About AAS > Annual and Semiannual Meetings

Semiannual Meeting

Louisville, Kentucky — April 10-12, 2008

The 2008 Semiannual Meeting of the American Antiquarian Society will be held in Louisville, Kentucky, April 10-12, 2008. Scheduled activities include tours of the Filson Historical Society, Pleasant Hill Shaker Village, the Kentucky Derby Musuem, the Labrot & Graham distillery and a steamboat ride on the Ohio River!

Schedule of Activities

Wednesday, April 9, Louisville

Members and guests arrive. The AAS group will be staying at one of Louisville's most treasured landmarks, the Brown Hotel, 335 West Broadway, Louisville, Kentucky, 40202. Built in 1923 and completely renovated in the early 1980s. For over 80 years, The Brown has figured prominently into the social life of Louisville.

Evening: Dinner on your own


Thursday, April 10, Louisville

9:15 a.m. Meet in the lobby of the Brown Hotel for boarding bus

9:30 - 11:00 Guided tour of Filson Historical Society

The organization was founded in 1884 and named after early Kentucky explorer John Filson, who wrote The Discovery, Settlement, and Present State of Kentucke, which included one of the first maps of the state. The Filson's extensive collections focus on Kentucky, the Upper South, and the Ohio River Valley.

11:05 Bus to Downtown Louisville Wharf

11:30 - 2:00 River cruise and buffet lunch on sternwheeler riverboat Spirit of Jefferson.

2:30 - 3:30 Historical Farmington

Farmington is a 14-room Federal-style home that was the center of the 19th-century hemp plantation of John and Lucy Speed. Designed from a plan by Thomas Jefferson and completed in 1816 using slave labor, the house is newly restored with original paint colors, historic wallpaper and carpets, and furnished with Kentucky furniture and other antiques from the period. Abraham Lincoln, a close friend of John Speed's son Joshua, spent about three weeks at Farmington in 1841.

3:45 Board bus for return to Brown Hotel

6:15 Board bus for dinner at The Jefferson Club, atop the PNC Plaza office tower, offering fine cuisine and stunning views of both the Louisville skyline and the Ohio River.


Friday, April 11, Louisville

(AAS Council meets 8:00 - 9:45)

10:00 Board bus for Kentucky Derby Museum

10:30-12:15 Kentucky Derby Museum Video presentation "The Greatest Race" employs high-definition film technology to bring the Derby story alive. It is the first 360-degree high-definition presentation in the world; and it is annually updated in June, capturing the most recent Kentucky Derby victory.

Behind the scenes walking tour -- Tour guides will take small groups on a one-hour tour of Churchill Downs' Millionaire's Row, Jockey's Quarters, and Press Box. There, guests experience the unique atmosphere that truly makes Churchill Downs such an integral part of the equine industry. There are also two stops for picture taking, time permitting.

12:15 Bus to 21C Museum and Hotel

12:30 - 2:00 Lunch at Proof on Main with a talk on American politics by AAS member Ronald Formisano, William T. Bryan Chair of the history department, University of Kentucky.

2:00 - 3:00 Semiannual meeting of the Society. President Ellen S. Dunlap will give the Report of the Council and new members will be elected.

3:00 Bus to hotel or visit nearby museums on your own (Speed Art Museum and Louisville Slugger Museum).

5:45 Board bus for home of Dr. Ted Steinbock

6:00 - 7:30 Cocktails with Dr. Steinbock and a tour of his collection of early New England imprints and Puritan intellectual history as well as his collection of colonial paintings.

7:30 Bus to Brown Hotel. Dinner on your own.


Saturday, April 12, Pleasant Hill and Versailles, Kentucky

8:30 Board bus for Pleasant Hill

10:30 - 12:30 Tour of Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill The restored Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill is a living history museum where the tangible reminders of an extraordinary society are preserved. Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill is a place of learning. Its 3,000 acres of preserved farmland, thirty-four restored buildings and extensive museum collection reveal much about the Shakers as well as the wonders of nature.

12:30 - 1:30 Lunch of traditional Shaker food.

1:30 Board bus for Versailles, Kentucky

2:30 - 4:00 Tour Labrot & Graham distillery

The Labrot (pronounced "La - Bro") & Graham Distillery is the oldest, smallest and slowest working of the nine in the commonwealth. Fine quality Bourbon whiskey, for which Kentucky is famous, was brought to perfection here. Nestled amid the picturesque horse farms of Central Kentucky, Labrot & Graham is the only distillery that crafts its bourbon in copper pot stills and ages it in unique limestone warehouses. Whiskey was first produced on this site in 1812 — the year AAS was founded.

4:15 - 5:45 Bus returns to Brown Hotel

Evening Dinner on your own


Sunday, April 13

Members and guests depart


A block of rooms at the Brown Hotel has been reserved at a special group rate of $169 per room per night, plus taxes. You should make your own reservations by calling 1-888-888-5252 or 502-583-1234, mention that you are with American Antiquarian Society group. The special rates will apply one day before and one day after our meeting. Room reservations must be made by March 10, 2008.