History of Jeffersontown, Kentucky – How It Got Started
In the 1700’s the ridge line in Kentucky near Chenoweth Run Creek was a raw beauty that was rife with wildlife and Native American tribes. The evolution of Jeffersontown, KY began with the entrepreneurial spirit of Abraham Bruner. As wagons crossed the ridge they created a natural road. Mr. Bruner identified this natural crossroads as an ideal place to set up shop and create a town that he knew would prosper.
Early JTown Photos
Mr. Bruner set about buying a 122 acre tract and divided it all up into streets and lots. He named the main intersection Main and Market streets, which eventually came to be known as Watterson Trail and Taylorsville Road. He knew that as those wagons came through they would be enticed to stop and buy a lot instead of traveling further west towards downtown Louisville and he was right!
It took some time to get Jtown together but by 1797 the Jeffersontown Court set up shop and declared it the town of Jefferson, which would eventually become Jeffersontown Kentucky. However, most of the people that lived in the area continued to call it Brunerstown, after the founder, for many years to come.
Mr. Bruner was correct in thinking that the natural crossroads would bring people to settle in the area. Before too long the town was froth with tradesmen, merchants and craftsmen that did everything from horse shoeing to brewing beer and much more.
By 1903 there was a railroad depot built in Jeffersontown. There was an actual “paved road” which was more or less a broken rock road that was put in place in the late 1800’s as well. While these may not seem like huge milestones today, to the people of the time these roads meant that this little town mattered. It mattered enough to have a railroad stop in town which meant that travel to and from Jeffersontown became easier and faster.
The railroad brought more people and more industry to town. Less than 100 years later Mr. Bruner’s vision for Jeffersontown KY was realized when General Electric’s Appliance Park was opened in the 1950’s, creating more jobs and bringing more people to heart of the small city.
The growth has been steady for Jeffersontown. The I-64 expressway opening made reaching downtown Louisville easy for the residents. And the Bluegrass Industrial Park, which opened in 1967, has grown into one of Louisville’s largest employment areas. The hundreds of acres where the Industrial Park is located was once primarily farm land and the idea to create a large industrial development in a park-like setting was the first of its kind in the country.
Jeffersontown has grown exponentially since its founding. What Abraham Bruner saw as an opportunity has become home to over 30,000 people and hundreds of businesses. Jtown is one of the largest employers in the state of Kentucky thanks to the Blue Grass Industrial Park businesses.
More Early Jeffersontown Photos