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KHS historical marker jointly honors state’s first Rotary Club and prominent hotel site

Monday, 10 07, 2013

Becky Riddle
502-564-1792, ext. 4474
becky.riddle@ky.gov.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 7, 2013) — The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) will dedicate a historical marker to jointly commemorate the Rotary Club of Louisville and the Henry Watterson Hotel at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, at 415 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd. in Louisville.

This was the site of the first Rotary Club in Kentucky (only the 45th in the world) and of a hotel that figures prominently in Louisville history.

The Rotary Club in Kentucky first met on July 26, 1912, then continued to gather every week at the Henry Watterson Hotel from 1912 to 1924. The Rotary’s service theme led to the creation of the Kentucky Society for Crippled Children. At the club’s centennial anniversary, the group announced its Rotary Promise Scholarships, which provide college tuition for needy students.

The Henry Watterson Hotel opened April 29, 1912, on Walnut Street. With 10 floors and 250 rooms, the hotel was a popular meeting location for civic events and state and national conventions. The hotel, named for the longtime editor of The Courier-Journal, was designed by Brinton B. Davis, who also designed the Louisville Gardens and the Kentucky Hotel. The building was demolished in 1981.

The Kentucky Historical Marker Program, administered by KHS in cooperation with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, tells Kentucky’s story through on-the-spot history lessons that connect the history, communities and items housed in the Commonwealth’s many historical organizations. The program makes Kentucky’s history accessible to the public, not just on markers along the state’s roadways, but also online at www.history.ky.gov/markers and via the Explore Kentucky History smartphone application available free at iTunes and Google Play.

For more information, contact Becky Riddle, Kentucky Historical Marker program coordinator, at 502-564-1792, ext. 4474 or
becky.riddle@ky.gov.

 

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An agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Kentucky Historical Society, established in 1836, is committed to helping people understand, cherish and share Kentucky's history by providing connections to the past, perspective on the present and inspiration for the future. The KHS history campus includes the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, the Old State Capitol and the Kentucky Military History Museum at the State Arsenal. For more information about the Kentucky Historical Society and its programs, visit www.history.ky.gov.