History of Plainview (Louisville, KY)

Pioneer Roots

The story of Plainview begins much earlier than its development as a suburban community. Its roots can be traced back to 1832 when pioneer settler Jacob Gaar arrived in Kentucky with a modest "two-horse wagon." Gaar purchased a 300-acre tract in eastern Jefferson County and began building a prosperous farm. By 1852, Gaar had become the wealthiest man in his vicinity, owning four tracts of land throughout the county.

The Tway Family Legacy

Robert Chester Tway, Sr. (1882-1964), a descendant of Jacob Gaar, would play a pivotal role in Plainview's history. In 1923, Tway had a magnificent two-and-a-half story brick Georgian Revival-style home built for his family by the renowned local architectural firm, Nevin, Morgan, and Wischmeyer. This house would later become central to the Plainview community.

Plainview Farms Dairy

In 1929, Tway founded Plainview Farms Dairy on the land surrounding his home. The dairy quickly gained fame as the "Home of Jersey Creamline Milk." Tway won numerous accolades for his Jersey cows, including awards at the Kentucky State Fair. The dairy was known for its high-quality products, including milk, cream, buttermilk, cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, and ice cream. Tway's modern facilities made Plainview Farms a "model establishment," and he often hosted tours for school children and local organizations.

Tway's Business Empire and Equestrian Success

Beyond the dairy, Tway operated three other successful businesses: the R.C. Tway Coal Company and Tway Building Materials Company (both established in 1912), and the Kentucky Manufacturing Company, a trailer firm founded in 1939. Tway was also passionate about horses, and during the 1950s and 1960s, Plainview Farms became renowned for breeding award-winning horses, including the two-time world champion five-gaited horse, Plainview's Julia.

Transition to Residential Development

In December 1971, following R.C. Tway's death, his heirs sold the property to Plainview Ventures, a partnership of local businessmen with a vision for a nature-oriented community. In 1972, Plainview Farms, then a 630-acre estate on Hurstbourne Lane, was selected as the site for a $100 million multi-purpose development.

The Birth of Plainview Community

The new Plainview was designed to provide residential and multi-family housing for 6,000 inhabitants, along with office and retail centers, schools, and a community club. The development aimed to create "a pleasant, purposeful way of life for Louisvillians" with a "village effect," blending trees, lakes, and pastureland with recreational areas and quiet living spaces.

Incorporation into Jeffersontown

In November 1972, the City of Jeffersontown annexed the new development, increasing the city's size by about 33 percent and its population by about 50 percent. Plainview was designed to be a self-contained city while still receiving the same amenities as other Jeffersontown neighborhoods.

Plainview Racquet and Swim Club

In 1973, plans were made to create the Plainview Swim and Tennis Club, centered around the old Tway home. The club opened on May 24, 1974, initially offering memberships only to Plainview residents. It featured swimming pools, tennis courts, and other recreational facilities.

Growth and Development

By 1974, Plainview was growing rapidly, with 110 homes occupied and hundreds of apartments under construction. Plans for condominiums and a retail shopping center were also in the works. This growth brought both opportunities and challenges, including the need for improved traffic management.

Modern Plainview

In 1996, the City of Jeffersontown purchased the Plainview Racquet and Swim Club, including the historic Tway house and surrounding facilities. Today, the Plainview Swim & Tennis Center continues to thrive, offering six clay and two hard tennis courts, four pools, and the beautifully preserved Tway house available for rentals.

A Community Rooted in History

From Jacob Gaar's pioneer farm to R.C. Tway's thriving dairy and equestrian center, and finally to the vibrant suburban community it is today, Plainview has undergone a remarkable transformation. It stands as a testament to thoughtful urban planning and a commitment to preserving natural beauty and historical legacy. Plainview continues to be a shining example of community development in Jefferson County, offering its residents a unique blend of modern amenities and rich historical roots.

Interested in Calling Plainview Home?

After learning about the rich history and vibrant community of Plainview, you might be wondering how you can become a part of this exceptional neighborhood. Plainview continues to be one of the most sought-after areas in Louisville, offering residents a unique blend of suburban tranquility, urban convenience, and a strong sense of community.

If you're considering making Plainview your new home, here's what you can look forward to:

  • Beautiful, well-maintained homes with a variety of styles and sizes
  • Access to top-rated schools in the Jefferson County Public School system
  • The Plainview Swim & Tennis Center, offering recreational activities for the whole family
  • Proximity to shopping, dining, and entertainment options along Hurstbourne Parkway and Shelbyville Road
  • A strong, active community with events and activities throughout the year
  • Well-preserved green spaces and tree-lined streets
  • Easy commute to downtown Louisville and other parts of the metro area

Ready to explore available properties in Plainview? We invite you to browse our curated selection of Plainview homes for sale. Our comprehensive listings showcase the best this community has to offer, from cozy starter homes to luxurious family estates.

Click here to view current Plainview homes for sale

Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, looking to upgrade, or considering downsizing, Plainview has something for everyone. Let us help you find your perfect home in this historic and thriving Louisville community.

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