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Historic House Museums in Kentucky

We try to keep this list of historic house museums for Kentucky current, but it is best to check directly with the museums for their hours and other information. If you know of a historic house museum in Kentucky that should be listed here, please use our submission form to let us know about it.

Bardstown

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Bardstown Historical Museum

114 North Fifth Street
Bardstown, KY  40004
Phone: (502) 348-2999

Year Built: 1826
Admission Price: Call
Hours: See their website

SPALDING HALL (circa 1826) first served as St. Joseph College and Seminary, then as a hospital for both North and South during the Civil War. The Sisters of Charity ran an orphanage for boys around the turn of the century. Finally the Xaverian Brothers established St. Joe Preparatory School (1911-1968). Presently the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History and the Bardstown Historical Museum occupy the main floor of Spalding Hall.

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My Old Kentucky Home State Park

501 E. Stephen Foster Ave.
Bardstown, KY  40004
Phone: (502) 348-3502

Year Built: 1795
Admission Price: See their website
Hours: See their website

The house that came to symbolize Kentucky’s gracious hospitality and according to legend inspired Stephen Collins Foster to write his immortal song, “My Old Kentucky Home” is one of the most cherished historical sites in the commonwealth. Built between 1795 and 1818, Federal Hill, the home of Judge John Rowan, became a part of the Kentucky State Parks System on February 26, 1936. Located near Bardstown in Nelson County, the house and estate had been the home of the Rowan family for three generations, spanning a period of 120 years.

Bowling Green

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Riverview at Hobson Grove

1100 West Main Avenue
Bowling Green, KY  42101
Phone: (270) 843-5565

Year Built: 1872
Admission Price: Adults $7, Children $2.50, Military $5, Family (2
Hours: 10am-4pm Tues-Sat, 1-4p Sun, Closed January

Italianate home of Atwood and Juliet "Julia" van Meter Hobson, was so named because of its proximity to the Barren River. Construction of the hilltop home began in the late 1850s, but was temporarily halted by the Civil War. The partially completed home became a munitions magazine while the Confederates held Bowling Green during the winter of 1861-62. The house was finally completed in 1872. Riverview is a classic example of Italianate architecture with arched windows, deep eaves with ornamental brackets, and a cupola. The house also has painted ceilings in the parlors and an oculus. Open for tours and special events throughout the year.

Burlington

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Dinsmore Homestead

5656 Burlington Pike
Burlington, KY  41005
Phone: (859) 586-6117

Year Built: 1842
Admission Price: Adults $5.00, Seniors $3.00, Children $2.00
Hours: Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

1842 house and farm with important associations with American figures.

Danville

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McDowell House Museum

125 South Second Street
Danville, KY  40422
Phone: (859) 236-2804

Year Built: 1792
Admission Price: Adults $7, Seniors $5, Students $3, Children $2
Hours: 10-12, 1-4pm Mon-Sat, 2-4pm Sun

The McDowell House was built in three stages. The brick ell was constructed c. 1792-1795. Dr. McDowell purchased this property in late 1802. He had the front, clapboard portion added in 1803-1804. The small brick office to the left of the back porch was added in 1820, as was the formal garden. The house was remodeled at the same time.

Elizabethtown

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Lincoln Heritage House

Blue Heron Way
Elizabethtown, KY  42701
Phone: () - • Toll Free: (800) 437-0092

Year Built: 1789
Admission Price: Call
Hours: 10am-5pm, Tue-Sun, Jun 1st to Oct 1st

The Lincoln Heritage House was restored to perpetuate the memory of a man, humble in origin and deed who probably gave not a single thought to history or to the consequences of the events of the age in which he lived, but who, nevertheless, will go down in the annals of this country as the father of a giant of a man who changed the course of history in the United States for all time to come. Thomas Lincoln was an ordinary man and though he was much maligned by historians and biographers of his renowned son, President Abraham Lincoln, he was a respected, esteemed, substantial citizen of Hardin County.

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The Brown-Pusey House

128 North Main Street
Elizabethtown, KY  42701
Phone: (270) 765-2515

Year Built: 1825
Admission Price: Free
Hours: 10am-4pm Tue-Sat

Built in 1825 by John Y. Hill as his home, this warm stately old home was for many years the Hill House, a hotel operated by "Aunt Beck" Hill. Among the guests at the Hill House were General George Armstrong Custer and his wife Elizabeth Custer. General Custer's assignment in Elizabethtown was to combat the influence of the Ku Klux Klan and the illegal distilleries. Another notable visitor to the Hill House was the Swedish Nightingale, Jenny Lind, who sang on the front steps for a rather large crowd.

Elkton

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Green River Academy

204 Goebel Avenue
Elkton, KY  42220
Phone: (646) 719-1022

Year Built: 1835
Admission Price: $10.00
Hours: Currently by appointment only for renovations

The Academy Preservation Society operates the Federal-Greek Revival 1835 Green River Academy estate. The organization advocates modern preservation technology and uses adaptive use techniques to build an educational database for historic sites worldwide. The building originally served as one of the first Girl's schools in Kentucky and was later adapted to a public school, private residence, an apartment complex and a storage facility. The building retains many of its early Federal interior features and later interior Victorian alterations. The exterior of the building is in its original condition.

Frankfort

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Liberty Hall Historic Site

202 Wilkinson Street
Frankfort, KY  40601
Phone: (502) 227-2560 • Toll Free: (888) 516-5101

Year Built: 1796
Admission Price: Adults $4, Seniors $3, Youth $1
Hours: 12, 1:30, 3pm Tue-Sat

Located in historic downtown Frankfort on the banks of the Kentucky River, Liberty Hall Historic Site was the home of one of Kentucky's most important families. The site contains two houses: Liberty Hall (1796) built by John Brown, one of Kentucky's first United States Senator and the Orlando Brown House (1835), designed by Gideon Shryock, and owned by Senator Brown's second son. Liberty Hall is a National Historic Landmark.

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The Old Governor's Mansion

420 High Street
Frankfort, KY  40601
Phone: (502) 564-5500

Year Built: 1797
Admission Price: Call
Hours: By Appt.

Built in 1797-8 in the Federal style, the home was first occupied by Kentuky's second governor, James Garrard and his family. From 1798 until 1914, thirty-five governors and their families lived and entertained here, with James McCreary as the last governor to reside at the mansion. The mansion served as the office of the Governor until the 1872 Annex building was constructed next to the Old State Capitol in downtown Frankfort. For several years even after the Governor’s office relocated to the Old Capitol Annex, the Mansion remained a work space for the governor.

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Vest-Lindsey House

401 Wapping Street
Frankfort, KY  40601
Phone: (502) 564-6980

Year Built:
Admission Price: Call
Hours: Call

The Vest-Lindsey House, located in Frankfort's historic Corner of Celebrities neighborhood, is clearly one of Frankfort's oldest homes, possibly dating from 1800 to 1820. Owners of the property made important changes to the house over the years. Originally constructed in the Federal style, the Vest-Lindsey house took on many Victorian features as did many homes of the time. The Commonwealth of Kentucky obtained the house in 1965. Since then, two major renovations have occurred and have returned the house back to an approximation of its original appearance.

Georgetown

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Ward Hall

1782 Frankfort Road
Georgetown, KY  40325
Phone: (859) 396-4257

Year Built: 1853
Admission Price: Adults $5, Children $3
Hours: See their website

This 1853 Greek Revival mansion features marble mantles, Corinthian columns and frescoed ceilings.

Harrodsburg

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Morgan Row

220-222 South Chiles Street
Harrodsburg, KY  40330
Phone: (859) 734-5985

Year Built: 1807
Admission Price: Call
Hours: Call

Built between 1807 and 1830 by Squire Joseph Morgan, this row house is the oldest one standing in the state and the first row house west of the Allegheny Mountains. The Harrodsburg Historical Society carefully restored the northernmost section to serve as a museum and extensive genealogy research library. Numerous files and records, concerning history and other topics relative to life in Mercer County from 1774 to present, may also be found.

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Old Fort Harrod State Park

100 S. College St.
Harrodsburg, KY  40330
Phone: (859) 734-3314

Year Built: 1813
Admission Price: Call
Hours: Call

The reconstructed fort gives visitors a glimpse of life on the Kentucky frontier. The 22-acre park contains the fort, the Mansion Museum, a Greek Revival house built in 1813, the Lincoln Marriage Temple, a brick structure that houses the cabin where Abraham Lincoln’s parents, Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks, were married, the Pioneer Cemetery, the oldest burial site for Kentucky’s first settlers, and the George Rogers Clark Memorial dedicated in 1934 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to commemorate those pioneers who opened up the western frontier for settlement. The Mansion Museum contains pioneer books, documents, musical instruments, and tools.

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Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill

3501 Lexington Road
Harrodsburg, KY  40330
Phone: () - • Toll Free: (800) 734-5611

Year Built:
Admission Price: See their website
Hours: See their website

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill is America’s largest restored Shaker community, with 34 carefully restored buildings and 3,000 acres of preserved farmland. The village is also home to more than 25 miles of striking rock fences, the most extensive collection remaining in Kentucky today.

Hodgenville

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Abraham Lincoln Birthplace Nat. Historical Park

2995 Lincoln Farm Road
Hodgenville, KY  42748
Phone: (270) 358-3137

Year Built:
Admission Price: Free
Hours: See their website

The Park focuses on Lincoln’s life in Kentucky. The Birthplace Unit demonstrates Lincoln's humble beginnings with a symbolic birth cabin enshrined within a neo-classic Memorial Building. The Boyhood Home Unit at Knob Creek Farm was home to Lincoln during his formative years. Events in Kentucky helped mold a young boy into the man who became the nation’s sixteenth President.

Lexington

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Hunt-Morgan House

253 Market Street
Lexington, KY  40507
Phone: (859) 253-0362

Year Built: 1814
Admission Price: Adults $7, Senior $6, Students $4
Hours: See their website

Built in 1814, the Federal style Hunt-Morgan House has many beautiful architectural features, including the Palladian window with fan and sidelights that grace its front façade. In 1955, the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation was formed to save the home from impending demolition. The organization restored the home to its Federal appearance and now operates the house as a museum.

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Mary Todd Lincoln House

578 W. Main St.
Lexington, KY  40507
Phone: (859) 233-9999

Year Built: 1803
Admission Price: Adults $9, Children $4
Hours: See their website

The girlhood home of Abraham Lincoln's wife was built in 1803. The restored Georgian style home is furnished in period.

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Waveland State Historic Site

225 Waveland Museum Ln.
Lexington, KY  40514
Phone: (859) 272-3611

Year Built: 1848
Admission Price: Adults $7, Seniors $6, Students $4
Hours: Call

Antebellum house with three original outbuildings - slave quarters, smokehouse and ice house. Guided tours focus on the everyday lives of family and slaves who lived and worked at Waveland.

Louisville

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Conrad-Caldwell House Museum

1402 St. James Court
Louisville, KY  40208
Phone: (502) 636-5023

Year Built:
Admission Price: Call
Hours: Call

A magnificent Richardsonian Mansion on St. James Court. The finest in the city. Also known as "Conrad's Castle," this is one of the most stunning of Old Louisville's houses and defines Richardsonian Romanesque architecture. The house was built for Theophilus Conrad, a Frenchman (Alsace) who made his fortune in the tanning business.

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Farmington Historic Plantation

3033 Bardstown Road
Louisville, KY  40205
Phone: (502) 452-9920

Year Built: 1815
Admission Price: Adults $9, Seniors $8, Children $4
Hours: Tue-Sat

Farmington was built between 1815 and 1816 for John (1772-1840) and Lucy Fry (1788-1874) Speed. Both of them came from wealthy Virginia families that moved to Kentucky in the last decades of the 1700s. John Speed's father, Captain James Speed, fought in the Revolutionary War and was badly injured. Like many others, he sought to make his fortune in land speculation in the newly opened territory west of the Appalachian mountains. In 1782, he brought his young family and his slaves over the Wilderness Road and settled near Danville, Kentucky.

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Locust Grove

561 Blankenbaker Lane
Louisville, KY  40207
Phone: (502) 897-9845

Year Built: 1790
Admission Price: Adults $8, Seniors $7, Children $4
Hours: 10am-4:30pm Mon-Sat, 1-4:30pm Sun

The ca. 1790 Georgian mansion, restored and furnished to its original appearance and situated on 55 rolling acres just six miles up river from downtown Louisville, tells the story of its builders, William and Lucy Clark Croghan.

Paducah

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Whitehaven Welcome Center

Hwy 45, I24 Exit 7
Paducah, KY  42001
Phone: () -

Year Built: 1860
Admission Price: Free
Hours: 1-4pm daily

Whitehaven is a majestic landmark cherished by the people of Paducah and the surrounding areas. The original mansion has been around since the 1860's, and throughout it's years has received many additions. This magnificent landmark home along I-24 near Paducah, Kentucky serves as a Tourist Welcome Center. Rescued from possible destruction in 1981 by Paducah Community College, the estate home survived and in March 1984 was listed on the National Register of Historic Placed by the United States Department of Interior.

Paris

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Duncan Tavern Historic Center

323 High Street
Paris, KY  40361
Phone: (859) 987-1788

Year Built:
Admission Price: Adults $8, Seniors $6, Children $2
Hours: 1:30pm Wed-Sat, Apr to mid Dec

Duncan Tavern, built in 1788, is one of the finest examples of an eighteenth century early settlement home later used as a tavern in America. Constructed of native limestone, it was built by Joseph Duncan, an officer in the Revolutionary War, and as a tavern went under the sign "The Goddess of Liberty." The oldest standing tavern in Kentucky was a gathering place for such pioneers as Daniel Boone, Simon Kenton, James Smith "first rebel of the Revolution," Peter Houston and Michael Stoner.

Princeton

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Adsmore House & Gardens

304 N Jefferson Street
Princeton, KY  42445
Phone: (270) 365-3114

Year Built: 1850
Admission Price: Adults $7, Seniors $6, Children $2
Hours: 11am - 4pm Tue-Sat

The former residence of the Smith-Garret families, the 1850s mansion is decorated with various furnishings through the year.

Richmond

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White Hall State Historic Site

500 White Hall Shrine Road
Richmond, KY  40475
Phone: (859) 623-9178

Year Built: 1798
Admission Price: Call
Hours: Call

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. The state then purchased 13.5 of the original 2000 acres that surrounded the mansion. After much renovation and preservation the home was opened to the public as a state historic site in 1971.

Victorian Preservation Association - P.O. Box 586 - San Jose, CA 95106-0586 - Email:info@vpa.org

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