Uncertain Fate for 1914 Neo-Classical Home in Nicholasville, Kentucky

At an auction yesterday, a century-old home on the south side of Nicholasville was auctioned off. The property located at 1201 South Main Street was advertised as including over 32 acres ripe for development. So the question is will this circa 1914 home be standing in a year (or even a month)?

The answer to that question is unknown.

So what is at risk of being demolished?

This yellow brick two-and-one-half story Neo-Colonial was built in 1914 by Everett B. Hoover. When added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977, the house was described as “one of very few examples in Jessamine County of early 20th century styles; it is also one of the best designed and well preserved examples of the Neo-Colonial style in the county.”

Mr. Hoover was the son of William H. Hoover who was the subject of a brief biography in Perrin and Kniffin’s 1887 Kentucky: A History of the State. Of Everett, the authors wrote:

Everett B. Hoover, the third and youngest child, was born October 21, 1860, and like his brother received his early education in the free
schools and at Bethel Academy; in 1877 he entered the Wesleyan College at Millersburg, Ky., where he remained until 1879; then entered Vanderbilt University, where he took a special course of study, preparatory to studying law. In 1880 he entered the Columbia College Law School, New York City, where he remained two years, taking the full law course, graduating in June, 1882. He at once returned to his home and received his license to practice law in August, 1882, and has been a continued practitioner ever since. He married Miss Ella Burnett, of Boyle County, Ky., November 21, 1882. To this union was born Elizabeth Hoover, the first grandchild of William H. Hoover, January 31, 1884. In April, 1886, Everett B. Hoover was elected judge of the city court of Nicholasville, Ky., and was re-elected the following year, of which office his is the present incumbent.

The house was last on the market in 1967 when it was purchased by Charles and Anna Moore. Prior to the Moore’s acquisition, the property served as a sanatorium operated by Charles Fentress.

Charles Moore was a developer in Lexington during the mid- to late- twentieth century. In reporting Moore’s death in 1985, the Lexington Herald-Leader wrote that “Moore built houses in many of Lexington’s major subdivisions and helped develop several shopping centers (ed. including Southland) over the years.” And in 1967, Moore purchased this house as part of a 222-acre farm and then did what he did best: developed the majority of land that sits approximately one mile from Nicholasville’s courthouse.

According to a history of the house written by Elexene Cox, the site was also the home to “an equally lovely home on land that was the subject of one of Jessamine’s earliest controversies.” She continued:

After John Metcalfe laid out the town on Sept. 16, 1798, he wrote later to High Sheriff Charles West: We have succeeded amid foolish opposition from County Clerk Samuel Woodson and County Surveyor Frederick Zimmerman in locating our county seat. Woodson wanted it near his residence one mile to the south and Zimmerman wanted it one mile to the north of my survey. We have defeated their opposition. … Woodson’s ‘gem of a house’ had 14-foot ceilings and a hall 12-feet wide.

It was this “gem of a house” that Hoover demolished (at a cost of $150 for “separating all the woodwork, cleaning and separating all the stone and brick in less than a month.”) in favor of the still-present construction.

According to Cox, Hoover hired David Wolfe of Georgetown to build the house which, with “extras,” cost $9,474.

At yesterdays auction, the house and land were purchased for $1,177,000. Hopefully, this historic structure can be incorporated into any new development that might occur on the property.

All images were obtained from marketing materials related to the auction of the property by Halfhill Auction Group. As of this posting, additional images of the property are accessible on that website.
UPDATE (11/3/16 at 4:00 p.m.): Communication with one of the purchasers suggest that there are “no immediate plans” for demolition. 

Comment on the Kentucky State Road Plan to put a Stake in the Vampire Road

Over the years, I’ve written several posts in opposition to the proposed I-75 Connector that would slice through Jessamine and Madison counties to connect Nicholasville with the interstate. The proposed road is expensive, wouldn’t add much time savings for travelers, would destroy natural landscapes and historic places, and is an all-around bad idea. 
In one post, I wrote about how the Economics of I-75 Connector Don’t Add Up. The proposed cost of this 13-mile road is about $400-500 million. All to build a new road while existing infrastructure needs critical repairs. In another post, Marble Creek is a Jessamine County Treasure, I observed that “once lost, natural and historic resources cannot be created.” There is too much to lose with the connector. 
Since I published these posts, I’ve gotten several inquiries on what people can do to stop the connector. How do we put a stake in the Vampire Road?

Projected paths of the I-75 Connector

A Call to Action

Well, now through August 15 you have the opportunity to do something. Next Monday, August 15, 2016, is the deadline for public comment on the State Transportation Improvement Plan, or STIP. STIP is a 3-year statewide list of transportation projects in the state. This period of public comment is intended to solicit the opinions of the people ofKentucky – so let your voice be heard!

Stand up against the I-75 Connector!
According to the STIP, $2 million is proposed to be expended in 2017 for design, $10 million in 2019 for right-of-way acquisition, and $3 million in 2020 for moving utilities. That’s real tax dollars going toward an unnecessary and expensive project that will negatively alter the future of Jessamine County.
Comments should be directed to Sherry Curry. Her email is [email protected]. Additional information about the Statewide Improvement Plan can be found by clicking here. In your email, be sure to reference your opposition specifically to “Item No. 7-8404 in Jessamine County.”

Take action and contact Ms. Curry with your opposition to Item No. 7-804, the I-75 Connector in Jessamine County.” 

5 in ’15: The Best of the Kaintuckeean in 2015

The majority of posts on this site focus on Lexington, Kentucky history and historic preservation. But looking back at 2015’s most popular posts on the Kaintuckeean revealed a couple of fascinating details. One big overservation was that 4 of the 5 most popular posts were about subjects outside of Fayette County. That’s because, well, “Kentucky Kicks Ass.”

And 2 were from Nicholasville! So read on and discover the posts. Last year, I included the page of my book, Lost Lexington, in the rankings. Though it would have been #3 this year, I opted to include only posts. But thanks for continuing to love the book!

#1: Graded School Ruins Along the Dawkins Trail

The Ivyton School in Magoffin County can be spotted from the junction of the Dawkins Trail and the Mountain Parkway.

Read More: Graded School Ruins Along the Dawkins Trail

#2: No Destination: Griffith Woods

Griffith Woods, in Harrison County, once had a tavern that was relocated to Clark County in recent years.

Read More: No Destination: Griffith Woods

#3: Lexington’s Newest Disappearing Neighborhood

The 1920s houses in this area were demolished in 2015 to make way for the new Shriner’s Hospital

Read More: Lexington’s Newest Disappearing Neighborhood

#4: Another Nicholasville House is Gone

Another house from the 1920s is lost to demolition. This one is in Nicholasville. 

Read More: Another Nicholasville House is Gone

#5: A Snow Covered Nicholasville

A foot of snow on the ground in Nicholasville resulted in some beautiful pictures. Hoping we don’t repeat this in 2016!

Read More: A Snow Covered Nicholasville

Yes, there were a lot of great posts in 2015 and I hope to share some more of Kentucky’s awesome and rich history, people, and places in 2016!

One final statistic, the three busiest days on the Kaintuckeean were Feb. 23 (A Snow Covered Nicholasville), March 11 (Lexington’s Newest Disappearing Neighborhood), and November 30 (Graded School Ruins Along the Dawkins Trail). Those dates brought in a lot of traffic with some popular posts!

Thanks for a great 2015 and I wish you and yours a happy and prosperous New Years! 

Another Nicholasville House is Gone

404 West Maple Street – Nicholasville, Ky. Jessamine County PVA

A month or so ago, my family was walking along Nicholasville’s West Maple Street when my wife commented on what appeared to be work being done at 404 West Maple Street. My heart jumped as I thought that this circa 1921 residence would be remodeled and given a new lease on life.

This, however, was not to be. On Black Friday (2015), the house was demolished. According to records of the property value administrator, the two-story house had 2,228 square feet. But the house would not reach its 95th year.

404 West Maple Street – Nicholasville, Ky. Author’s collection.

The house was acquired most recently by auction in September 2015; the photo above was taken post-auction. The stone foundation supported a frame structure encapsulated in aluminum siding amongst its many windows.

The Home of Hugh “Buddy” Adams

Headstone of Mr. Adams at
Camp Nelson. Judi Fryer.

Its most noted owner was Hugh “Buddy” Adams, a former superintendent of Jessamine County Schools who retired in 1983. Buddy Adams was an alumnus of both Transylvania University and the University of Kentucky. He served in the U.S. Army Air Forces as a Staff Sergeant during World War II and was a deacon at the Nicholasville Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Mr. Adams passed away in January 2007 and is buried at Camp  Nelson. He left behind his beloved wife Helen, to whom he had been married nearly 60 years at the time of his passing. She continued to live at 404 West Maple Street until earlier this year.

In other words, this house wasn’t long neglected or vacant. It, until very recently, was a home.

It was a place that added character and unique charm to the street. Just two years ago, another house was demolished on West Maple Street (603) due to the local government’s receipt of a community development block grant. Like 404 West Maple, 603 West Maple was constructed ca. 1920 and it “added character to the streetscape of West Maple.”

The Jessamine Female Institute

Jessamine Female Institute (postcard) – Nicholasville, Ky. CardCow.com

The subject house, 404 West Maple Street, was located on land once occupied by the Jessamine Female Institute which was incorporated in 1866. The school shuttered in 1909 or 1910 and its assets were soon sold. The main building of the Institute, a three-story structure built in 1888.

Approximately eight years later, the subject house was built. And in 2015, it was demolished. I’ll be sure to update this post if and when I find out why.

404 West Maple Street – Nicholasville, Ky. Author’s collection.