The Oldham County History Center is owned and operated by the Oldham County Historical Society. The History Center is located one block west of the Courthouse Square in LaGrange Kentucky. The Oldham County History Center Campus is comprised of three historical building, a cellar original to the Peyton Samuel Head home and a Colonial garden and the Dahlgren Pioneer Barn, a demonstration barn for different programs and events. The History Center offers hands-on activities, year-long programs for children and adults, summer camps, History Hounds, a History Dinner Series, walking tours, Colonial Trade Faire, holiday workshops, Colonial Christmas Market, Underground Railroad Bus Tour, and a monthly program, Living Treasures, which features an individual from the community and highlights their life and accomplishments in the Oldham Era. Check out the Calendar of Events for more event information.
The J.C. Barnett Library and Archives is a restored 1840s “Kentucky Four Square” house. The Archives building holds a vast collection of documents, genealogical records, photographs, a family name database and a library of regional and local history materials, including extensive family files. In 2016 the Archives received an Underground Railroad designation by the National Park Service Network to Freedom – the ONLY archives designation in Kentucky! The building also serves as the administrative headquarters for the Oldham County Historical Society. This building was originally owned by James Mount and Amanda Malvina Railey Mount, who were one-time slave owners. Many people living in the community still remember the home from their youth. A Kentucky Historic Resources Inventory described the house as the oldest building on the square and one of the oldest in town.
The Peyton Samuel Head Family Museum, originally built in the 1840’s, is now an interactive and interpretive community museum. Peyton Samuel Head (Sept. 8, 1849-Nov. 28, 1928) was a banker and landowner in Oldham County during the early 20th century. He invested in real estate, was one of the county’s earliest bankers, was town treasurer and served as deputy sheriff of Oldham County. Head’s daughter, Louise Head Dodge Duncan (b. about 1900-d. Dec. 30, 1990), inherited her father’s estate. In her will, she donated her home to the Oldham County Historical Society for the site of the current museum. Mrs. Duncan believed in giving back to the community, as proven by leaving the majority of her estate (over $5 million) in a trust for charitable groups in Oldham County. She owned the Archives building at one time as well. The museum has undergone a complete renovation as part of a $2 million capital campaign project for the entire campus. It has been added onto over time, and is painted in historically correct colors on the exterior, and trimmed in Victorian era scrollwork.
In 1880, La Grange resident Amanda Mount deeded property for the construction of a Presbyterian Church near her home. It would become the church were Dr. Rob Morris, founder of the Order of the Eastern Star, often served as a Ruling Elder. He would many times be called upon to occupy the pulpit in the absence of the church’s regular minister. Morris would frequently lecture on his travels in the Holy Land in the interest of Masonic research. The Oldham County Historical Society presently owns the Presbyterian Church, now known as the Rob Morris Educational Building, and uses it for educational classes, meetings and public programs. It was remodeled and dedicated on August 20, 2006 by Freemasons and the Order of the Easter Star. Rob Morris said there were two things in life dear to his heart: his little Presbyterian Church and Freemasonry.
Dahlgren Pioneer Barn is a demonstration barn for different programs and events. The History Center offers hands-on activities, year-long programs for children and adults, summer camps, and History Hounds.