Shawnee, Louisville

Shawnee is a neighborhood in Louisville, Kentucky. Its boundaries are I-264, West Broadway and Northwestern Parkway (Shawnee Park). Maps sometimes identify the area as Shawneeland.

Shawnee Park was completed in 1892 and residential districts sprung up around it quickly. In 1895, Louisville annexed Shawnee and extended street car lines. The land between Shawnee and Louisville was subdivided and many whites moved in in the early 20th century. The wealthiest areas were near the park and golf course, with middle and working class neighborhoods further east.

The Great Flood of 1937, as well as air pollution problems caused many White families to move further east. The neighborhood became integrated in the 1960s and was predominantly Black by 1970. Many of the homes in Shawnee are examples of late-19th century architecture. The grand homes are still in good to excellent condition. The size and quality of these homes rival those found in other areas of the city, particularly Crescent Hill. As Western Louisville is economically depressed and lacks many amenities, the housing cost are considerably lower than other areas of the city.

Fontaine Ferry Park, an early amusement park, was located at the end of Market Street from 1905 to 1969.

As a southern city, many of Louisville's public facilities were segregated. The park system was no exception to this rule. Shawnee Park contained Fontaine Ferry Park, a popular amusement park. The amusement park was restricted to Blacks, with the exception of "negro days" which was a common occurancefor opening segregated facilities limitedly to Blacks in the south. However, during the early days of integration there was a race riot at Fontaine Ferry. The riot resulted in the amusement park being closed. This left Louisville without an amusement park till the late 1980s when Kentucky Kingdom was built.

Today Shawnee Park is a community asset for the African American Community of Louisville. The park is used as an unofficial central gathering place for youths of Western Louisville. This is evident especially in the Summer when thousands of youth pack the park over the weekend, primarily on Saturdays. Several festivals are held at Shawnee year round which attracted attendant from across the nation. Shawnee's popularity is ironic and seen as bittersweet by some older African Americans in Louisville because of its segregated past.

Chickasaw Park, less than two mile south of Shawnee on the banks of the Ohio River was open to blacks during segregation. With the advent of integration many residents prefer Shawnee, which is larger with more amenities than modest Chickasaw.

In September 2007, Shawnee residents voted to ban liquor sales in four precincts of the neighborhood in an effort to combat crime. [cite news|publisher="Courier-Journal"|title=Voters reject alcohol sales in 4 precincts |url=|author=Edelen, Sheryl|date=2007-09-12] Shawnee suffered from a rash of unsolved murders in 2005, although crime rates have since declined.

As of 2000, the population of Shawnee was 12,630, . [cite web|title=Community Resource Network|url=|accessdate=2005-11-18]


External links

* [,-85.818157&spn=0.031179,0.060176&hl=en Street map of Shawnee]
* [ History of Shawnee]
* [ History of Shawnee by Robin Garr]

Louisville places
north=Ohio River
west=Ohio River

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