Frankfort, Kentucky, was once a tiny frontier settlement when John Brown built his home there between the years of 1796 and 1803. Known as Liberty Hall, the home is the finest example of early Federal-era architecture in Kentucky. One notable feature is the Palladian window on the second floor.
Brown is considered the state’s founding father. He led Kentucky’s separation from Virginia to become the 15th U.S. state in 1792. He was selected as Kentucky’s first U.S. senator and moved to Frankfort. At the time it was built, Liberty Hall was at the western edge of the United States.
“Louisville was very much just a settlement,” said Becky Shipp, tour guide. “There were just a few cabins. It was a place to ford the Kentucky River.”
The brick Liberty Hall was an outpost of elegance and sophistication in the rough-hewn town. Visitors explore early Kentucky through the stately homes, gardens and belongings of Brown, his wife Margaretta and their family.
The Browns were major leaders in politics, education and business. They were also interested in what was happening outside the United States.
The private family library, a vast collection of more than 4,000 books, reveals the family’s many interests and hobbies.
“Both John Brown and his wife were committed to the ideals of the new country,” Shipp said. “Certainly, they were good partners for each other.”
Liberty Hall recently completed a $1.2 million renovation to install historically accurate carpets, wallpaper, draperies, upholstery and other essential improvements.
The 4-acre site includes Liberty Hall, the Orlando Brown House and historic gardens. Liberty Hall is open from mid-March through late November.
Several group tour options are available, and tours can be customized. Plentiful motorcoach parking is available.
For more information, call 502-227-2560 or visit libertyhall.org.