighting for the workers. 

While the records are not complete, the Museum has collected information about the workers in the Factory circa 1840. At the time the basement was used for tanning, the two lighted floors were used for tooling, and the attic homed over thirty slaves and indentured servants who provided the labor to the factory.

Today, the Saddle Factory Museum offers exhibits on the history of the Factory itself as well as the area during the Civil War. Those interested in the history of the workers will not that the attic still contains graffiti from the Civil War period. The ground floor also offers a store where goods from local artisans are available for purchase. 

http://www.kentuckytourism.com/things_to_do/1817-saddle-factory-museum/2129/