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Jack-Of-All-Trades

David Olshanksy Talks Gaslight Festival, Jeffersontown Historical Museum & Shop of Shops Writer  /  Shannon Siders How did one of Jeffersontown’s most involved community members wind up here in the early 1970’s all the way from Detroit? The short answer — life insurance and sidewalks. David Olshansky — former city council member, former executive director of the Jeffersontown Historical Museum, and current entrepreneur — relocated his family to Louisville in September 1970 to manage the Union Central insurance company’s Kentucky and Southern Indiana region. Despite knowing nothing about Louisville, Olshansky was drawn to the city after some initial research and ...

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A History of the Gaslight Festival

Writer / Beth Wilder, Jeffersontown Historical Museum The name “Jeffersontown” is practically synonymous with the words “Gaslight Festival.” This delightful event has been an annual fixture in Jeffersontown for 47 years. Many people tend to believe the festival simply sprang from the early town fairs, but it has a much more interesting history than that, and it centers around – you guessed it – gaslights. In the 1800s, Jeffersontown used coal oil lamps during the nighttime hours to provide a bit of light on the town square and a few surrounding blocks. In 1911, the Commercial Club proposed that the ...

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Behind the Scenes of the Gaslight Festival

Celebrating 48 Years of Fun Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing Jeffersontown’s annual Gaslight Festival began 48 years ago as a small neighborhood street fair when Jack Durrett, a founding member of the Chamber and owner of the old J-town shopping center on Taylorsville Road, decided to put on a half-day community festival. He wanted to do it on Watterson Trail, but the city denied his request, so instead he held it in the parking lot of his shopping center. It was successful enough that the second year the city agreed to close a block of Watterson Trail for the event, which ...

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A Warning to Jeffersontown Residents

My 87-year-old grandfather recently received a call from his grandson, Adam. Adam told him he had been in an accident, was in jail and would require $1,800 for bail. The conversation was charged with emotion. Adam was sobbing, hard to understand, but had pertinent information that made sense at the time. He begged his grandfather not to tell his parents and the pressure to get the situation under control before it got worse was evident. Grandpa spoke to a “lawyer”, received instructions to wire bail money and with heart pounding and a desire to help his grandson, he went immediately down to the ...

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Martha Stewart Left Her Mark On My Garden

Writer  /  Carrie Petty I stood impatiently by the book-signing table. Waiting my turn.  Loaded-down with every possible book of hers I owned. It felt surreal. I had devoured every magazine Martha Stewart had ever published, and now I was going to meet her! This was so very long ago, but it feels like yesterday, that a woman from Connecticut would instill a deep love in me for everything gardening and entertaining. My first garden had not even been designed, but my home would soon be my green thumb’s haven. Martha Stewart can be blamed for my poorly manicured hands ...

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School Daze

What School Was Like In Early 1900s Jeffersontown Writer  /  Beth Wilder, Jeffersontown Historical Museum Director When most older residents think of their school days in Jeffersontown, fond memories spring to mind of their beloved Jeffersontown School that once stood where Tully Elementary is now located. Jeffersontown had an even older graded school, however, which was located beside a barn and spring at the foot of Water Street (now College Drive). For those of you who may be unaware that College Drive originally had another name, there was probably a good reason it was called “Water” Street. In the early ...

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The Mind of Mason

Local Artist to Showcase Pieces at Gaslight Festival Writer  /  Heather Chastain Take a tour in the mind of Mason. Terrance Mason, local artist. A man filled with passion and artistic ingenuity. A private man who doesn’t want to reveal too much about his personal life, Mason says his art is an expression of his individuality. “I’ve been an artist my entire life, but I became a full-time artist in 2010 after a back injury kept me from staying in my current job,” Mason says. As a child, he first found his love for drawing after an exercise his dad ...

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Henry Watterson: Jeffersontown’s Most Famous Resident

Writer / Beth Wilder, Director Jeffersontown Historical Museum Jeffersontown has had several noteworthy residents throughout its history, but none quite so renowned as Henry Watterson, the famed editor of the Courier-Journal newspaper. Watterson (Feb. 16, 1840 – Dec. 22, 1921) was a legend in his own time, rubbing elbows with society’s elite and making a name for himself by writing colorful and controversial editorials that appeared in newspapers across the country. Watterson also served as a Democratic representative in Congress from 1876-77 and became widely known as a lecturer and orator. Watterson’s Jeffersontown connection existed the last 27 years of his ...

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Business Spotlight: Our House Restoration

Writer / Heather Chastain A business built around raising the bar in customer service and loyalty calls Louisville home. Tami Hartley owner of Our House Restoration, a full-service roofing and restoration company, says she pours her heart and soul into every project — values not always seen in her industry. “When I started in this business, I was working under another company,” Hartley says. “The owner asked me to move from Ohio (where I was living) to Louisville and run a location down here. It turned out he embezzled all the money from the company, and we had clients depending ...

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A History of Jeffersontown Mayors

Jeffersontown has a rich mayor history Writer / Beth Wilder, Director Jeffersontown Historical Museum Jeffersontown is known for having everything one could hope for in a city — friendly residents, excellent services and one of the finest industrial parks in the country. The town is expertly run by a mayor and eight city council members, elected by the residents. But did you know that Jeffersontown did not even officially have a mayor until 1953? The City of Jeffersontown was incorporated on May 3, 1797, and seven local trustees were appointed by the Kentucky General Assembly at that time. Elections were held ...

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