Thursday, July 30, 2015

Coleman-Desha House Opens for Tours This August! Two Days Only!

For two days only, the Coleman-Desha house will be open to visitors with proceeds from the tours going towards the restoration of Ridgeway (aka The Handy House.) Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this house, built ca. 1812 is an adaptation of the Georgian house plan. Its first owner was the Coleman family followed by Kentucky Governor and Congressman, Joseph Desha.

The house will open from 2-4 on August 2nd and 8th only (Sunday & Saturday.) Admission is only $5! This is an amazing opportunity that showcases one of the most beautiful historic properties in the region.

Built just a few years prior to Ridgeway, the Coleman-Desha House, aka Poplar Springs & The Oaks, was also owned by a Congressman and Veteran of the War of 1812. The story begins with the building of the house by General James Coleman, a Veteran of the War of 1812. As a historic plot twist worthy of a movie, the wife of General Coleman, Eliza Warfield Offutt, was the Sister of Colonel Brown's wife, Harriett Burgess Warfield! (Builders of Ridgeway) After leaving Lexington to live with their new husbands, I can only imagine the close family gatherings that took place in both Ridgeway and the Coleman house (Poplar Springs.): Older Sister Eliza providing familial support to Harriet just over the next hill.

Later, after a successful career as Congressman and Governor of Kentucky, Joseph Desha purchased the house, calling it 'The Oaks.' While remaining under the care of the Desha family, the farm flourished and later produced two Confederate Officers in the Civil War. Years later, local citizens would remember this as the Duffy house due to the five spinster sisters of the Desha family that cared for the house during the duration of their lifetime.

After years of neglect, the house was resurrected by the Newkirk family who lovingly restored the house to its former glory. For a sneak peek at the beautiful architectural elements awaiting your visit, please follow this link which also includes a great history of the house and details its restoration by Wes and Betty Newkirk:

For additional event information, please visit our Facebook Group, Friends of Ridgeway or the Harrison County Heritage Council. (sidebar)

If You Go:
Address: 1416 U.S. 62 E Cynthiana, Kentucky 41031
Dates: August 2nd & August 8th
Time: 2-4pm
Admission: $5 per person
Proceeds benefit the restoration of Ridgeway (aka the Handy House)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Welcome to the Harrison County Heritage Council!

Greetings Cynthiana/Harrison County Peeps! As your neighborhood action team on a mission to protect, preserve, and promote our heritage, we would like to welcome you to our world! The world has changed quite a lot in regards to heritage. As the years march on by, our heritage grows in volume, but decreases in actualization. Our heritage is a fragile thing. One minute it can be a healthy and stable landmark, and in the next it can be in extreme danger. This is where we can help. Our members are active and ready to advocate on behalf of history/heritage that needs help and support. We have a few active projects going on at the moment, but are always on the look out for additional ways to help safeguard the heritage of our beloved city and county. Are we a group of crazies that want to save everything that has aged a little to protect "heritage" in all its forms - far from it. Projects that protect our heritage should be reasonably thought out, discussed, and protected if it's feasible to do so. We are passionate though, so look out Cynthiana/Harrison County - We're bringing history back!