Saturday, June 6, 2015

New Haven is a 6th-class city in Nelson County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 849 at 2000 census.


New Haven was founded as "Pottinger's Landing" in 1781 and renamed New Haven in 1819 by Samuel Pottinger Jr. after the Connecticut town. It was incorporated as a city by the Commonwealth in 1839, with the first elected City Manager being Silvester Johnson. In 1856, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad arrived in town, eclipsing what had been a thriving flat-boating business on the Rolling Fork River. Pottinger's original landing site was purchased by the railroad and demolished to make room for the roadbed and bridge.

In late 1861, the town was occupied by Union forces and a training camp was established for the 15th Kentucky Infantry and later the 28th Kentucky Infantry. The railhead and post office at New Haven were used to support Camp Wickliffe, a Union infantry training camp in nearby LaRue County. In mid-September 1862, General Braxton Bragg's Confederate army marched through New Haven during its invasion of Kentucky, leaving the 3rd Georgia Cavalry Regiment to occupy the town, guarding the railroad bridge and the turnpike bridge over the Rolling Fork River. On September 26, a Union cavalry column, consisting of elements of the 2nd Indiana Cavalry, 1st Kentucky Cavalry, and 3rd Kentucky Cavalry, assaulted the town, capturing nearly the entire 3rd Georgia Cavalry, as well as a number of patients being treated in a primitive hospital at the Methodist Church. The Union army returned in early October, with the arrival of the 78th Illinois Infantry, who were given the task of guarding the L&N railroad lines in the area. Fortifications were built at each major bridge crossing the Rolling Fork River, including New Haven, where the regiment established its headquarters. During Morgan's Christmas Raid of 1862, the fortification at New Haven was attacked by three companies of the Confederate 9th Kentucky Cavalry and a single 12-lb. Mountain Howitzer on the morning of December 30. After 90 minutes of combat, the Confederates broke off the attack having inflicted no damage to the fort but suffering around 5-7 wounded. The town itself suffered from a number of artillery hits that managed to damage both taverns in town. The fortifications were occupied by a number of different units until early 1864 and were burned to the ground by the Magruder's Guerilla gang in September 1864. From mid-1864 until the end of the war, New Haven acted as a base for a number of anti-guerilla units, the most famous being led by Major Cyrus J. Wilson.

After the Civil War, New Haven was well known as a center for the liquor trade, there being a large number of distilleries within a short distance. This bustling town had grown to a population of over 1200 by 1910, but the population fell quickly after the advent of Prohibition in 1919.


New Haven is located at 37°39′33″N 85°35′21″W (37.659248, -85.589248).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2), all land.


As of the census of 2000, there were 849 people, 341 households, and 243 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,523.0 people per square mile (585.4/km²). There were 355 housing units at an average density of 636.8 per square mile (244.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.53% White, 1.06% African American, 0.24% Asian, 0.47% from other races, and 0.71% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.18% of the population.

There were 341 households out of which 34.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.0% were married couples living together, 20.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.7% were non-families. 26.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.1% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 92.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $29,886, and the median income for a family was $37,875. Males had a median income of $28,456 versus $20,809 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,284. About 17.2% of families and 18.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.7% of those under age 18 and 8.7% of those age 65 or over.

Sites of interest

  • The Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani - Home of the monk Thomas Merton
  • Kentucky Railway Museum - Houses "Old 152", the official steam locomotive of Kentucky


External links

  • Kentucky atlas and gazeteer

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