The history of the Limerick neighborhood in Louisville, KY

St. Louis Bertrand Catholic Church on South 6th Street today. | Photo by @theloutday

Table of Contents

For over a century, Limerick — a small neighborhood within Old Louisville — has had a rich history from being home to 19th century Irish railroad workers to being the location of Kentucky’s first state funded Black public school. 

Take a trip down Limerick’s memory lane and learn more about this 100-year-old small town within Derby City. 

St. Louis Bertrand Catholic Church on South 6th Street today. | Photo by @theloutday

1860

The small neighborhood of Limerick was expanded for Irish workers to migrate to in order to work on the Louisville + Nashville Railroads just to the west of the community.

1872

From 1872 to 1918, St. Patrick’s Day was one of the most celebrated events of the year with parades starting at The St. Louis Bertrand Catholic Church at the heart of the town.

1873

Thirteen years after the expansion, many of the railroad workers moved away seeking jobs in South Louisville + the Louisville Central Colored School was built, where it became the first state-supported Black public school in the commonwealth at 6th and Kentucky Streets. The Louisville Central Colored School became the center of education for Louisville’s African American students until relocating in 1894. 

1874

Eclipse Park opened in Limerick at 7th and Kentucky Streets. It was the home of Louisville’s major league baseball team, the Louisville Eclipse, who were later known as the Louisville Colonels

Louisville Colonels baseball team in 1919. | Photo from the R.G. Potter Collection via the UofL Library

1902

After two different wooden Eclipse Parks burned down due to accidental fires, the third and last Eclipse Park was built in 1902 + was home to the Louisville Colonels baseball team that swung in the American Association minor league until 1922. 

DYK: Babe Ruth and the Yankees also played exhibition games in the Eclipse Park stadium in the early 1900s? 

2021

Today, Limerick is home to bustling businesses like North Lime Donuts, Daddy Rich’s, and Baraka Restaurant. It’s also where Louisville’s most famous historic black university, Simmons College of Kentucky, was founded in 1879.

Contributed by Caleb Stultz 

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