Throwback Thursday – The Revolution Comes to Bowling Green

Throwback Thursday this week falls on Independence Day. Even though our city was founded 20 years after this country established independence from British rule, we thought it would be fun to share the history of how the American Revolution shaped the founding of Bowling Green and Warren County.

Let’s start with Major General Joseph Warren. Born in Boston in 1741, he was a doctor with a successful practice who served in the Continental Army under General George Washington. Joseph Warren is most famously known for dispatching Paul Revere and William Dawes on April 18, 1775. Their midnight rides warning Massachusetts colonial minutemen militia the British were coming were made even more famous by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Paul Revere’s Ride” poem. 

General Joseph Warren died in the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775 when Boston was under redcoat siege. Even British Commanding General William Howe mourned his death, saying the passing of General Warren was equal to a loss of 500 men. 

Warren County was approved by the Kentucky state legislature in December 1796 and officially created on March 1, 1797. Its 546 square miles of land were taken out of nearby Logan County. The first courthouse was erected at what is now Fountain Square.

The founding of Bowling Green as county seat came in 1798. One of the namesakes for the city was referencing Bowling Green Park in New York City. During the Revolution, a statue of King George III stood in that park. Angry colonists and patriots toppled it, melting it down into lead bullets for Continental Army muskets.

During this year’s Independence Day celebrations, think about how Bowling Green’s founders paid homage to these patriots in 1796. These people fought to create our country just 20 years before the city was founded. 

Here we are, over 200 years later, still reading the poetry and keeping the nostalgia alive.