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A shaded oasis in downtown Louisville, Fort Nelson Park sits on the site of the very first successful settlement of modern-day Kentucky (after a previously unsuccessful fort). Built in 1781, when Kentucky was still a part of Virginia, the park was named after then-governor Thomas Nelson, Jr. The fort served in defense against both Native American and British attacks.

  • Fort Nelson Park
  • A time capsule, buried on September 1st, 1975 to be opened 100 years later.
  • Fort Nelson - Note on slide: Sketch by Col. Durrett Filson Club 1885, 1782
Built in 1781 by Richard Chenoweth, Fort Nelson was the second on-shore fort built along the Ohio River. The first fort, Fort-on-Shore, was built in 1778. Within three years, however, the military considered the fort insufficient and required a new fort, leading them to build Fort Nelson.

The park includes a few other interesting pieces of history. In one corner is a plaque that commemorates the founding of the town Louisville. Elsewhere visitors may stumble upon the plaque above a buried time capsule. The capsule was buried in 1975 with instructions to open it in 100 years.
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