Cecil Dulin Wallace founded Boyle Landmark Trust in January 1971. Mrs. Wallace’s family home, the Cambus-Kenneth House, was won by Dr. Ephraim McDowell in a hand of poker.
Perryville became the first major project of the Boyle Landmark Trust when the board purchased many of the buildings along Merchant’s Row. Preservation and restoration of these buildings began with the help of the Perryville Preservation Association. Thanks to Boyle Landmark Trust, buildings like the Karrick-Parks House and Greens Drug Store are still standing today.
In 1984 the Willis Russell Historical Society was formed by Mrs. Wallace for the purpose of renovating the historic Willis Russell school property and eventually opening the house as a museum. This was the first black historical society in Boyle County. Renovations began in June 1984 with a Matching Funds Grant of $10,000. In 1985 The Boyle Landmark Trust and Joseph Morley, who owned the Willis Russell House property on Walnut Street in Danville, Kentucky, entered into an agreement for purchase of the property.
As her health began to fail, Mrs. Wallace’s passion for saving landmarks became dormant, along with the Boyle Landmark Trust. In 2000, the trust was revived through the work of the current board and has continued Mrs. Wallace’s work to revitalize structures in Boyle County. The Wilderness Road project, with the restoration of the Hemp Factory Office, was supported in 2003.
When the present board of the Boyle Landmark Trust realized that they were the owners of the Willis Russell House, the protection and restoration of this structure became the primary focus of the trust.
The board is now in the process of determining what other endangered historic sites in Boyle County should be brought to the attention of the public and are considering what the role of the Boyle Landmark Trust should be in leading the way for the preservation of important sites in Boyle County, Kentucky.