Throwback Thursday – Southern Kentucky during the Roaring 1920s

Southern Kentucky, welcome to the 2020s. We thought it would be fun to go back 100 years and see what life around here was like at the turn of the 1920s. While a whole lot has changed in the past century, you’ll recognize some of your favorite spots that stand the test of time.

Western Kentucky Normal School was growing at a rapid pace. President Henry Hardin Cherry commissioned new classroom halls and dormitories. Aerial views show Van Meter Hall and Potter Hall. The college held Clean Up Days where students picked up trash and cleared out study areas.  Sports were big on campus, but the arts and music scene were growing. A new Cherryton Village with cabins was under construction. The training school for primary grades was on the rise. 

Downtown Bowling Green was bustling, evolving from a horse-drawn carriage and steamboat-driven small town into a community hub with a modern auto district. Fountain Square was the heartbeat, as icons like the fountain and Morris Jewelry had already called it home for several decades. The latest craze was the new Pushins department store that was constructed mid-summer.

The system of locks and dams around the Green and Barren Rivers were still strong and controlled the water traffic. The era of steamboat travel was coming to a close, but ferries remained. Mammoth Cave National Park offered memberships and was already a home for scout groups.

The city scales at several main entrances worked with ice and coal companies. An everyday citizen had to request them in pounds for home delivery. 

The United States was at the cusp of the roaring 1920s and booming Bowling Green was not immune. We look forward to taking a deeper dive comparing what life was like 100 years ago in future segments this year.