The seat of Hardin County, Elizabethtown represents “the heartland” of the Bluegrass State. It is a hub for several major roads including Interstate 65, U.S. 31W, U.S. 62, Wendell Ford-Western Kentucky Parkway and the Martha Layne Collins-Bluegrass Parkway. The population of Elizabethtown is approximately 30,000.
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Founded in 1797 and named for the wife of Colonel Andrew Hynes, Elizabethtown—or “E-town” as it is known among the locals—maintains a community center and numerous parks. The Elizabethtown Nature Park features the Veteran’s Tribute and pavilion.
Several different shopping areas, including small shops, large department stores, and a fully enclosed mall are also within the city limits. Abundant housing is available for singles, couples, and families. Medical and professional services of every type are available within the city, including a 300-plus bed regional hospital.
Elizabethtown partnered with the Kentucky High School Basketball Coaches Association and the Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame to develop a High School Hall of Fame. The inaugural class of the Hall of Fame was inducted in July 2012.
Tourists from around the U.S. visit Elizabethtown to see Civil War Sites in the area as well as the Hardin County History Museum, the Brown-Pusey House, Historic State Theater, Lincoln Heritage House, Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln Memorial Cabin and the One-Room Schoolhouse.
Elizabethtown is surrounded by many attractions, being within forty miles of Mammoth Cave National Park, Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace, My Old Kentucky Home State Park, Churchill Downs, and other landmarks.
The 2005 feature-length film Elizabethtownwas named after the town, though. most of the footage in the film was taken from nearby Versailles and Louisville since Elizabethtown had lost much of its historic architecture due to commercial development.
Elizabethtown in Business
Elizabethtown has a strong industrial base, with 75 industries represented within city limits. Several different shopping areas, including small shops, large department stores, “superstores”, and a fully-enclosed mall are all within the city limits. A strong industrial base exists, with several large, clean manufacturing companies.
Education is a highly valued aspect of life in our community. Elizabethtown Independent Schools and the Hardin County School System each offer quality learning programs. Elizabethtown Community & Technical College provides affordable education and training. Western Kentucky University has an extended campus located at ECTC, offering bachelors and masters degrees.
Abundant housing in a variety of settings is available for singles, couples, or families. Medical and professional services of every type are available within the city, including a 300-bed regional hospital.
Hardin Memorial Hospital is the regional healthcare center, and it is located in Elizabethtown. Since opening in 1954, the non-profit acute care hospital has provided care to citizens in Hardin County as well as its 10 surrounding counties.
As of the census of 2010, there were 28,531 people residing within city limits. The age distribution was 25 percent under 18, 10 percent from 18 to 24, 28 percent from 25 to 44, 24 percent from 45 to 64, and 13 percent who were 65 or older. The median age was 35.4 years.
The racial makeup of the city is roughly 75 percent White, 20 percent African American, 3 percent Asian, and the remainder other races.
The town is regionally referred to as “E-town” (sometimes with an apostrophe in place of the dash). It is notable as one of two larger towns (the other being Bowling Green) along I-65 between Louisville and Nashville.
Hardin County is officially classified by the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control as a “moist county.” By this terminology, “moist” indicates a typically dry county with at least one city within the county has approved packaged alcohol sales. In 2011, residents of Elizabethtown, Radcliff, and Vine Grove voted to allow licensed businesses to sell package liquor, wine, and beer.
Elizabethtown and Kentucky on Drugs
Substance abuse, particularly the abuse of prescription drugs, along with heroin and illicit fentanyl that together have come to be known as “the opioid epidemic,” remains one of the most critical public health crises facing Kentucky.
In the past decade, the number of Kentuckians who have died from drug overdose has climbed to more than 1,500 per year. Hardin County saw 18 deaths by overdose in 2017.
This loss of life has exacted a devastating toll on families, communities, social services, and economic growth.
In an effort to reverse the trend, the Commonwealth has implemented a number of program and policy initiatives, such as the statewide use of prescription drug monitoring programs and expanded the availability of substance abuse treatment opportunities. One bill passed in the 2017 session limited opioid prescriptions for acute pain to a three-day supply, with certain exceptions. The law also increased penalties for trafficking in heroin, fentanyl, and fentanyl analogs.