20th century, Ashland, attraction, automobile, automobile trip, Bluegrass, guidebooks, Henry Clay, Kentucky, Lexington Kentucky, mansion, postcards, shrine, tourism, tourist map, travel, US 25, vintage postcards
YOU ARE HERE -> c1900s-1950s
During the first half of the 20th century, Ashland was most definitely on the tourist map. Even as it was a private home with Henry Clay descendants still in residence, Ashland was on the “list of noted attractions and shrines advertised so widely to visitors,” as C. Frank Dunn, founder of Blue Grass Tours and manager of the Lexington Automobile Club, put it in 1926.
One of the reasons Ashland was so popular with tourists was that it was located on the “transcontinental highway” – U.S. 25 – that, prior to the national interstate system, was a popular north-south route that ran from Michigan to Georgia. Ashland in Lexington was a “must see” for those making this automobile trip.
Tourist guides always included Ashland as a highlighted destination in Kentucky, and shops throughout the region made a bit of profit on the colorful postcards they sold of the famous statesman’s home. Here, some examples: