Kentucky Museum


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Bowling Green was once home to a thriving lumber industry that produced railroad ties, building materials, barrel staves, wine casks and ax handles. Numerous stands of hickory trees in Warren County supplied much of the raw material. Timber was also harvested from Allen, Barren and Monroe counties and floated down the Barren River to manufactories in Warren.

In 1877 James Woolworth established an ax handle factory in Bowling Green. He merged with the Turner-Day Company in 1884, becoming the largest manufacturer of "Hickory Striking Tool Handles." Their slogan, "We handle the world," reflected a large national and international market. In 1951 the True Temper Corporation acquired the Turner, Day & Woolworth Handle Company.

Ivan Wilson, regional artist and WKU Art department head, painted local scenes such as this watercolor of Bowling Green's ax handle factory.


Warren County, Kentucky, Lumber