The People's House: Governor's Mansions of Kentucky

Overview

The People's House tells the story of the two mansions that have housed most of Kentucky's governors. The Old Mansion, first occupied by Gov. James Garrard in 1798 and long known as the "Palace" -- and now the residence of the state's lieutenant governor -- is reputed to be the oldest official residence still in use in the United States. The parlor and formal dining room have welcomed dignitaries, artists, and poets. The New Mansion, a masterpiece of Beaux-Arts architecture, whose historical source was the Petit ...

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Overview

The People's House tells the story of the two mansions that have housed most of Kentucky's governors. The Old Mansion, first occupied by Gov. James Garrard in 1798 and long known as the "Palace" -- and now the residence of the state's lieutenant governor -- is reputed to be the oldest official residence still in use in the United States. The parlor and formal dining room have welcomed dignitaries, artists, and poets. The New Mansion, a masterpiece of Beaux-Arts architecture, whose historical source was the Petit Trianon at Versailles, has housed every governor since James Bennett McCreary occupied it during his second term, beginning in 1914.

Thomas D. Clark, Kentucky's historian laureate, writes of the buildings themselves and the people who lived and worked in them. His exhaustive chronicle provides an impressive backdrop for much of the state's political and social history and is filled with enlightening and humorous anecdotes about the many governors, their families, the scores of stellar visitors, and even the occasional horse, cow, and chicken who have occupied and visited the mansions and their grounds throughout the years. Over two hundred color and black and white photographs and illustrations, many of them quite rare, accompany the text.

Thomas D. Clark, historian laureate of Kentucky, is the author of dozens of books on Kentucky history.

Margaret A. Lane served as Executive Director of both the Old and the New Mansions.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A book of political and social history, architecture, design and fashion, this will draw even the casual page-turner into its story. A Kentucky enthusiast will be enthralled for hours." -- Chevy Chaser

"Kentucky Historian Laureate Dr. Thomas D. Clark adds another book to his long and distinguished list of publications about the history, politics, land, and life of Kentucky and the South." -- Appalachian Quarterly

"This almost-300-page coffee-table book with as many photographs, some quite rare, offers glimpses inside the two official residences where Kentucky's chief executives have resided and often worked." -- Bowling Green Daily News

"What a perfect combination -- Thomas Clark, the state's foremost historian, bringing in all his wit and wisdom about Kentucky's governors mansions and the colorful people who lived in them, joining with Margaret Lane and her behind-the-scenes knowledge." -- James Klotter, State Historian of Kentucky

"In addition to giving a history of the homes, Clark and Lane also illuminate the personal lives of those who have inhabited the mansions, describing the marriages, births, and deaths that took place within their walls as well as everyday life." -- Kentucky Monthly

"This handsome reference includes such lively anecdotes that a reader can't help but respond with pleasure to the wealth of information communicated with dry wit and elegant, descriptive prose.... An essential text for readers who crave well-written histories about Kentucky's rich heritage." -- Lexington Herald-Leader

"It is Clark and Lane's beneficent handiwork that makes this handsome volume so special, so worth having." -- Louisville Courier-Journal

"Clark has succeeded in what he undertook to do: he has given us a lively, readable account of the two historic structures that have housed most of Kentucky's governors -- the good, the bad, and the indifferent." -- Lowell H. Harrison, Western Kentucky University

"A beautiful book." -- Mayesville Ledger-Independent

"A book to keep, a book to read, a book to give to others. You'll need several copies." -- Maysville Independent

"Beautifully illustrated with lovely photographs, both black and white and color.... The narrative is a fascinating summary of Kentucky history through the lives of the governors in the mansions." -- Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

"Offers a unique glimpse inside the buildings that have been used by the state's leaders for two centuries." -- Tennessee Courier

"Dr. Clark has composed a colorful gallery of Kentucky's governors, the dedicated, but sometimes quirky and unpredictable men and one woman who have occupied the state's highest elective office. Moreover, he visits them in the usually ramshackle and often dangerous Frankfort mansion where they lived. The result is a serious and delightful page -- turner that tells the funny, sad, dramatic, inspiring stories of how the governors and their families managed to survive the perils of living in the mansion -- and how the state and its people managed to survive the governors." -- Wade Hall, Bellarmine University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813122533
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 10/28/2002
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 12.40 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1 A Good and Convenient Dwelling House 1
2 Sheltering Kentucky's Warrior Governors 12
3 A Mansion in the Maelstrom of Politics and Tragedy 25
4 A House Grown Weary with Usage and Change 29
5 "A Straggling Old Fashioned House" 37
6 Adopting a New Lifestyle in the Palace 48
7 Mansion Tenants of a Fading Era 64
8 A Mansion to Match a Capitol 89
9 Riding a Mule into the Mansion 108
10 A House Gripped in Depression and Politics 127
11 An Aged House Teetering on the Brink of a New Age 148
12 Mansion or Heritage Museum? 171
13 Kentucky's Petit Trianon 191
14 A New Breed of Tenants 219
15 "Respect It, Revere It, Use It" 246
Notes 265
Bibliography 281
Index 287
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2002

    Do yourself a favor and read this BEAUTIFUL, ENGAGING and ENTERTAINING book!

    I have found author's Dr. Thomas D.Clark's and Margaret Lane's portrayal of Kentucky's Governor's Mansion refreshingly fresh, as well as informative. This Volume contains humourous stories of life "behind the scenes" as well as a wealth of valuable information about Kentucky's Governor's Mansion itself. As a Kentucky resident all my life, I am thankful to the Author's for working to make this volume not only Historically acurate and informative, but entertaining as well!

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