Butchertown's history can be traced as far back as 1796 when one of Louisville's first gristmills was erected within its boundaries. Its oldest house dates back to 1802. In and around 1827 the neighborhood was annexed as a part of the city and then began experiencing its first wave of immigrants, mostly German, who came to be apart of the butchering businesses located there. Since butchering was banned in the city core, butchers and other related businesses such as tanneries, soapmakers, blacksmiths and agricultural supply dealers thrived in this small east downtown neighborhood. In 1834 the Bourbon Stockyards were established and the area became a highly specialized and growing area of early Louisville.
Throughout the 1800's Butchertown was a thriving neighborhood. Beautiful middle class and working class homes were built, grocery stores, churches and of course pubs and distilleries were found throughout its streets.
Around the end of the 1800's big meat-packing industries moved into the neighborhood, changing the charm and quality of life of the neighborhood. In 1931, Louisville's new zoning laws zoned the entire neighborhood industrial and in 1937 the Great Flood prompted the demolition of great number of Butchertown's historic homes.
Urban flight and the construction of major interstates through the decaying urban core added to Butchertown's decline. The neighborhood saw drastic declines in residents, but a small core hung on and its remaining churches stayed as center of the community.
In the mid to late 1960's a group of residents and other interested parties formed Butchertown Inc. and helped restore the decaying and forgotten homes and businesses scattered throughout the neighborhood. These efforts helped jumpstart the neighborhood and reaffirm it as a vital inner city gem.
Today we have the the Butchertown Neighborhood Association established in the early 1990's. Its goal is to improve the lives of all of the residents of this historic neighborhood and continue the fight against urban decay and preserve its cultural and architectural history.
I would like to welcome you on behalf of myself and the BNA board of directors to our neighborhood link website.
The BNA represents about 100 members from all over the Butchertown neighborhood. We are a non-profit organization that was created to represent the neighborhood and dedicated to keeping Butchertown a great place to live, work and play.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
We, the members of the BNA, strive to be the voice of Butchertown and the glue that holds it together to make it strong.
If you would like to join us, or if you have any questions regarding the BNA, please call 452-1560.