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Jonesville (Bowling Green, KY)
End Year : 1964
The following information comes from K. S. Parsley, "Jonesville: Reclaiming a History," a former Western Kentucky University website. Jonesville was an African American community that adjoined the former Western Kentucky State College campus. It was then a middle class neighborhood that stretched from Dogwood Drive to the railroad tracks; today's Big Red Way was the southern boundary. The community was well-established with grocery stores, beauty shops, and other service businesses. Approximately 70 families were in the community in 1950. The community was also home to many of the first African American students attending Western Kentucky University; African American students were not allowed to live on campus. As the university grew, Jonesville stood in the way of the need to expand the campus. In 1964 the Urban Renewal Commission condemned the Jonesville properties, then took over the properties and sold the land to Western Kentucky University at a cheaper price than would have been paid to the property owners. Most of the former Jonesville residents remained in Bowling Green, and the story of Jonesville continues to be told. A Kentucky Historical Marker # 2052 was paid for by Western Kentucky University and placed at the corner of Big Red Way and University Boulevard to commemorate the history and mark the former location of Jonesville. For more information listen to the oral history interview about Jonesville by Nancy Richey and Sue Lynn McDaniel with Angela Townsend, available at Western Kentucky University, Manuscripts and Folklife Archives; and watch the documentary film about Jonesville, produced by Aimee Briley, at Western Kentucky University, Manuscripts and Folklife Archives.  

See the 2008 video titled "Jonesville: An Neighborhood in Bowling Green, Kentucky" directed by Aimee Briley, featuring Lavinia Gatewood, Maxine Ray, and Sandy Staebell, video posted to Vimeo by Gordon Van Ness.
Subjects: Communities
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky



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