Favorite thing: I love to take photos of historic buildings and identify them with their histories. I was disappointed in the State Park because photography wasn't allowed and I thought the connection with Stephen Foster was tenuous at best. Although it was very cold, I did wander around the Bardstown Historic District, which is a registered historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. The district consists of twenty-six blocks with a total of 279 properties. I had to rely on the posted signs as the Visitor's Center in the old courthouse was not open and the trolley was not running. Prominent architecture located within the district include the Cobblestone Path, Nelson County Jail, Old L & N Station, Old Talbott Tavern, and Spalding Hall, all individually on the National Register, and the historic old Nelson County Courthouse. I did get photos of the Courthouse and the Tavern. And I also photographed the library and the Harrison-Smith house which is apparently now (2013) for sale. Realtor's listing for the house includes:
The west limestone section of the home is the oldest, and the east brick section was added around 1820. The home served as a Civil War Union recruiting site during the war and was also home to several doctors that lived and worked in the property. Perhaps most well-known was Dr. Burr Harrison, who with Dr. Walter Brashear in 1806 made medical history in surgical hip-joint amputation. The medallion cornice unites the homes exceptional facade. Mature trees and recently added courtyard adds charm and outdoor living/entertainment space, while an enclosed patio offers a secret oasis. Step inside and you are beckoned with 3 stories of finished living space, stunning hardwood floors throughout, a handsome staircase, tall ceilings & windows, and 5 fully functional fireplaces
The sign in the photo says:
"One of the oldest houses in Bardstown, the west side stone portion has to date from before 1795. On one side of the 'settled lots', improved by Samuel Duncan under the lottery terms of settlement, it was the residence of both William Pope Duval and his brother-in-law, Dr. Burr Harrison after 1800. In the 'crayon papers', author Washington Irving recorded the early 'real-life' adventures of young Duval. One famous incident, "The Stolen Kiss", which ultimately led to his marriage to Nancy Hynes wad believed by family members to have probably taken place at his home. William Pope Duval went on to become a famous lower and member of the Pleiades Club, famous for its renowned members. In 1822, Duval was appointed the first territorial governor of Florida by President Monroe, re-appointed under Adams and Jackson. After 1860, Dr Alfred Smith practicd medicine here with an office on thewest end of the house. His descendants continued in the home as residents through the year 2000."
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- Historical Travel
Favorite thing: I had hoped to be able to do the trolley tour (tickets available at the Welcome Center, One Court Square, Bardstown, KY 40004, 800-638-4877 or 502-348-4877), or the Walking Tour (also based at the Welcome Center) where self-guided tour maps of Historic downtown Bardstown were supposed to be available. But since the Welcome Center was closed, we were disappointed in all respects.
Things that we could have seen (on a Sunday in March), but did not were
Abbey of Gethsemani Visitor Center
Trappist, KY 40051, 502-549-3117. Hours are Mon.and Fri., 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; Tues.-Thurs., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sun., noon-4 p.m.
Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral
310 W. Stephen Foster Ave., Bardstown; KY 40004, 502-348-3126. Open year round. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.; Sun., 1- 5 p.m. First Catholic cathedral west of the Allegheny Mountains, the church was built in 1816-1819.
Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest
Hwy. 245, Clermont, KY, 40110, 502-955-8512 Open 7 a.m. until sunset daily except Christmas and New Year's day. Free admission, Mon.-Fri.; $5 per vehicle on weekends, holidays.
Civil War Museum of the Western Theatre
310 E. Broadway, Bardstown, KY 40004; 502-349-0291 Contact: Joe Masterson. Open Mar.-Dec.1, daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Four Roses Distillery
624 Lotus Rd., Cox's Creek, KY 40013; 502-543-2264 Contact: Mike Bullock. See bottling done by hand and smell sweet aging bourbon in white oak barrels. Gift shop and free private tours Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Jim Beam American Outpost
Hwy. 245, Clermont, KY 40110; 502-543-9877. Contact: Doris Calhoun. Open year round. Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1-4 p.m.
Maker's Mark Distillery
3350 Burk's Springs Road, Loretto, KY 40037; 270-865-2099. Contact: Sydina Bradshaw. Open year round. Mon.-Sat., 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30-3:30 p.m. Tours are hourly on the half hour
Fondest memory: Chapeze House
107 East Stephen Foster, Bardstown Kentucky 40004; call for ticket- local 349-0127; toll free 800-704-4917
Old Bardstown Village
Museum Row, 310 E. Broadway, Bardstown, KY 40004, 502-349-0291. Open Mar.-Nov., daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
War Memorial of Mid-America
Museum Row, 202 E. Broadway, Bardstown, KY 40004, 502-349-0291. Contact: Joe Masterson. Open Mar.-Nov., daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Wickland - Home of Three Governors
Experience a self-guided architectual tour of Wickland-Home of Three Governors. Considered one of the best Federal-style houses in Kentucky, it was built about 1825-1828. Exhibits focusing on the three governors, the Civil War and black history are also available. Tour hours are Friday-Sunday, 12pm-4pm; Monday 9am-1pm. Admission Fees are Adults $3, Seniors (55 and older) $2, Children (ages 6-14) $2, Children (under 6) free. Contact 502-507-0741, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wildlife/Natural History Museum
Museum Row, 310 E. Broadway, Bardstown, KY 40004, 502-349-0291 Open Mar.-Nov., daily, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Women of The Civil War Museum
Museum Row, 310 E. Broadway, Bardstown, KY 40004, 502-349-0291 Contact: Joe Masterson. Open Mar.-Nov., daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Road Trip
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gkitzmil's General Tip
Fondest memory: Bardstown is BEAUTIFUL, small town America.
Bardtown has beautiful homes, Kentucky history, the Stephen Foster Story, a Civil War Museum, and enough bourbon history to make the average person's head spin!
Friends and I gather each year for the Kentucky Bourbon Festival www.kybourbonfestival.com
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