Russellville Alumni Memorial Park planned
By Jim Turner

Posted on January 1, 0001 12:00 AM

In 2010, the Russellville Alumni Association undertook a feasibility study to establish a memory park on the school grounds at the corner of Seventh and Summer Streets, to reflect and sustain the memories of school years spent on this site by so many.

At the annual Russellville Alumni Association Meet & Greet on the Friday evening of the 2011, professional designer Jim Humphrey, who is a graduate of Russellville High School, presented plans for the park. It’s obviously a project which is dear to him and one on which he has devoted a great deal of time and effort.

When sufficient funds are raised, the memorial park is to be constructed on the south side of the school’s East Seventh Street property where Logan Female College, Logan Elementary School and Russellville Middle School were located over the years. Rhea Stadium is also part of that area.

“The property bordering Seventh and Summer Streets is hallowed ground in the proud tradition of Russellville’s educational history,” Humphrey says.

The history of education in Russellville can be traced back to Dec. 22, 1798, when the Kentucky Legislature chartered Newton Academy. In 1806, a building for Newton Academy was erected on land located on the western section of the present Rhea a school for boys. About 1819, it became a school for girls, later known as Russellville Female Academy. In 1879 the first building of the Logan Female College was erected on this campus.

Across the street, the Masonic Lodge was built between 1819 and1823. In 1908, the Masonic Building was demolished and a new public school building was built east of the site (the area immediately south of the present Central Office Building). This was the start of public school education in Russellville - initially for grades one through eight. Grade levels were added until 1923 when a twelfth grade was included, and Russellville’s first high school was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

In 1931, the Logan Female College property was purchased by the Russellville Board of Education and converted to Logan Elementary School (grades one through eight), and the public school building across the street became the high school. In 1935, the auditorium building (now Central Office) was built.

From 1806 until 1966 every student in the Russellville School District spent at least some of their school years on this site. Anyone who attended Russellville Middle School after the construction of Stevenson Elementary School took classes on that property until the middle building was razed in 2009.

One of the attachments to this article offers a more detailed history of the site.

Humphrey offers the following description of the planned project:

“It is purposely simple by design. It is destined to be a place where alumni, either as class groups, individuals or families of deceased alumni can place memorials. Provisions have been made for the inclusion of “memory trees” complete with permanent markers, placement of park benches with memorial plaques, and engraved bricks or paver stones placed in the center approach walkway.

“The design focal point will include a brick and stone wall - incorporating the original stone pediment of the 1872 Logan Female College along with the original corner stone which will be encased in a brick wall facing the corner of Seventh and Summer Streets. On each side of the center wall will be two wing walls that are constructed using rough-hewn limestone blocks from the foundation of the 1912 Lander Hall. “As shown on the proposed design, a small amphitheater can be added for the purpose of outdoor class instruction and informal public gatherings.”

Contributions are needed to make this dream a reality. Humphrey says, “Obviously, the implementation of this proposal depends entirely upon Russellville’s alumni and friends.:

A second attachment shows the proposed design of the park.

Attachment 1

Attachment 2

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