The Lexington History Museum was incorporated in 2000 and, through a partnership with the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government, opened in the former Fayette County Courthouse in downtown Lexington in October 2003. As we are a 501 (c)3 Not for Profit organization, and thanks to the generosity of our patrons and members, we are Lexington’s only free historic site.
We are located on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Lexington History Center at 215 W. Main Street in Downtown Lexington, Kentucky. Our exhibits cover all aspects of Lexington history, including early-Lexington’s inns and taverns, Abraham Lincoln and his family, Bluegrass railroads, a photo gallery of African-American life in the city from 1860 through the Civil Rights Movement, and much more. Our exhibits feature hands-on activities for children and multi-media aspects such as videos and music.
The museum offers programs and events for the public to attend, free of charge, to learn more about Lexington’s fascinating history. The “An Evening with Our History” program covers a wide range of topics, such as “A Civil War Christmas” in which guests were able to experience first-hand accounts of Union and Confederate soldiers as told through letters and journal entries.
Schools are always welcome to take field-trips to the Lexington History Museum, and we are always happy to go visit them as well! Volunteers and staff provide group tours often. Schools can apply to our Scholartrips program and if they qualify, the museum will pay for transportation. Our Traveling Trunks are full of lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations, CDs, DVDs, books, and hands-on artifacts, and focus on three different themes: the state of Kentucky, Kentucky during the Civil War, and Native Americans in Kentucky. A new trunk, Causes and Effects of the Civil War, is under development. Families are invited to attend “Play Date with History”, a monthly program that allows children to learn about their state by handling historical items and creating their own “artifacts” to take home. There is also a Young Historians Club, open for students of all ages who are interested in history.