Barren County is a county located in the south-central portion of the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2020 census, the population was 44,485. Its county seat is Glasgow. The county was founded on December 20, 1798, from parts of Warren and Green Counties. It was named for the Barrens, meadowlands that cover the northern third, though actually the soil is fertile. Barren County is part of the Glasgow, KY Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Bowling Green-Glasgow, KY Combined Statistical Area. In 2007 Barren County was named the "Best Place to Live in Rural America" by Progressive Farmer Magazine.
|Named for||The Barrens, a region of grassland in Kentucky|
|• Total||500 sq mi (1,000 km2)|
|• Land||488 sq mi (1,260 km2)|
|• Water||12 sq mi (30 km2) 2.5%%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||87/sq mi (34/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
Barren County, like most of south-central Kentucky, was settled by the Scots-Irish, and still bears many cultural aspects that trace back to that heritage. The Scottish heritage is the most evident, as indicated by the name of the county seat, which is named for Glasgow, Scotland, and is celebrated annually with the Glasgow Highland Games, one of three highland games held each year in Kentucky.
- Cave City, which voted in 2005 to become "moist" (selling only alcohol by the drink in restaurants of a certain minimum size (100 in this case) and which derive 70% or more of their revenue from food), and later voted in 2014 to approve full package sales.
- Glasgow, which approved liquor by the drink under the same restrictions on November 6, 2007, after three previous elections to allow full alcohol sales in the city were soundly defeated.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 500 square miles (1,300 km2), of which 488 square miles (1,260 km2) is land and 12 square miles (31 km2) (2.5%) is water.
Barren River Lake is located in the southern part of the county, forming part of its boundary with Allen County. Barren River Lake State Resort Park is located primarily within Barren County, along the lake's shoreline.
- Hart County (north)
- Metcalfe County (east)
- Monroe County (southeast)
- Allen County (southwest)
- Warren County (west)
- Edmonson County (northwest)
National protected areaEdit
- Mammoth Cave National Park (part)
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 38,033 people, 15,346 households, and 10,941 families residing in the county. The population density was 78 per square mile (30/km2). There were 17,095 housing units at an average density of 35 per square mile (14/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 94.30% White, 4.09% Black or African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.38% from other races, and 0.65% from two or more races. 0.93% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 15,346 households, out of which 31.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.30% were married couples living together, 9.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.70% were non-families. 25.60% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.91.
The age distribution was 24.20% under the age of 18, 8.20% from 18 to 24, 28.80% from 25 to 44, 23.80% from 45 to 64, and 15.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.30 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $31,240, and the median income for a family was $37,231. Males had a median income of $29,860 versus $21,208 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,816. About 11.80% of families and 15.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.30% of those under age 18 and 19.10% of those age 65 or over.
Christianity is the predominant religion in the county. The Southern Baptist Convention is the leading Protestant denomination in terms of adherents, with Glasgow Baptist Church being the largest congregation in the county. Missionary Baptist, United Methodist, Free Methodist, Presbyterian (including Cumberland Presbyterian), Episcopalian, Disciples of Christ, Churches of Christ including non-institutional, Assemblies of God, and numerous independent churches are located in the county, as well as two Roman Catholic parishes, an LDS ward, and a sizable Amish community. No Jewish, Muslim, or other religions are known to have houses of worship within the county.
Barren County is primarily rural in nature, with agriculture as the primary industry. Glasgow, the county seat, has numerous manufacturing facilities, and is also a medical and retail hub for the area. Cave City is also a popular lodging area for tourists visiting nearby Mammoth Cave National Park.
Like Kentucky and most of the counties in the State, the Democratic Party has the most registered voters; however the county hasn't voted for the Democratic Presidential candidate since 1992—-and even then, it was by a margin of less than 2%. 51.57% of the voters are registered to the Democratic Party, and 41.73% are registered Republicans.
|Barren County Voter Registration & Party Enrollment as of December 18, 2017|
|Political Party||Total Voters||Percentage|
|2019||58.15% 7,693||39.91% 5,280||1.94% 256|
|2015||57.40% 5,289||38.72% 3,568||3.88% 358|
|2011||38.22% 3,003||56.31% 4,425||5.47% 430|
|2007||47.41% 5,279||52.59% 5,856||0.00% 0|
|2003||56.53% 5,065||43.47% 3,895||0.00% 0|
|1999||17.33% 598||75.83% 2,616||6.84% 236|
|1995||45.38% 3,882||54.62% 4,672||0.00% 0|
The county is home to all or part of three school districts:
- Most of the county is served by the Barren County Schools, which includes Barren County High School and Middle School in Glasgow, and seven elementary schools throughout the county, many of which were formerly also high schools before they were consolidated into Barren County High in the early 1970s.
- The Glasgow Independent Schools serve the city of Glasgow proper, with small areas of overlap outside the city limits. The district includes Glasgow High School, Glasgow Middle School, and two elementary schools. In addition, the Glasgow and Caverna (see below) districts jointly operate an alternative school located in the Glasgow district for "at-risk" children in middle and high school. Barren County High and Middle Schools, although operated by the county district, are actually located within the boundaries of the Glasgow district.
- The Caverna Independent Schools take in Cave City and surrounding northwest Barren County, as well as Horse Cave and the southwest corner of neighboring Hart County. It is served by Caverna High School, Caverna Middle School, and Caverna Elementary School, all located between Cave City and Horse Cave. The high school is on the Hart County side of the line, while the elementary and middle schools share a campus on the Barren County side. The district is one of only a handful in the United States which is located in more than one county. Three other districts with this distinction are in Kentucky, most notably the Corbin Independent School District, serving a single city split by a county line.
Barren County is served by Interstate 65, which goes through the northwest part of the county, and the Louie B. Nunn Cumberland Parkway, a former toll road that was designated to be part of the future Interstate 66 corridor before that project was scrapped. U.S. Routes 31E, 31W, and 68 also pass through the county.
Railroad service is provided by CSX Transportation, whose former Louisville and Nashville Railroad main line passes through Cave City and Park City. The Glasgow Railway Company is a short line which owns a branch from Park City (which was formerly called Glasgow Junction) to Glasgow; the line is serviced via an operating lease by CSX.
Other unincorporated communitiesEdit
- WLYE-FM "Willie 94.1" - Real Country Glasgow
- WCLU-AM 1490 Glasgow
- WLLI "Willie 94.1" Glasgow (licensed to Munfordville)
- WCDS-AM 1230 "SportsRadio 123" - Newberry Broadcasting, Inc.
- W239BV (FM 95.7) - "96 Hits" - an analog radio repeater of WOVO-HD2/Horse Cave
- Glasgow Daily Times - local newspaper published Tuesday through Saturday
- Barren County Progress - county-oriented weekly newspaper published Thursdays
Barren County's industry includes these companies:
- Walmart of Glasgow - Walmart operates a full-service super center at the intersection of Kentucky Route 90 (Happy Valley Road) and Veterans Outer Loop on the northwest outskirts of the city.
- Mid-State Recycling - the area's main recycling facility.
- Western Kentucky University's satellite campus in Glasgow, Kentucky
- Glasgow Electric Plant Board - Electric, cable television, and internet service in the City of Glasgow.
- Farmers Rural Electric Co Op - Electric service for the county.
- South Central Rural Telephone Company - cable television and internet service.
- T.J. Samson Community Hospital
- Southern States Feed Mill in Park City
- Dakota Elmore Realty and Auction Co.
Cave City's main industry in Barren County's economy is tourism, thanks to its proximity to Mammoth Cave National Park, which is one of the top ten most visited attractions in Kentucky. A number of motels and restaurants are located at the interchange of Interstate 65 and state routes 70 and 90, which cater to tourists visiting the area or just passing through, thereby making Cave City, and much of northwest Barren County, a tourism hot-spot. The city operates a small convention center that is popular with church groups and other family-related organizations, mainly because of the area's lack of crime and abundance of tourist attractions. Cave City has long been a gateway to Mammoth Cave; in the era of passenger rail travel, trains of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad would discharge tourists there, who would then be shuttled to the cave. The agricultural industry is also a big factor in the area's economy. For more information, see the Barren County Economic Authority's website (www.BarrenCoEa.com).
Sites and events of interestEdit
- Fort Williams, Glasgow.
- Barren River Lake State Resort Park, Lucas at the junction of US 31E and KY 87 in southern Barren County.
- Barren River Lake, a lake along the Barren-Allen County line that is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
- Kentucky Action Park/Jesse James Riding Stables, Cave City, Kentucky
- Guntown Mountain Old West town and Haunted Hotel, Cave City
- Diamond Caverns, Park City, along the Edmonson-Barren County line on the southeastern fringe of Mammoth Cave National Park.
- Onyx Cave and Rock Shop, Cave City
- Thomerson Park, Dry Fork
Events include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The 400-mile yard sale along US 68 throughout the route's course in Kentucky (except Metro Lexington and the LBL) - first Thursday-Sunday in June, annually.
- Glasgow Highland Games at Barren River Lake State Resort Park - early June.
- Annual Roller Coaster Yard Sale along State Highway 63 - early October.
- Annual Fireworks Extravaganza at Barren River Lake, July 4 of each year.
- Walter Arnold Baker (1937-2010) : Associate Justice, Kentucky Supreme Court, Assistant General Counsel for International Affairs in the Department of Defense, Member of Kentucky Senate and House of Representatives, Lieutenant Colonel, Kentucky Air National Guard.
- Ira F. M. Butler (1812–1909), Oregon pioneer and state legislator
- Floyd Collins (1887–1925), cave explorer and cave accident victim
- Kelly Craft (née Guilfoil) (born 1962), US Ambassador to the United Nations and US Ambassador to Canada
- Nancy Kelsey (1823–1896), the "Betsy Ross of California
- Louie B. Nunn (1924–2004), former governor of Kentucky
- Marion McCarrell Scott (1843-1922), educator and government advisor in Meiji period Japan
- Henry Skaggs (1724-1810), longhunter, explorer, and pioneer, lived in Hiseville
- Luska Twyman (1913–1988), first African American mayor of Glasgow, Kentucky
- William Burton Walbert (1886–1959), Southern gospel songwriter, singer, composer, and editor
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 6, 2022.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on July 12, 2012. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- Barren County. Kyenc.org. Retrieved on July 21, 2013.
- "Barren County, Kentucky". July 4, 2008. Archived from the original on July 4, 2008.
- The Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society, Volume 1. Kentucky State Historical Society. 1903. pp. 34.
- "Best Places to Live in Rural America 2007". The Progressive Farmer. 2007. Archived from the original on February 23, 2007. Retrieved February 19, 2007.
- Hogan, Roseann Reinemuth (1992). Kentucky Ancestry: A Guide to Genealogical and Historical Research. Ancestry Publishing. p. 190. ISBN 9780916489496. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
- Nie, Jacqueling (September 27, 2016). "Barren County votes to go wet". WBKO-TV.
- Kinslow, Gina (September 9, 2014). "Cave City liquor ordinance approved". Glasgow Daily Times. Glasgow, KY. Retrieved September 23, 2014.
- Dickerson, Brad; Neitzel, Stacy L. (November 7, 2007). "Liquor by the drink passes". Glasgow (KY) Daily Times. Archived from the original on September 11, 2012. Retrieved February 7, 2008.
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on August 12, 2014. Retrieved August 13, 2014.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021". Retrieved July 6, 2022.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
- "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
- "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
- "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- "Churches of Christ in the United States". Archived from the original on August 14, 2014. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
- https://elect.ky.gov/Resources/PublishingImages/Pages/Registration-Statistics/voterstatscounty-20171218-111623.pdf[bare URL PDF]
- Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
- "Home - Barren County School District". Barren County School District.
- "Glasgow Independent Schools map". Kentucky Department of Revenue. 1996. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 10, 2008. Retrieved February 7, 2008. As of 2008, Barren County High is still at the location indicated on the map (look in the southern part of the city, near the Cumberland Parkway). Although Barren County Middle is not listed on this map, it is located on the same street as the high school, as indicated at the official Barren County Schools website.
- "400 Mile Sale Across Kentucky Along Historic Hwy 68". www.400mile.com. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
- "Glasgow woman on international stage". August 1, 2019.