Ward Hall

Historical Marker #1734 in Scott County makes note of Ward Hall. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, Ward Hall is a stately structure located one mile east of Georgetown.

Colonel Robert Johnson, a member of the first Constitutional Convention, purchased the land in the 1700s. The structure as it stands today, however, was finished by the colonel's grandson, Junius Richard Ward, in the 1850s. One of the wealthiest men in the South, Ward gained his fortune through cotton farming in Mississippi, which was his primary residence. The Ward family used Ward Hall to escape the grueling Mississippi summers, usually staying in Scott County from May to September.

Speaking to the grandeur of the home, architectural historian Rexford Newcomb called Ward Hall "the most fabulous house in Central Kentucky." Furthermore, architectural authority Clay Lancaster called it "the largest Greek Revival house in Kentucky." The home was built primarily for entertaining, and the lavish interior reflects the desire for the home to impress those who attended the parties there. While historians have argued over the identity of the architect, the cost of the home was reputedly $50,000 at time when $5,000 was sufficient to build a large home. Besides the intricate detail throughout the house, other unique features include "blind windows," closets and cupboards throughout the home that appear to be windows from the outside.

Like many Southerners, Ward lost his fortune following the Civil War. The mansion was first sold at a bankruptcy auction for Junius Ward on September 7, 1867. The home has had several owners since the original sale, before becoming a museum open for public tours.

Images

Ward Hall

Ward Hall

The lavishness of Ward Hall is evident in the detailing of the facade highlighted in this photo. Courtesy of the University of Kentucky. View File Details Page

Ward Hall

Ward Hall

Ward Hall was built during the Greek Revival period of architecture as displayed in the Corinthian-style columns on the front of the mansion. Courtesy of the University of Kentucky. View File Details Page

Interior of Ward Hall

Interior of Ward Hall

Ward Hall is best known for the lavish and ornate detail throughout the home. Courtesy of the University of Kentucky. View File Details Page

Georgetown Courthouse, ca. 1906

Georgetown Courthouse, ca. 1906

This postcard displays downtown Georgetown in Scott County. Ward Hall is located one mile east of Georgetown in Scott County. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

McKenzie Martin, “Ward Hall,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed June 24, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/346.

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