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Image 21 of Famous homes in Kentucky

Part of Kentucky Works Progress Administration Publications

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l Page 16. Q intrepid Indian fighter. The exterior brick walls were laid in Flemish bond upon a foundation of native stone. A variation in the color of the p brick was employed to produce a diamond pattern in these walls. The initials of Whitley appeared over the front door and those of his wife over the back door of the house, through the use of the varicolored brick. Brick and frame partitions divided the interior. The floors ” were wooden, ash and yellow pine of random width. The roof was of frame _ construction, covered with wooden shingles. The basement floors were ` earthen. Two layers of wood with a heavy sheet of iron between were _ used in the construction of each door. Elaborately carved, the doors P were swung on leather hinges. The windows were set more than six feet · above the level of the ground floor in order that Indians would be unable ¤ to shoot effectively into the rooms. An added precaution was the ` construction of a removable plank on the stairway leading to the top ] y floor. By removal of this plank, access to a secret hiding place was · available. _ The stairway in the lower hall had a hand—carved railing with the I newel post in Italian harp design. Thirteen lower steps leading to a landing were symbolic of the Thirteen Colonies. The parlor also was _ adorned with hand—carved paneling. Over the mantel in this room were 1 thirteen small panels, again symbolic of the Thirteen Colonies. The attic originally was used as a ballroom and several times, as a court- I room. Colonel Whitley had surveyed and preempted large tracts of land in the vicinity and the recorded manner of payment for construction is peculiar to the house. To one man, a Mr. Lewis, for the brick and I masonry work he gave five hundred acres of land. To a Mr. Swope, for A the woodwork and carving, went another large tract in payment. This carving, with an eagle’s head and olive branch as the motif, has become A noted for its symbolism and beauty. Whitley called his home Sportman’s Hill, presumably because of I g I his interest in horse racing. Here he laid out the first private track { in Kentucky. Here he entertained many distinguished men — Daniel Boone, { · Benjamin Logan, George Rogers Clark, Samuel McDowell, William Henry t Harrison and many others. William Whitley was born in Virginia, August l5, 1759. He married Esther Fuller in 1775 and came to Kentucky soon after, to settle at Boonesborough. Mrs. Whitley is believed to have been the third white woman to have crossed the Cumberland Mountains. A daughter to whom she gave birth in Boonesborough was one of the first white children born in ; Kentucky. The Whitley family moved from Boonesborough to Harrod's Fort l and then in l78l erected Whitley's Fort at a location two miles northwest of what is now Crab Orchard, on the same tract of land on which Whitley five years later built his house. ‘