"Soon after, I returned home to my family, with a determination to bring them as soon as possible to live in Kentucky, which I esteemed a second paradise, at the risk of my life and fortune.
Daniel Boone


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Governor William Owsley Home: Pleasant Retreat

Located on US 27 in Lancaster,Garrard County.

When William Owsley began building it in the early years of the 19th century, he was a young, up-and-coming lawyer. During the time he and his family lived in the home they called Pleasant Retreat, he was elected to two terms in the Kentucky House of Representatives; named to the state Court of Appeals, where he served for 15 years; and sent back to the House and then to the Senate. He and his wife, Elizabeth, also raised six children. And the house, a three-story brick structure in the Federal style, grew with the family and with its patriarch’s political ambitions.

Owsley moved his family to Frankfort around 1834, when Gov. James T. Morehead named him secretary of state. Soon Owsley himself was being talked about as a possible gubernatorial candidate. In 1843, he even had a new county named for him.

Nominated for governor by the Whigs in 1844, Owsley won a close election against a hero of the War of 1812. But the former occupant of Pleasant Retreat found life in the governor’s mansion not nearly as pleasant. Though he became known as a champion of public education (the one cause for which the fiscally conservative Owsley seemed willing to spend money), he drew controversy for the way he handled the selection and provisioning of volunteer companies for the Mexican War; for pardoning Delia Webster, who had been convicted of aiding and abetting runaway slaves; and for a bitter and very public dispute with his own secretary of state over political patronage. Leaving the governor’s office in 1848, he said, caused him “no emotions of regret.”

Gov. Owsley spent his retirement in Boyle County, where he died in 1862. Meanwhile, succeeding owners of Pleasant Retreat expanded it still further. Today it is open to the public for tours, and visitors can see portraits of the Owsley family as well as two other governors from Garrard County. Another outstanding feature is the dining-room wallpaper. Hand-painted in France, it depicts a large-scale stag hunt.

Source: Kentucky Life KET

Monday, November 24, 2008

Associate Justice Stanley F. Reed Of Maysville

Stanley F. Reed (1884 -1980), at the time of his death, was the longest lived Supreme Court Justice in American history. He lived in Maysville Kentucky before heading off to the University of Virginia to study law. He also studied law at Columbia University and later in France, but strangely he never actually obtained a law degree. In fact, he was the last person to serve as a Supreme Court Justice without possessing a law degree.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Duncan Tavern Paris,Kentucky

Duncan Tavern is a three-story stone tavern located in Paris that was built in 1788 by Major Joseph Duncan. In its early days it served as a gathering place for local citizens and early pioneers such as Daniel Boone and Simon Kenton.

It is the Kentucky Headquarters of the DAR.

Johnston Inn & Tavern Bourbon County

Johnston Inn is situated on US 460 in rural Bourbon County between Paris and Georgetown. In its heyday it was a busy tavern offering a respite for the weary traveller. It appeared on Filson's 1784 Map of Kentucky.

Robert Johnston, a Revolutionary War captain, was born in Virginia in 1749. He and his wife operated a tavern in their house here from 1796-1812. Located on what was the main road between Maysville and Lexington, this inn served stage and horseback passengers in its 30-foot tavern room with sleeping accommodations overhead.

Hopewell Presbyterian Church 1787

Old Hopewell church still holds Sunday services and is located on the Paris Pike (US 68) between Paris and Lexington in Bourbon County.

Hopewell, one of the oldest Presbyterian churches in Bourbon County, has held worship services since 1785. The first congregation included Dutch settlers. It was recognized by the Transylvania Presbytery in 1787. Original church was located near Grant's Fort, one mile from this site. After fort and church burned, the church was rebuilt here in 1823 and in 1904.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

St. Hubert's Episcopal Church, Clark County

A picturesque stone church of simple design stands in the heart of the rolling hunt country in Clark County. It is named St. Hubert in honor of the patron saint of hunters

Monday, November 10, 2008

History Of Guyn's Mill- Woodford County

The old mill (Circa 1840-1870)and blacksmith shop and residence (across the road), is located on the banks of Clear Creek in southern Woodford County.

It is the only documented water powered sawmill which still survives in Kentucky.Guyn's Mill was strategically positioned along the early trade routes between Lexington,Mundy's Landing (On the Kentucky River)and Harrodsburg.

Guyn's Mill,Woodford County

Guyn’s Mill was built circa 1850-1870 by William Rankin Guyn (1839-1927), adding on to the existing businesses the family owned. He was the grandchild of Robert Guyn (1744-1818) who was one of the first to settle this portion of the county. Over time, he helped to develop a bustling community, starting with a sawmill. William Guyn built the gristmill and blacksmith shop, operating them with the help of his brother Moses. Eventually, his children took over the two businesses, as the sawmill and general store, all owned by the Guyn family.The mill operated until 1920.

The old mill is allegedly haunted and if you look real close at the left of the building in the photo showing the creek you can see an apparition of an old man and to the right some see a little girl on a swing.The first photo shows the wooden cog wheel,beveled gearing and massive timber support framing in the basement of the old mill.

The B/W photos were taken in 1980

Located on Mundy's Landing/Pauls Mill Road near Troy,Kentucky of of KY 33.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Historic Home In Ruddle's Mills

Circa 1780

Ruddles Mills is the third oldest settlement in Kentucky and the oldest continuously inhabited community in the state. In the late 1700's there were four working mills in the village. Ruddles Mills was once considered as the location of the county seat of Bourbon County.

Ruddle's Mills Bourbon County Kentucky

Isaac Ruddle (1732-1812)is buried in the Mouth of Stoner Presbyterian Cemetery in Ruddle's Mills.

Captain Isaac Ruddell was a 18th century American Virginia State Line officer during the American Revolutionary War and Kentucky frontiersman. He was an officer commanding a company under BGEN George Rogers Clark (1777-1782). He was the founder of Ruddell's Station, one of the earliest settlements in Bourbon County, Kentucky. During the American Revolutionary War, the settlement was destroyed by a joint Canadian and Shawnee party under British officer Captain Henry Byrd in 1780. He and his family were held prisoner in Detroit for over two years before their release.

He was also a brother-in-law to Kentucky pioneers Isaac, Joseph and John Jacob Bowman. His grandson, John M. Ruddell, was a prominent Kentucky statesman and landowner.

Isaac Ruddle returned to Kentucky after the Revolutionary War and established a mill town a few miles upstream from the station he lost to Captain Henry Byrd and the Shawnee. Nestled in a valley at the confluence of Stoner and Hinkston Creeks, Ruddles Mills is still going, though in reduced circumstances. Other settlers didn’t fare so well. Some 200 were held at Chilicothe for 15 years. Two of Ruddle’s sons were adopted by the Shawnee and took native wives.