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13 > Image 13 of Famous homes in Kentucky

Part of Kentucky Works Progress Administration Publications

5s fiffvzaau A/mares 2 A g, 6'/MM' 7P6#z//=awy pg Page 8. A ?{l Liberty Hall in Frankfort is a splendid specimen of Georgian ji architecture. The house was designed by Thomas Jefferson and erected AQ in 1796 by John Brown for use as his home. It occupied an entire block lf in the section of Frankfort laid out by General James Wilkinson, a Qi pioneer military and political leader of Kentucky. The main structure {J was rectangular in shape and two stories in height. A twostoried ell 5] extension, lower in elevation, adjoined the rear of the building. There i lr was a finished attic and a basement which originally provided quarters =< for slaves. Q ] Erected three years prior to the marriage of its builder, Liberty t_; Hall first served as a home for the parents of John Brown and was named wx after a school over which the builder's father had presided in Virginia. j Qy Following his marriage to Margaretta Mason, of New York, Brown threw ig, wide the doors of his home which since has been ranked with the most fgY hospitable of Kentucky's countless mansions. Num- us and famed were the . guests upon whom this hospitality was bestowed. Thomas Jefferson James Q Madison, James Monroe, Aaron Burr, Andrew Jackson, and General LaFayette { were included in the list, and various incidents associated with the g visits of these callers have been retold with pride by Brown's des- T F endants. For example, the cup from which LaFayette drank his tea while E a guest at Liberty Hall has remained in the china cabinet of the Brown y ,Y* family, a treasured heirloom. LaFayette visited Kentucky during May, {i 1825, and was the guest of honor at a dinner served in the Public Square 1 ri at Frankfort. The meal was followed by a pretentious ball. Drawing away E, from the press of this elaborately staged affair, the French general re- QT laxed for an hour at Liberty Hall, where he was received by the hostess, Mrs. Margaretta Brown. i Q j The visit of Aaron Burr to Frankfort preceded but shortly an j Q accusation of treason against Burr. A reference to this visit is con- ; 5 tained in an excerpt from a letter written to his daughter by Burr, i i wherein he stated that he had been "magnificently lodged at the house of 1 Q John Brown." T xy The first bedroom on the right at the head of the stairs is a j spacious room with a very high ceiling and long windows. This is called I ff the "Ghost Room." The origin of the expression is as follows: A Mrs. Q; Vareck of New York was visiting at Liberty Hall and died there quite i suddenly. A daughter of the house, returning from finishing school, y _ later occupied the room in which Mrs. Vareck died. Sometime afterward { ?i the girl, in the dead of night, ran screaming from the room exclaiming 4; that she had seen a ghost in the form of a "Lady in Gray, as she } described her, and to this day the legend is still connected with Liberty if Hall. ji The exterior walls of the building, of solid brick, stand on a . > f brick foundation. The brick were burned on the site. The major partition Bt walls of the interior are also of brick; but the cross partitions are Vp, frame. The original plastering of these walls remains intact except where