With Civil War Looming, James and Susan Clay Open Ashland to the Public

YOU ARE HERE -> 1857-1865 Once the second Ashland mansion was complete in 1857, normal hospitality resumed.  Henry Clay’s son James and his wife Susan were, for at least the first years of their tenure, quite open to the public’s visitation, “extending cordial courtesies to almost unnumbered visitors.” The public was especially curious about the … More With Civil War Looming, James and Susan Clay Open Ashland to the Public

Ashland’s Opening Day

YOU ARE HERE -> 1950 April 12th is Henry Clay’s birthday – and the day chosen as Ashland’s opening as a public museum. Ashland, the Henry Clay estate, has since the early nineteenth century been an important American historic site.  During Clay’s lifetime (1777-1852), the estate was often equated with the man and ‘Ashland’ became … More Ashland’s Opening Day

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 his son James), remaining in family hands, after the Civil War it would not.  Due to James’s death in 1864, the financial hardship after the war, and complex dealings with settling the Ashland estate, James’s … More Clay Family Loses Ashland, University of Kentucky Predecessor Moves In

Ashland’s Opening Day

YOU ARE HERE -> 1950 Ashland, the Henry Clay estate, has since the early nineteenth century been an important American historic site.  During Clay’s lifetime (1777-1852), the estate was often equated with the man and ‘Ashland’ became a household word.  After Clay’s death and while four generations of Clay’s descendants occupied the estate, Ashland served … More Ashland’s Opening Day

Ashland: Unsurpassed for Party-Giving

YOU ARE HERE -> 1880s-1890s Henry Clay’s granddaughter Anne Clay McDowell and her husband Major Henry Clay McDowell became famous for the “bounteous hospitality of Ashland,” as the Lexington Leader put it in 1899.  When they moved to Ashland in 1883, the McDowells brought six children between the ages of ten and twenty-two:  Nannette, 22; … More Ashland: Unsurpassed for Party-Giving

Ashland Grounds as Public Park: The Formal Garden

YOU ARE HERE -> 1950s-today When Ashland opened as a museum in 1950 the estate featured seventeen acres open daily to the public.  Although the mansion was the primary focus, from the beginning the Henry Clay Memorial Foundation emphasized Ashland’s spacious grounds and encouraged visitors to “pause” before entering the mansion to see the grounds, … More Ashland Grounds as Public Park: The Formal Garden