John James Audubon State Park

John James Audubon State Park


John James Audubon State Park

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John James Audubon State Park is located on U. S. Highway 41 in Henderson, Kentucky, just south of the Ohio River. Its inspiration is John James Audubon, the ornithologist, naturalist and painter who resided in Henderson from 1810 to 1819 when Henderson was a frontier village.


John James Audubon operated small businesses in Henderson, KY with mixed success, but his passion was exploring the forests of the region and sketching and painting wildlife, particularly birds.

In 1934, the Wolf Hills area in Henderson was selected for a new state park (meeting the minimum 300 acres needed for park development). Susan Towles, a Henderson librarian, supplied the necessary research and documentation to establish a historic connection to the land.

In September 1934, a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) base Camp Cromwell (named in honor of the Director of the Kentucky State Parks, Emma Guy Cromwell) was established off US 41 near John James Audubon State Park. After the 300-acres was procured for park development, approximately 200 CCC, Company 1540 employees were dispatched from their West Virginia base to Henderson where they were joined by others including several Henderson natives. Over the next four years the CCC drained swamps, build two lakes and developed trails and roads. With the help of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the park shelters, the Tea House (presently the park office), and the Audubon Museum were constructed from local stone and mill work.The...
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