Just off River Road, on Blankenbaker Lane, is wonderful Locust Grove; one of the brightest jewels in ante bellum Louisville’s crown. The home was visited by presidents James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, and Zachary Taylor, and was a stopping point for famed explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark upon their return from their expedition to the Pacific.
Built in the 1790s by William Croghan, the brother-in-law of Revolutionary War hero and Louisville founder George Rogers Clark, Locust Grove is a National Historic Landmark. The house gradually slipped into disrepair, until 1961, when the Commonwealth of Kentucky and Jefferson County joined forces to purchase, at auction, Locust Grove’s 55 acres as a public historic site.
On Sunday, everyone is invited to celebrate 50 years of public ownership of Locust Grove with food, drinks, games of the era, and fun. All afternoon there will be free admission for all, great food, and the music of 1961. If you like, come dressed up to suit the times!
Louisville’s Mayor Greg Fischer will be there at 1:30 pm to salute the forward-thinking civic leaders in the public and private sectors with the vision to save Locust Grove fifty years ago. In addition to a display of images of 1961-era Locust Grove in the museum gallery, local historian Lynn Renau will speak at 2:30 in the Martin F. Schmidt Visitors Center’s Audubon Room about Louisville’s East End in transition in the post-war era, as suburbanization progressed and housing replaced farms.
The celebration will conclude with a 4:30 pm chamber music concert in the Audubon Room in memory of Emilie Strong Smith, who, with her husband Judge Macauley Smith, was a central figure in the purchase of the site and the prime mover behind Locust Grove’s regular winter Chamber Music Series. The concert will be presented by the Kentucky Center Chamber Players and will include works by Bach and Mozart. The concert is free to the public.
Locust Grove is located at 561 Blankenbaker Lane (between Brownsboro Road and River Road) and is a National Historic Landmark best known as the last home of Revolutionary War hero, General George Rogers Clark, founder of the city of Louisville.
For more information about Locust Grove or this event, please call 502-897-9845 or visit www.locustgrove.org
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