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Bardstown,city (1990 pop. 6,801), seat of Nelson co., central Ky., SE of Louisville, in a rich farm area; settled 1775, inc. 1788. The city has distilleries and varied manufacturing including furniture, building materials, and electrical equipment. A monument to the American inventor John FitchFitch, John,
1743–98, American inventor, b. Windsor, Conn. Fitch began (1785) work on the invention of the steam engine and steamboat and secured soon afterward the exclusive right to build and operate steamboats on the waters of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York,
..... Click the link for more information. is in Bardstown. Nearby is the manor house "Federal Hill" (built 1795–1818) where Stephen FosterFoster, Stephen Collins,
1826–64, American songwriter and composer, b. Lawrenceville, Pa. His pioneer family was aware of his talent for music, but not understanding it they provided him with little formal musical education.
..... Click the link for more information. is said to have written My Old Kentucky Home. Of note are the Cathedral of St. Joseph (1816–19), whose paintings were given by Louis Philippe of France, and the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemane, a Trappist monastery founded in 1848. The Barton Museum of whiskey history is a short distance away. In the Civil War, Bardstown was occupied (Sept., 1862) by Gen. Braxton Bragg's Confederate army.