Mystery of College Street

With approaching two hundred years of history, Anderson County has many little mysteries as things have changed.  Join us as we explore just how College Street got its name:

When wandering around downtown Lawrenceburg, you will notice a mysteriously named road behind the east side of Main Street.  Called College Street, the short alley was named after a private institution in Lawrenceburg with a long history of higher education.

What is now the parking lot for the buses of Anderson County Schools once stood one of the finer small colleges in the state.  Originally called the Anderson Seminary or Anderson Academy, the history of the property dates back to the 1830’s when a Baptist church was built on a portion of the land. Sometime afterward, a two story brick school house was built on another part of the land.

The original brick school house burned in 1873, and a second school house was built.  After the rebuild, Professor John C Willis took over operations of the seminary and turned it into a prospering institute of higher education.

By 1888, he renamed the seminary to the Kentucky Normal College.  Argued as one of the most important and valuable additions to Lawrenceburg, the newly renamed college featured a half dozen teachers and an expanded building.  The school had departments including civil engineering, music and art, commercial/business school, and more.  And it could teach over 300 students.

The success of the school was noted throughout the state.  To further the school, the trustees decided to change it from a private school to a publicly funded one by 1894.  Just ten years later, the old school was torn down, and the new Lawrenceburg Graded and High School was constructed.

Although it housed high school classes, it still served as a college with a number of different courses.  Math, science, history, and more were taught there for years. It would eventually be known to many residents as the old city high school before it was repurposed by the county school system, eventually ending as a parking lot for the buses.

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