The word “prospect,” as written in the dictionary, is a derivative of the Latin word prospectus, or ”view.” It also derives meaning from the French word prosier or to “look forward.” From the earliest formation of Jefferson County until the mid-1960s, Prospect was mostly land belonging to groups of farmers and to a few wealthy families who commuted to Louisville . The growth of the area wasn’t significant until the railroad came through around the early 1900s.
Just up the road on U.S. Highway 42 was the Prospect Store. Considered to be the center of town, the store, which was opened in 1911, served the community for some 52 years. Joe Snowden’s family owned and operated the store for that period until the Five Star mini-mart purchased the land on that corner location. It was noted that in the 1930s the store sold overalls to farmers and steaks to gentleman farmers. Three loaves of bread cost a quarter.
A resident named Henry Wallace, who owned nearly 600 acres of property on the north side of U.S. Highway 42, frequented the Prospect Store for many years. Instead of watching the store be demolished and cleared away, he bought it for one dollar and had it moved to his property across the road. It stands today and is called the Rose Island Apartments.
The interurban train was the main reason for population growth in the Prospect area between 1910 and 1934. Its regular route included hourly stops that brought goods in from Louisville as well as transporting farm products to market. The interurban train eventually stopped hourly service to the area but maintained a midnight run until service was discontinued.
Prospect’s modern-day origin is based on the combined developments of Hunting Creek subdivision, Hunting Creek Country Club, and Fox Harbor subdivision. Those individuals who first pioneered this area were genuinely concerned over being able to control the type of urban sprawl that had been witnessed since the mid-1960s. They wanted an area that continued to maintain the natural beauty that surrounded them and restrict over-commercialization.
The city of Prospect was incorporated in 1974 and applied for and received a Fourth Class city designation by the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 1979. That status allowed Prospect to create its own city government and provide specific city services that make Prospect a desirable area for many individuals and families to live.
In 2005, the city of Prospect became a Third Class city. This designation gives the final authority for development within
the city limits to the City. Citizens are members of the Mayor’s Advisory Council, Forestation Board, Ethics Committee, Parks and Recreation Committee and Library Committees