There are plenty of places you can visit if you want to learn about Lexington’s history, whether you just moved here or simply want to know more about your city. Check out this list featuring three must-see historic homes of well-known Kentuckians to get started!
Mary Todd Lincoln House
The Mary Todd Lincoln House, located on West Main Street, was the family home of the wife of Abraham Lincoln. Mary Todd, who was born in 1818, lived in the house from 1832 to 1839, when she moved to Springfield, Illinois, and met Lincoln. (They later visited the house together.) Originally, there were slave quarters, an outdoor kitchen, a wash house, smoke house, and stables with a carriage house, but these no longer exist. Guests can tour two floors and nine rooms filled with period furniture, family portraits, and artifacts. There’s also an herb and perennial garden in the backyard.
Waveland State Historic Site
Waveland is a Greek Revival home built in 1847 for Joseph Bryan, a great-nephew of Daniel Boone. The house itself has ionic columns, a portico (also known as a porch supported by columns), and 14-foot ceilings. Outside, there are three outbuildings — slave quarters, a smokehouse, and an ice house — as well as a quarter-mile walking trail and two flower and herb gardens. Guided tours focus on the lives of family members and slaves who lived and worked at Waveland in the 1850s.
Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate
Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate is the early 19th-century plantation home of Henry Clay. At one time, the property was more than 600 acres. Clay and his wife, Lucretia, lived at the home until his death in 1852. The estate was later sold to their son, James Clay, who found the mansion in a state of disrepair. He decided to tear the house down and rebuild it using his father’s original floor plan. It has been open to the public since 1950. In addition to touring historic outbuildings and the mansion itself, visitors can explore walking trails, art installations, and an English parterre-style garden for free.