Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Repairs Made At The Mansion Museum

The Mansion Museum at Old Fort Harrod has received some much needed repairs recently thanks to very kind donations from both the James Harrod Trust and the Friends of Fort Harrod. JHT paid Lanham & Sons roofing to repair some flashing troubles on the roof as well as Julius Schnurr & Sons to repair the plaster in several locations, including one ceiling that had completely fallen. Friends of Fort Harrod then donated funds to purchase paint and hire a professional painter to finish the project.  Officials from both the Kentucky Heritage Council and Parks Facilities Management gave assistance and input on the project. “The James Harrod Trust appreciates the importance of the Mansion Museum's heritage to local and state history. It is our mission and goal to make sure these treasures are not lost, as well as kept in good repair. It is a beautiful house with extraordinary woodwork,” said Helen Dedman, with the James Harrod Trust; David Coleman added, “ This project is a great example of several different organizations all coming together to accomplish a common goal." 

For more information about The Mansion Museum at Old Fort Harrod: http://parks.ky.gov/parks/recreationparks/fort-harrod/default.aspx

Pictured are Jerry Sampson, with the James Harrod Trust, and David Coleman, with Old Fort Harrod and the Friends of Fort Harrod.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Pawling House--A Message From Our President

The Pawling House, circa 1828
May 27,  2013

      For almost 2 years the James Harrod Trust has been "looking" for a an historic property that needs to be restored. Our criteria was affordability, amount of historic fiber still left in the property, feasibilty and that the restoration would make a difference in the location. We considered at least 10 properties but finally decided on the Pawling House. Mission accomplished by the diligent effort of board members Seth Singleton, Matt Singleton and Ted Dean. Yay, I think!

     First we got the windows boarded up with plywood and plexiglass. Thank you to Robert and Toni Preston who installed it. Right after we bought the house rocks were thrown through the front windows! Some welcoming present. 
Next we tackled the garbage left in the house and garage--3 loads (full!) to the landfill.  We still have a freezer, heater and wet carpet to get out!

      We plan to apply for tax credits from the Kentucky Heritage Council so staff member Jen Williamson came to visit the property. She agreed that we own a very interesting house. The more you investigate, the more you questions you have--when was addition put on, what did original porch look like, was the addition once a porch, is there a basement or just a crawl space? And more! Jen did determine that the original roof was cedar shake and we should try to replace it with synthetic shake as well as leave the addition on the house.

     The roof is almost like a sieve--water runs right through it even after a patch was put over "the big hole."  So now we are getting bids for the roof which will basically have to be torn off and completely rebuilt. It certainly will not be cheap! But once it is dry we will begin to repair chimneys, fascia boards and hopefully keep Old Man Winter out. Water and moisture can be so damaging! 

Watch our progress and help us if you can!

Helen Dedman, JHT President

Thursday, October 10, 2013

JHT Purchased The Pawling House

The James Harrod Trust recently purchased the Pawling House and has plan to make restorations to save this important, historic structure. Below is a "This Place Matters" article written by James Harrod Trust's very own historian, Amalie Preston.

This Place Matters
The Pawling House
The Pawling House
September 6, 2013

The brick house at the northeast corner of College and Factory Streets has been a fixture in Harrodsburg for a long time.  It was constructed on in-lot # 130 in the original town plat sometime before 1828.  We know this because on 4 September 1828 Dr. William Robertson made a deed for the property to William Pawling for a certain parcel of ground “on which the said Pawling’s brick residence is now erected.”  This was in the day when a man’s word was as good as his bond, and Pawling had apparently built his home without benefit of a legal deed to the property!  Dr. William Pawling may have practiced his profession at the house.  Among the personal property he mortgaged in 1831 are his medical library, medicines, and shop furniture.  After several years of financial struggle, perhaps brought on by the nation’s economic downturn in the 1820s, Dr. Pawling sold the property and moved to Danville where he continued to practice medicine until his death in 1872.   

The house was and is a fine home, built with a central hallway flanked by parlors on either side.  As with the better homes of the day, the front is laid in Flemish Bond with every course of brick alternating headers and stretchers, and it sports an impressive array of five chimneys.  The house shared the street with other great homes such as the Christopher Chinn House and with businesses such as the cotton carding and spinning factory, a carriage shop, and even a “racepath” for horse racing in downtown Harrodsburg.  Factory Street took its name from these industries.

In its 185 years of existence, the house has changed hands many times rarely staying with one owner longer than fifteen years.  This rapid turnover with use as rental property has been a major contributing factor to the present condition of the house.  The James Harrod Trust is the 31st owner of the Pawling House.  Its architecture, its connection to the early history of Harrodsburg, and its role as a visual anchor in the historical vista of Factory Street make this an important structure.


*Author & Researcher: Amalie Preston

Thursday, September 19, 2013

10th Annual James Harrod Trust "History Underfoot" Cemetery Tour

The James Harrod Trust is excited to announce the 10th Annual James Harrod Trust "History Underfoot" Cemetery Tour at the Spring Hill Cemetery this weekend!!

The tour, co-sponsored by The Harrodsburg Herald, begins at 6:30PM on Friday and Saturday, September 20 & 21, 2013, at the Spring Hill Cemetery (North Greenville Street Harrodsburg, KY.)

 Tickets will be sold at the entrance to the cemetery and are $5 each. The tours are staggered. This "edutainment" event is billed as being enjoyable for the whole family.

The James Harrod Trust Cemetery Tour offers visitors a unique and fun opportunity to learn about the history of the state's oldest settlement and the people who lived, loved, fought and died in the community.

“The night is about remembering their lives and learning about the trials, tribulations, the joy and the sorrow that our ancestors endured." -Jerry Sampson

This year’s cast and characters includes:

  • Doris Bartleston who will portray Diadema Wilson, wife of Joseph Wilson. They were both long-time residents of Cornishville Street (the house is still standing). A former slave, Diadema reared a successful, well-known family. 

  • Annie Denny will portray Anna Nelson Shelby Magoffin, wife of Beriah Magoffin, who was the 21st Governor of Kentucky. She was the granddaughter of Kentucky's first and fifth governor, Isaac Shelby. Ten of the couple's children survived infancy. 

  • Amalie Preston who will portray Jane McAfee, the woman for whom the local Daughters of the American Revolution was named. The DAR name is fitting because she had the unusual experience of having five sons fight in the American Revolution. A native of Ireland, she endured great hardship to make this area her home, after leaving the safety of Botetourt County, VA, and traveling 40 days by pack horse over a mere bridle path to what is today Mercer County, KY, while fearing attacks by Native Americans. And, that is just part of her story. 

  • Jerry Sampson who will portray Charles Geffinger, a local jeweler who had a serious fall on Main Street that ended his successful career as a jeweler. He was survived by his daughter, Hazel Geffinger, and his well known grandson, Jimmy Donovan. Sampson currently resides in Geffinger’s former Harrodsburg home. 

  • Richard Stallings who will portray M. L. Forsythe, a medical missionary to Korea who survived a violent attack. 

Don't forget to visit our webpage by clicking here!

For additional information, contact the Harrodsburg/Mercer County Tourist Commission at 859-734-2364, Jerry Sampson at 859-734-7829, or Helen Dedman at 859-734-3381.

Members of the Cemetery Tour Committee include: Jerry Sampson, Carolyn Crump, Terry White and Rosalind Turner.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sign Up For E-News!

James Harrod Trust now offers the ability to sign up for e-news. This is a convenient way to receive notifications of upcoming events provided by James Harrod Trust via e-mail, whether you are a James Harrod Trust member or are simply interested in our upcoming events.

Please feel free to subscribe by visiting our WEBSITE to enter your e-mail address in the subscription box near the top of the page or on our BLOG by entering your e-mail address in the subscription box on the right column. Also, there is a subscription blog below within this post.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

For The Love Of Preservation

By: Helen Dedman, chair of James Harrod Trust, local preservation group

To adapt an old adage, “it takes a village to preserve a town.”  Great preservation partnerships have been formed in the last few months.  Hopefully many of you read of the partnership of several preservation groups from Central Kentucky to purchase Waveland in Boyle County.  This wonderful house is reputed to be the last truly good example of Georgian architecture in the Bluegrass.  Preservation Kentucky, our statewide non-profit preservation organization in Frankfort, Bluegrass Trust in Lexington, James Harrod Trust, and the Jess Correll family from Stanford agreed to donate funds making sure the house was purchased to be saved, not demolished.  It was a “tense” auction with several bidders but in the end it seemed both bidders were preservationists.  An agreement was made that the preservation groups would buy it, with Bluegrass Trust (BGT) holding the deed, and BGT would in turn attach a historic easement to deed, protecting the property, so that the other preservationist could buy and restore the property—a win, win!

Just as important is the partnership of Friends of the Fort and the James Harrod Trust.  The wonderful Mansion Museum was in need of roof repairs.  The Trust agreed to fund the repairs using a local roofer.  Another partnership—this young businessman put copper flashing on with no extra charge because he loves the Fort and the work of the James Harrod Trust. 

The partnership of the Trust and the Harrodsburg Historical Society organizing a Dry Stone Conservancy workshop sponsored by the Harrodsburg/Mercer County Tourist Commission was another success story.  Volunteer stone masons worked on the rock wall around the Old Mud Meeting House cemetery one Saturday in May.  Great strides were made that day.  But that wonderful volunteer spirit didn’t stop that day—a local stone mason who attended the workshop continues to repair the wall in his free time because “he feels it is important.”  Another volunteer from that workshop, who happens to be a roofer, asked if he could come back to put a tarp in the old schoolhouse at the site so that it would keep the rotting sun damage to a minimum.  It was done last week.  Don’t you love it?!

And the Trust could not do without another local volunteer who maintains Greenville Springs and McAfee Cemetery, properties owned by JHT.  He does an amazing job says it is “his contribution to the preservation community.” 

I haven’t named names because I wouldn’t want to “compromise” their positions but it is rewarding to be associated with such humble folks. 

We all do our part to preserve and maintain our heritage and community but sometimes the “unsung heroes” need to be recognized—you know who you are.  Thank you!

Old Mud Meeting House Lot

Old Mud Meeting House Cemetery

Sunday, June 9, 2013

JHT Helped To Save Waveland!!

Waveland House Has Been Saved With The Help of JHT!!

When built, Waveland lied within the Mercer County boundaries.

The JHT was instrumental in seeking private donors to help fund a consortium, between the James Harrod Trust and the Bluegrass Trust, to purchase the property.

There will be more information/details to follow.