Bardstown Art Gallery and Thomas Merton Bookstore
The Bardstown Art Gallery and Thomas Merton Bookstore house a unique collection of Thomas Merton books, other religious books and art. Gallery owner Jim Cantrell, whose paintings can be seen in major public and private collections, has worked on religious art projects for the monks at the Abbey of Gethsemani and has painted murals for St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral. Pick up a book, tape or CD by or about writer and poet Merton and other authors writing on meditation, mysticism and monasticism.
Formerly the home of St. Joseph’s College and Seminary – the first Catholic college in Kentucky – Spalding Hall was constructed on the college grounds in 1826 and includes its own chapel. During the Civil War, it served as a hospital for both North and South; the Sisters of Charity ran an orphanage for boys at the close of the 19th century; and the Xaverian Brothers took it over in 1911 and established St. Joe Preparatory School. Today, it houses the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History and the Bardstown Historical Museum. Enjoy the spirits at Rickhouse Restaurant, tucked into the building’s basement; there are more than 100 bourbons on the menu.
114 North Fifth St., Bardstown, KY 40004; www.WhiskeyMuseum.com, 502-348-2999
Circa 1785-1856. John Fitch Avenue was called Grave Street when the original town survey was completed in 1789 because the street bordered the cemetery. This cemetery was the final resting place for many of Bardstown’s earliest residents, including John Fitch. The Bardstown Cemetery, the city’s second public cemetery, was established in 1856 on the Louisville Road north of the city.
100 block of W. John Fitch Ave.
One of two tributes in Lebanon honoring the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph, the Centennial Memorial located downtown recalls the five Ursuline Sisters from Louisville who, in 1874, came to the area to establish a school at the site that is now Maple Mount. One of the stones memorializes Saint Angela Merici (1474-1540), founder of the Ursuline Sisters.
235 N. Spalding Ave., Lebanon, KY 40033; www.VisitLebanonKy.com/what-to-do/religion
Marion County Heritage Center
Among its displays of Turtleman memorabilia (of Animal Planet’s “Call of the Wildman” fame) and musical instruments (the second largest collection of horns in the U.S. made by the J.W. Pepper Co. is here), the Marion County Heritage Center has a permanent exhibit that pays tribute to the Ursuline Sisters. A quilt, pieced and donated by Jane Ballard of Holy Cross and Barbara Miles of Loretto, details Ursuline Sisters activities in Marion County. A photo montage captures moments from the 2012 centennial celebration.
120 West Main St.; www.MCHeritageCenter.org, 270-692-9455