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Shepherdsville, Kentucky
Downtown Shepherdsville
Downtown Shepherdsville
Location of Shepherdsville in Bullitt County, Kentucky.
Location of Shepherdsville in Bullitt County, Kentucky.
Country United States
State Kentucky
County Bullitt
Established 1793
Incorporated Unknown
 • Total 16.11 sq mi (41.72 km2)
 • Land 15.82 sq mi (40.96 km2)
 • Water 0.29 sq mi (0.75 km2)
449 ft (137 m)
 • Total 14,201
 • Density 897.89/sq mi (346.68/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 502 Exchanges: 215,543,921
FIPS code 21-70086
GNIS feature ID 0503351

Shepherdsville is a home rule-class city on the Salt River in Bullitt County, Kentucky, in the United States. It is the seat of its county, located just south of Louisville. The population was 14,201 during the 2020 U.S. Census.


American Indians have been shown to have lived in the area for at least 15,000 years.

The vicinity was originally known as "Bullitt's Lick" for the salt licks discovered by surveyor Capt. Thomas Bullitt in 1773. The area was home to Kentucky's first commercial salt works, although these were shuttered in the 1830s by competition from Virginian works along the Kanawha River. Shepherdsville grew up around the mill and store erected along the Salt River by Adam Shepherd, who had purchased 900 acres (360 ha) in the area. The city named for him received its charter in 1793 and became the county seat when Bullitt County was formed in 1796.

The first post office opened in 1806. In 1836, a mineral water spa called Paroquet Springs opened. The mineral water supposedly had medicinal properties, so sufferers from a variety of maladies visited Shepherdsville to drink and bathe in the water. In the mid-1850s, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad's mainline was constructed nearby. During the Civil War, the railroad bridge over the Salt River at Shepherdsville was a potential target for sabotage and was guarded by Union troops. In 1879, the Paroquet Springs hotel burned to the ground, but water from the springs continued to be bottled and sold until 1915. The deadliest train wreck in Kentucky history, which killed about fifty people in a two-train collision, took place in Shepherdsville several days before Christmas in 1917.

Throughout most of the 20th century, Shepherdsville was primarily an agricultural area. With the construction of the Kentucky Turnpike (now Interstate 65) in the 1950s, people who worked in Louisville could live outside the city. From then on, Shepherdsville experienced a period of rapid growth.


Shepherdsville is located on the banks of the Salt River. Downtown Louisville is 20 miles (32 km) to the north via Interstate 65, and Elizabethtown is 26 miles (42 km) to the south.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Shepherdsville has a total area of 10.0 square miles (25.8 km2), of which 9.7 square miles (25.1 km2) is land and 0.31 square miles (0.8 km2), or 3.00%, is water.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Shepherdsville has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1800 96
1830 278
1860 305
1870 267 −12.5%
1880 299 12.0%
1890 251 −16.1%
1900 277 10.4%
1910 318 14.8%
1920 626 96.9%
1930 633 1.1%
1940 762 20.4%
1950 943 23.8%
1960 1,525 61.7%
1970 2,769 81.6%
1980 4,454 60.9%
1990 4,805 7.9%
2000 8,334 73.4%
2010 11,222 34.7%
2020 14,201 26.5%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 8,334 people, 3,177 households, and 2,363 families residing in the city. The population density was 791.3 people per square mile (305.6/km2). There were 3,402 housing units at an average density of 323.0 per square mile (124.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.24% White, 0.92% African American, 0.35% Native American, 0.37% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.12% from other races, and 0.97% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.74% of the population.

There were 3,177 households, out of which 41.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.0% were married couples living together, 17.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.6% were non-families. 20.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 28.9% under the age of 18, 12.2% from 18 to 24, 33.4% from 25 to 44, 17.4% from 45 to 64, and 8.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,103, and the median income for a family was $40,878. Males had a median income of $31,324 versus $22,871 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,519. About 13.7% of families and 15.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.2% of those under age 18 and 8.6% of those age 65 or over.


Area students attend Bullitt County Public Schools. Different sections of the city are zoned to one of the county's three regular public high schools:

  • Most of the city is served by Bullitt Central High School, located in Shepherdsville proper.
  • Bernheim Middle and Bullitt Lick Middle are the middle schools for this area.
  • Cedar Grove Elementary, Lebanon Junction Elementary, Nichols Elementary, Roby Elementary and Shepherdsville Elementary are the primary schools for this area.
  • Some northern areas are zoned to North Bullitt High School, which has a Shepherdsville postal address but is located in the city of Hebron Estates.
  • Hebron Middle and Zoneton Middle are the middle schools for this area.
  • Brooks Elementary, Freedom Elementary, Maryville Elementary and Overdale Elementary are the primary schools for this area.
  • Far eastern portions of the city are zoned to Bullitt East High School in Mount Washington.
  • Eastside Middle and Mt. Washington Middle are the middle schools for this area.
  • Crossroads Elementary, Mt. Washington Elementary, Old Mill Elementary and Pleasant Grove Elementary are the primary schools for this area.

The city also houses Riverview High School, the county district's alternative high school for at-risk students.

Shepherdsville has a public library, a branch of the Bullitt County Public Library.

Notable people

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Shepherdsville (Kentucky) para niños

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