Filson Historical Society
Backstory and Context
This historical society was established by a group of ten men in 1884 with the intention of preserving and sharing the history of Louisville and Kentucky, a mission that has since grown to include the surrounding Ohio Valley region. The group decided to name their new organization after Kentucky historian John Filson, author of the 1784 book, The Discovery, Settlement, and Present State of Kentucke. The organization operates an archive and gallery in an Old Louisville mansion that was completed in 1905 for local industrialist Edwin Hite Ferguson. The historic mansion served as a funeral home between the 1920s and 1984 when it was acquired by the Filson Historical Society.
Today, the Society publishes a quarterly journal and also offers a variety of programs such as reading groups and lectures, as well as thematic tours and programs for families. The Filson also sponsors thematic conferences, such as a 2019 event dedicated to women's history in Kentucky and the Ohio Valley. Of special interest to historians who appreciate whiskey, the Filson offers a Bourbon Academy, a one-day educational program that explores the history of Kentucky's signature libation.
History of the Filson Historical Society, Official Website of the Filson Historical Society. Accessed March 27th 2021. https://filsonhistorical.org/about-us/history/.
Filson Historical Society, Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, National Park Service. Accessed March 27th 2021. https://www.nps.gov/places/filson-historical-society.htm.
The Filson Historical Society: A Kentucky gem, Louisville Future. March 28th 2018. Accessed March 27th 2021. https://louisvillefuture.com/sponsored/the-filson-historical-society-a-kentucky-gem/.