A Treasured Artifact: Clay’s Ghent Jacket

YOU ARE HERE -> 1814-today A fragile and precious artifact periodically makes its appearance at Ashland today: Henry Clay’s ceremonial jacket that he wore at the signing of the Treaty of Ghent.  Clay had been part of the American delegation sent to Belgium to negotiate a peace treaty with the British in 1814, which effectively … More A Treasured Artifact: Clay’s Ghent Jacket

An American History Museum …in Henry Clay’s House

YOU ARE HERE -> c1820-1852 Ashland’s history is unique in the world of historic house museums in that there was an early and uncommon practice of displaying artifacts for a public audience …inside the Ashland mansion, while it was still a private dwelling.  Henry Clay himself initiated a particular manner of presenting the past in … More An American History Museum …in Henry Clay’s House

Ashland the Private Home Overrun By Curious Tourists

YOU ARE HERE -> 1920s After her parents’ deaths, Nannette McDowell Bullock was the next descendant to take on the yoke of hospitality at Ashland.  Yet by the dawn of the twentieth century the number of people coming to see Henry Clay’s famous estate escalated and great-granddaughter Nannette struggled to cope. The automobile revolution between … More Ashland the Private Home Overrun By Curious Tourists

The Story of the 1846 Cottage At Ashland

It is the picturesque little building that you first encounter: The Keeper’s – or Gardener’s – Cottage.  Adjacent to today’s modern parking lot, this Henry Clay-era original structure is a charmer. The Cottage was designed in 1846 by Thomas Lewinski, the Lexington architect who had helped Clay with some mansion remodeling, had designed homes for … More The Story of the 1846 Cottage At Ashland

Clay Family Loses Ashland, University of Kentucky Predecessor Moves In

YOU ARE HERE -> 1860s Although Ashland had survived its first transfer of ownership – from Henry Clay’s widow Lucretia to their son James, remaining in family hands – after the Civil War it would not. Due to the death of James in 1864, the financial hardship after the war, and complex dealings with settling … More Clay Family Loses Ashland, University of Kentucky Predecessor Moves In

Farmer Henry Clay, the Progressive Sage of Ashland Part II: Livestock

YOU ARE HERE -> up to 1852 Henry Clay took his farm seriously.  Farming got in his blood during his youth in the Slashes of Virginia, where he grew up on a large farm.  At Ashland, Clay was as interested in financial gain as he was in improving farming and breeding techniques.  He was scientific … More Farmer Henry Clay, the Progressive Sage of Ashland Part II: Livestock

Farmer Henry Clay, the Progressive Sage of Ashland – Part One

YOU ARE HERE -> c1812 to 1852 Part One:  An Introduction by James F. Hopkins, excerpted from The Journal of Southern History, February 1949 Henry Clay, Farmer and Stockman During the years in which Henry Clay was active in politics, he was at the same time a farmer who never lost his love for the … More Farmer Henry Clay, the Progressive Sage of Ashland – Part One

Historical Authenticity of Ashland’s Grounds and Formal Garden

YOU ARE HERE -> 1950s-today From the time Ashland opened as a museum in 1950 the grounds and outbuildings surrounding the mansion have been just as essential to visitor experience as touring the house. Ashland featured seventeen acres open daily to the public.  Although the mansion remained the primary focus, from the beginning the Henry … More Historical Authenticity of Ashland’s Grounds and Formal Garden

The Fate of Ashland After Clay’s Death: Son James Makes a Difficult Decision

YOU ARE HERE -> 1850s In the final months before Henry Clay died in June of 1852, his son James B. Clay promised his father that he would assume the responsibility for Ashland, as Clay had desired.  James and his family planned to occupy the historic estate, but there was a serious problem: Henry Clay’s … More The Fate of Ashland After Clay’s Death: Son James Makes a Difficult Decision