Adair – Columbia – Site 2 of 2

Host Committee:  Columbia/Adair County Chamber Tourism

Site:  Self-Guided Historic Downtown Columbia Walking Tour


Free walking tour bookletWalk through the Years in Columbia, is available at the Trabue Russell House, 201 Jamestown Street.

Booklets available in advance at these three sites:  1) Columbia/Adair County Tourism Chamber Building, 201 Burkesville Street ( Mon. Tues. Thurs. Fri.) / 2) Adair County Library, 307 Greensburg Street (Mon.-Sat.) / 3) Columbia City Hall,  116 Campbellsville Street (Mon.-Fri.)


Contacts:  Pam Hoots,, 270-250-1710 / Vonnie Kolbenschlag,, 270-384-6777 /  Sue Stivers, Ellen Zornes, 270-384-6020,

Description:  The free booklet, Walk through the Years in Columbia, is a self guided walking tour of Columbia’s historic downtown area.  The Columbia Commercial Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2017 and features 29 contributing buildings.  The centerpiece of the district is the 1885 Adair County Courthouse, designed by notable Louisville architects the McDonald Brothers in an eclectic classical style with a prominent clock tower.  It was listed in the National Register in 1974.

Points of interest described on the walking tour booklet include:

*1812 Federal Style House where Mark Twain’s parents lived for about a year after their marriage in 1823, before moving to Tennessee

*1857 Presbyterian Church where the steeple was used to watch for rebels coming from the south during the Civil War, and the church doors were used as stretchers for the wounded who were injured where skirmish took place nearby

*1812 private residence that was built as an early academy for boys taught by Presbyterian minister Sam Robertson, who performed the marriage of Mark Twain’s parents

Historic Columbia was settled by Revolutionary War Veterans who were paid with land grants by the Commonwealth of Virginia.  The town grew as veterans claimed their land, began farming and provided services to pioneers moving westward.  It has been the seat of Adair County since 1803.  Like many Kentucky towns, the downtown was laid out in a traditional European design with the courthouse as the centerpiece of a public square.  Columbia is surrounded by natural beauty, nestled in rolling hills near Green River Lake and the state parks of Lake Cumberland, Dale Hollow and Barren River.  It is the home of Lindsey Wilson College.


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