Old Log Homes Still Stand on Red House

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Old Log Homes Still Stand on Red House


A drive down the Red House Road to Boonesborough will take you by a couple of very old interesting Madison County houses. They are the Hart house and the Lisle house. The Hart house is thought to be the oldest remaining log house built in Madison County. It was built about a mile south of the fort, near the site of Nathaniel Hart's White Oak Springs pioneer station. In 1795 John Holley bought the place, but it was repossessed by the Boonesborough trustees in 1825, and sold to Thomas Lindsey who lived there until 1842. The next owner was John D. McCord who held the place until 1846, along with adjoining land that ran down to the Kentucky River. The house is basically two square log pens with a framed-in "dog trot," with an ell at the rear, according to Lavinia H. Kubiak in her 1988 book Madison County Rediscovered: Selected Historical Architecture. The tin roof comes down to cover the front porch, which is as wide as the house. There are two sets of stairs leading to separate upstairs sections. A fireplace and stovepipe hole in the outer side of one of the two exterior stone chimneys suggest that there was once another room, perhaps a kitchen. The other house nearby is the Lisle house. It may have been built by Elkanah Bush who bought the land from the Boonesborough trustees in 1825, or by Samuel Holley who owned the place later. It is said that Nathaniel Hart's granddaughter Susan Shelby Thompson and her husband Henry Lisle moved to this house after their marriage in 1829. Like the Hart house, this early pioneer house is built of logs covered with weatherboarding. It is basically two log pens two stories high with an enclosed "dog trot" between, with an ell at the rear. Several generations of the Lisle family lived in this old house, and many of them, as well as Capt. Nathaniel Hart, are buried in the Lisle cemetery just north of the house, and across the road from the Hart house. For more information about the Hart and Lisle families and their houses, we recommend Lavinia Kubiak's book and our definitive history of the county, Madison County: 200 Years in Retrospect.


Dr. Robert Grise




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Dr. Robert Grise, “Old Log Homes Still Stand on Red House,” Madison's Heritage Online, accessed June 15, 2024, https://madisonsheritage.eku.edu/items/show/963.