Greenville is privileged to be the home of the Muhlenberg County Public Library’s Thistle Cottage, formerly known as the Duncan Center Museum & Art Gallery. The historic 1912 home was built by William Graham Duncan, Owner of the Duncan Coal Company, for a mere $10,000. It is a beauty to behold, with its Spanish mission style design and red tiled roof. Great detail was given to every aspect of the home, which today is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The home was donated to the city of Greenville in 1986 by Hamilton R. Duncan, Sr. and it officially became the Duncan Center Museum and Art Gallery in 1989. The Duncan House then became Muhlenberg County’s first historical museum and art gallery. In late 2013, the Duncan home was gifted to the Muhlenberg County Public Library by the City of Greenville.
The History and Genealogy Annex moved to the lower level of Thistle Cottage in 2018, creating a full-service museum and archives facility all in one building.
After taking over the building in 2013, MCPL opted to change the name of the museum & art gallery to “Thistle Cottage”. The name change lends to the history of the Duncan home as Mr. Duncan Sr., builder of the home, lovingly nick-named the house “Thistle Cottage” as homage to his home country of Scotland.
The art gallery showcases work from local artisans as well as works from all over and features a rotating exhibit schedule so you will always see something new! Thistle Cottage is also home to W.G. Duncan Coal Company Museum which contains a wealth of coal history in equipment, pictures, books, documents, ledgers from and about western Kentucky coal mines and much more.
The purpose of Thistle Cottage is to preserve the art, history and culture of Muhlenberg County and Kentucky and to provide opportunities to see and experience the visual arts. It also provides residents and visitors alike access to historical collections.
Thistle Cottage is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., as well as special events throughout the year. Appointments are strongly recommended to access the historical archives and research room. Walk-in availability of the historical archives may be available but is not guaranteed due to staffing.
The front section of the building is also available to rent (outside of normal business hours) for a small fee.
Please call 270-338-4760 for more information about Thistle Cottage.