Historic Locust Grove

Historical Marker #2086 commemorates Locust Grove, a National Historic Landmark and unique example of early Kentucky architecture, craftsmanship and history.

The circa 1792 Georgian mansion, restored and furnished to its original appearance and situated on 55 rolling acres, tells the story of its builders, William and Lucy Clark Croghan. William Croghan (pronounced "Crawn"), an Irish immigrant, came to the Kentucky territory as a surveying partner with his future brother-in-law, George Rogers Clark. Lucy Clark and William Croghan were married in 1789. Here, as early settlers, the Croghans reared their family and farmed their land with the assistance of some 30 to 45 enslaved African Americans. In 1809, George Rogers Clark, founder of Louisville and conqueror of the Northwest Territory, moved to Locust Grove where he remained for the last nine years of his life.

Major Croghan's standing in the community and General Clark's presence made Locust Grove a gathering place for political and social figures of the period. Future President Zachary Taylor, President James Monroe and General Andrew Jackson were guests of the Croghans, as well as Vice-President Aaron Burr and artist John James Audubon. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, younger brother to Lucy and George Rogers Clark, visited Locust Grove upon returning from their expedition in 1806.

The site was purchased by Jefferson County and the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 1961. Following extensive restoration the historic house was opened to the public in 1964. The most recent restoration in 2009, includes new period appropriate paint, wallpaper, and furnishings. In addition to the house the site includes the original smoke house and eight other stone and log farm buildings, formal quadrant gardens, herb, perennial and annual beds, woods and meadows. The house is furnished with some of the finest examples of Kentucky-crafted furniture, portraits, and select artifacts originally belonging to the Clark and Croghan families.