Barren County, Kentucky
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Barren County, Kentucky
Barren County
Barren County Courthouse in Glasgow
Barren County Courthouse in Glasgow
Map of Kentucky highlighting Barren County
Location within the U.S. state of Kentucky
Map of the United States highlighting Kentucky
Kentucky's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 36°58?N 85°56?W / 36.96°N 85.93°W / 36.96; -85.93
State Kentucky
Named forThe Barrens, a region of grassland in Kentucky
Largest cityGlasgow
 o Total500 sq mi (1,000 km2)
 o Land488 sq mi (1,260 km2)
 o Water12 sq mi (30 km2)  2.5%%
 o Estimate 
 o Density87/sq mi (34/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central)
 o Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
Congressional district2nd

Barren County is a county located in the south central portion of the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 42,173.[1] Its county seat is Glasgow.[2] The county was founded on December 20, 1798,[3] from parts of Warren and Green Counties. It was named for the Barrens, meadow lands that cover the northern third,[4] though actually the soil is fertile.[5]

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.[6]


Barren County was established in 1798 from land taken from Green County and Warren County. Six courthouses have served the county throughout its history, the first built of logs.[7]

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.

Barren was a prohibition or dry county, until voters overturned that in September 2016.[8] Prior to that, there were two exceptions:

  • 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.[9]
  • Glasgow, which approved liquor by the drink under the same restrictions on November 6, 2007,[10] after three previous elections to allow full alcohol sales in the city being soundly defeated.


According to the U.S. 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.[11]

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.

Adjacent counties

National protected area


As of the census[17] 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,[18]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 known 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 voters in the County. Even though the county hasn't voted for the Democratic Presidential Candidate since 1992 (By less than 2%), 51.57% of the voters are registered to the Democratic party and 41.73% are registered Republicans.

Voter registration

Barren County Voter Registration & Party Enrollment as of December 18, 2017[19]
Political Party Total Voters Percentage
Democratic 16,045 51.57
Republican 12,982 41.73
Others 1,049 3.37
Independent 927 2.98
Libertarian 65 0.21
Green 19 0.06
Reform 16 0.05
Constitution 9 0.03
Total 31,112 100%

Statewide elections

Presidential elections results
Presidential elections results[20]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2016 72.9% 13,483 23.1% 4,275 4.0% 730
2012 65.9% 10,922 32.6% 5,400 1.5% 246
2008 66.2% 11,133 32.3% 5,434 1.4% 240
2004 67.1% 10,822 32.3% 5,216 0.6% 102
2000 63.1% 8,741 35.6% 4,930 1.3% 173
1996 48.1% 5,700 42.6% 5,044 9.3% 1,100
1992 42.1% 5,467 43.8% 5,688 14.0% 1,818
1988 57.8% 6,653 41.7% 4,799 0.5% 54
1984 62.9% 7,717 36.7% 4,503 0.5% 57
1980 53.7% 6,405 44.3% 5,285 2.0% 243
1976 38.9% 3,797 60.2% 5,878 1.0% 96
1972 62.6% 6,070 34.9% 3,384 2.5% 242
1968 42.8% 4,209 35.3% 3,464 21.9% 2,153
1964 31.3% 2,936 68.4% 6,420 0.3% 24
1960 51.2% 5,187 48.8% 4,946 0.0% 0
1956 44.7% 4,206 55.3% 5,206 0.0% 2
1952 44.8% 3,743 55.2% 4,618 0.1% 4
1948 35.3% 2,437 59.4% 4,095 5.3% 366
1944 42.4% 3,262 57.6% 4,439 0.0% 0
1940 39.8% 3,233 60.1% 4,888 0.1% 11
1936 39.4% 3,352 60.3% 5,137 0.3% 25
1932 35.6% 3,622 64.0% 6,518 0.4% 41
1928 59.1% 5,101 40.9% 3,530 0.1% 5
1924 43.5% 3,488 55.5% 4,449 1.1% 85
1920 41.7% 3,972 57.7% 5,499 0.6% 60
1916 41.8% 2,462 57.2% 3,370 1.0% 56
1912 29.3% 1,563 56.1% 2,993 14.6% 779
Previous gubernatorial elections results
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
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.[21]
  • 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.[22]
  • 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. One of the other districts with this distinction is in Kentucky--specifically 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.



Census-designated place

Other unincorporated communities



Barren County's industry includes these companies in different fields

  • 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 areas 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. Owner-Dakota Elmore

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, please visit the Barren County Economic Authority's website:

Sites and events of interest

Events include, but 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.[23]
  • 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.

Notable people

Henry Skaggs (January 8, 1724 - December 4, 1810), an American longhunter, explorer and pioneer, lived in Hiseville

See also


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved 2014.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2012-07-12. Retrieved .
  3. ^ Barren County. Retrieved on 2013-07-21.
  4. ^ Barren County, Kentucky
  5. ^ The Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society, Volume 1. Kentucky State Historical Society. 1903. pp. 34.
  6. ^ "Best Places to Live in Rural America 2007". The Progressive Farmer. 2007. Archived from the original on 23 February 2007. Retrieved .
  7. ^ Hogan, Roseann Reinemuth (1992). Kentucky Ancestry: A Guide to Genealogical and Historical Research. Ancestry Publishing. p. 190. ISBN 9780916489496. Retrieved 2013.
  8. ^ Nie, Jacqueling (September 27, 2016). "Barren County votes to go wet". WBKO-TV.
  9. ^ Kinslow, Gina (September 9, 2014). "Cave City liquor ordinance approved". Glasgow Daily Times. Glasgow, KY. Retrieved 2014.
  10. ^ Dickerson, Brad; Neitzel, Stacy L. (2007-11-07). "Liquor by the drink passes". Glasgow (KY) Daily Times. Archived from the original on 2012-09-11. Retrieved .
  11. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on August 12, 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  12. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved 2019.
  13. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014.
  14. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved 2014.
  15. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014.
  16. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014.
  17. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved .
  18. ^ "Churches of Christ in the United States". Archived from the original on 2014-08-14. Retrieved .
  19. ^
  20. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved .
  21. ^ "Home - Barren County School District". Barren County School District.
  22. ^ "Glasgow Independent Schools map". Kentucky Department of Revenue. 1996. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-04-10. Retrieved . 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.
  23. ^ "400 Mile Sale Across Kentucky Along Historic Hwy 68". Retrieved .

External links

Coordinates: 36°58?N 85°56?W / 36.96°N 85.93°W / 36.96; -85.93

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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