In 2013 Kentucky Educational Television (KET) and the Kentucky chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) named Jacobs Hall Museum one of the ten best buildings in Kentucky, from among a group of fifty architecturally significant buildings in Kentucky.
Jacobs Hall was continuously, from 1857 until 1965, the residence for female deaf students enrolled at the first state residential school for the Deaf in Danville, founded in 1823 as the Kentucky Asylum for the Tuition of the Deaf and Dumb with the name changed to the Kentucky Institution for Deaf-Mutes and, in 1905, to the Kentucky School for the Deaf. Female students lived in about half of the living space of Jacobs Hall for 10 months of the year until after World War II, then two months straight with a weekend with parents, and later 1 month straight with a weekend with parents. By 1840 students enrolled for up to ten years, as long as they were making good progress. About 100 girls lived in Jacobs Hall by 1890.
On the right side of the building on each floor were apartments -- for the superintendent and his family (first and later second floors) and essential staff members. Successive KSD superintendents occupied this residence from 1857 until 2002.
Nineteenth and early 20th century census records list the students and superintendent as residents of the Kentucky Institution. We have a student card for each student who attended the school from 1823 to the present. Each card shows the student's years of attendance, status on leaving (graduate certificate, certificate of attendance, and other information.
The Museum has been open since 2007. Many of the rooms have been restored to their nineteenth century look and several are furnished as they were in the late 1800’s – dormitory rooms, superintendent’s quarters with two parlors, dining room, study, The furnishings are late Victorian, many donated by the descendants of John Jacobs (teacher and superintendent from 1826-1869).
Open Monday - Friday by Appointment
Closed Major Holidays
Tours by Appointment Only
Watch the website for special events and special tours.
Admission: Adults $5.00
6 -18 $1.00
Under 6 Free
For more information contact
Jacobs Hall Museum is located on the campus of Kentucky School for the Deaf on Second Street, three blocks south of Main Street. Museum parking is available behind Jacobs Hall.