There are many reasons why people find Barren County such a great place to call home. In fact, Glasgow, Barren County’s largest city, has been included in Jack Schultz’s book, “Boom Town”. We are ranked in the top 2.5% of all non-metro towns in the nation. Barren County is also home to Park City, Cave City, Barren River Lake State Park, and a portion of Mammoth Cave National Park, recognized as one of the largest tourism destinations in the South. As a tourism destination, Barren County offers cultural, educational, and recreational opportunities that most communities only dream of. Our numerous public parks offer unequaled facilities for baseball, softball, soccer, football, and tennis. The county also boasts several public and private golf courses, and the local YMCA athletic complex provides for swimming, aerobics and basketball.
Barren County takes top honors in the Progressive Farmer magazine, third annual top 10 ranking of “Best Places to Live in Rural America”. The dynamic farming community, education system and hospital were among the factors that worked in Barren County’s favor for the magazine’s executive editor, Joe Link. “It’s a beautiful county, just wonderful,” Link said of his first impression of the area. “It has history, is quaint, everybody knows everybody and it seems to have a good community spirit.” Glasgow, Link said is the “ideal small town county seat.”
Barren County is considered by some as the first fully wired small town in America because of the availability of local utility providers that offer high-speed internet capability through DSL and Broadband networks. Telephone, radio, television and the internet comprise the telecommunication systems for Barren County. Currently there are four telephone utility companies that maintain and provide service facilities for Barren County: Glasgow Electric Plant Board / Cinergy, Kentucky Alltel Inc., South Central Rural Telephone Cooperative; and South Central Telcom.
Land and Infrastructure:
The availability of properly developed industrial facilities is important for a community in its efforts to attract industries and jobs. Currently there are three industrial parks in Barren County with varying lots and building which are available for sale or lease.
Industrial life flourished in Barren County almost as soon as the County was formed in 1798. The milling business boomed on every creek. Cotton gins were scattered over the county, and carding factories flourished in Glasgow. Many workers of diverse industrial skills moved into the county at that time. Manufacturing is still clearly the leading industry type with over 6,000 employed workers. Barren County has over 40 companies, with 5 companies employing more than 500 people each. The product mix includes automotive stampings, automobile cable controls, vehicle brake systems, work clothing, heavy duty truck axles and brake friction blocks, aluminum die castings, architectural & furniture plywood, offset printing and computer typesetting, dairy & non-dairy food ingredients, stainless steel pipe and pharmaceutical packaging.
Barren County currently has four separate school systems: Barren County, Glasgow Independent, Caverna Independent and one private school, Glasgow Christian Academy. The total number of primary and secondary students within Barren County is 7,000. In addition to the four school systems, Barren County also has the Kentucky Technical School (120 students) and Western Kentucky University, Glasgow campus (1,600 students). The Kentucky Technical School is a vital part of the school systems as all three school districts attend classes offered by the Technical School.