Russellville and the Russellville Girl

My Old Kentucky Ghosts


Russellville is the oldest and one of the most historical towns in southern Kentucky. It is here that leaders from 64 counties, independent of the state government, met in the early part of the Civil War and seceded from the union, declaring Bowling Green the confederate capital of Kentucky. At this point Kentucky was accepted officially by both the union and confederate governments and had a star on both flags. After the battle of Perryville, however, the confederates were forced to retreat. Russellville also has an old bank that is famous for being robbed by Jesse James in 1868. Although Russellville is a small town, its downtown area is graced with a large number of antebellum and victorian mansions that are reminders of a slower time.

One house in particular (pictured above), although it is not the largest home in Russellville, draws more attention than any other: the Russellville-girl's house. This house is located beside the Maple Grove Cemetery and today is home to the Sexton. The cemetery adjacent to the house has many victorian-era statues and tombs that add to the eerie but beautiful atmosphere. It is said that several years ago a teenage girl was preparing to go to a dance. Her mother had told her that if it stormed she would have to stay home. That evening it did storm and the date was sent away. The girl was so upset she went upstairs to the small tower, looked out at the rain and cursed. At that moment lightning struck her dead. For years after that people claimed to see her image in the window on stormy nights. The window was finally painted over because of this, and that is how it remains today.

A view of the confederate monument in downtown Russellville and the bank once robbed by Jessie James (above)

Two of the many interesting old homes in Russellville