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Historic Homes of Kentucky

By Kathy Cummings

One of the ways we capture history in today’s society is the renovating of the buildings of yesteryear. Especially the homes of famous people. Regularly featured on these pages are such homes as Historic Locust Grove, Wickland Mansion in Bardstown, Kentucky and White Hall State Historic Site near Richmond, Kentucky.


Historic Locust Grove was built circa 1790 by William and Lucy Clark Croghan. It was home to the Croghan’s and here, as early settlers, they reared their family and farmed their land with the assistance of some 30 to 40 slaves. In 1809, they made welcome General George Rogers Clark, (Lucy’s brother) founder of Louisville and conqueror of the Northwest Territory, who lived at Locust Grove the last nine years of his life.

Wickland, the Home of Three Governors was built circa 1825-1828 and was the home of the Wickliffe Family. Charles A. Wickliffe was governor of Kentucky from 1839-1840. His son Robert C. Wickliffe was the last of the pre-war governors of Louisiana, serving 1856-1860. Finally, the elder Wickliffe's grandson, John Crepps Wickliffe ( J.C.W.) Beckham became governor of Kentucky after the assassination of Governor Goebel in 1900.


Riverside, at the Farnsley-Moremen Landing was built circa 1837, along the Ohio River.It was named Riverside by Gabriel Farnsley, builder and first occupant. Farnsley lived there until his death in 1849. The house became home to the Moremen family in 1862. The Moremen family maintained ownership of the house until they sold it to Jefferson County Fiscal Court in 1988.

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The William Whitley House is known as the first brick house built in Kentucky, It still stands welcoming visitors as it has since it was completed in 1794. Whitley chose well, when he picked the site for his home and named itportsman’s Hill. Built of brick made on the property, this house welcomed visitors along the Wilderness Road and today is preserved as a state historic site in Kentucky.

White Hall - Revolutionary War veteran General Green Clay first built his home Clermont in 1798-99. His son Cassius M. Clay went on to rebuild around the original structure in the 1860s and renamed the house White Hall. The house remained in the Clay family until 1968 when family members donated the home to the state of Kentucky

Holly Rood, also known as The Clark Mansion is located in Winchester, Kentucky. Completed in 1814 it was home to Kentucky’s 12th Governor James Clark and named for the home of Mrs. Clark’s father, who had named his home in Virginia for the country estate of Mary Queen of Scots, Scotland Today the property has been restored and is managed by The Friends of Holly Rood.

Most of the above homes have been featured on this website because they host period events on their grounds. Each site is linked to an event page and also to their individual websites. Holly Rood is the exception - so we are now offering:

Feature on Holly Rood

Watch for upcoming features on other historic Kentucky Homes.

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