One of my chief excuses for not doing more on this blog is time. Not enough time to find these old buildings to photograph as well as doing research to see if there is information about them. I could just post photographs which is what I will do most of the time but providing any information highlighting a structure or place is important; it’s providing history and context.
During Thanksgiving break a month ago, I discovered that the archives here in Simpson county Kentucky are open from 10-2 on Saturday. Needless to say, I will be making many more trips there to take advantage of this unusual offering. The Simpson Co. archives is probably the only one open on Saturday in the South Central region of Kentucky which I am grateful. Plus, everyone there is very knowledgeable and helpful.
There was a particular house I was hoping to find information about and I did. Several years ago, I discovered it when I turned on a road that I hadn’t explored. There it was, rising from a soybean field. My heart beat a little faster as I approached it, as it does when I see an old house for the first time. I couldn’t believe that such a beautiful old house was setting there abandoned. It was still in pretty good shape, the roof still in tact. The house was built in the 1840s by Major Amos Hall which fits the style of that time, a transitional Greek Revival, meaning that there are still Federal elements present. Apparently, he migrated from one of the Carolinas but the files didn’t show which The brick walls are 20 inches thick and the timber yellow poplar. The trim work around the door is different and I’ve seen it on only one other house here; I will offer photos of it in another post. There is also some rather excellent examples of faux graining in the house. . A one-roomed schoolhouse was built by him across the road from it but it is no longer. One interesting fact that was also listed in its file was that during the Civil War, Union troops looked for treasure there; there was no other information about what that treasure could have been.
When checking on it back in November, a few tears formed when I saw that all the tin on one side of the roof was gone and that people had vandalized it; one of the porch pillars had been pushed down, screen door pulled off, windows broke, etc. This trip, I didn’t go in but took photos of the exterior. With half the roof gone, the house will deteriorate rapidly now. I know the owners are aware. Back in the 1930’s, the Hatter family bought the house. According to the people at the archives, one of the Hatter descendants placed a covenant on the deed that as long as a Hatter descendant is alive, the house cannot be sold. Of course, I don’t know if that is the case since I did not see the deed. It’s very sad if that is the case, preventing someone from purchasing it, who would actually care for the house…
Very interesting history on these old homes. Sad that they’re in disrepair. Thank you for keeping history alive.
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I’m trying though it seems a lost cause at times…
That is heartbreaking to see such a magnificent home doomed to destruction. It does bring a tear to one’s eye to see such waste. Once gone, places like these can never be replaced.
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Yes, it is heartbreaking.
What a shame!!! Such a nice house. I can’t understand why someone would go in an vandalize a place like that and I really can’t understand how a beautiful house like that could sit abandoned in the first place.
I know. Unfortunately, there are several factors working against old houses that need restoration. One is that it is usually costly and banks are reluctant in loaning money for restoration due to the risk. There are areas in the country where it’s not a problem, like Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA for instance.
It would be interesting to know the story behind the restrictions on deed. No doubt a story of family turmoil. Very “Cold Comfort Farm”.
Yes, it would be. Maybe I will do a little more research on this…