James & Amanda Mount Home / J.C. Barnett Library and Archive

Historical Marker #2536 relates the history of the James and Amanda Malvina Railey Mount Home, which now serves as the J.C. Barnett Library and Archives in LaGrange.

The Mounts were a leading family in antebellum Oldham County and Amanda and James lived in this "four square" home after it was built in around 1840. Amanda's extended family included some of the most remarkable Americans of the era, including her cousin Thomas Jefferson, but the Mount family letters reveal many of the mundane aspects of American slavery. The Mount papers reveal important and often overlooked features of slavery in Kentucky including bills of sale, documented escape attempts by the enslaved, and bounties offered for their capture and return.

These documents helped earn the J.C. Barnett Library and Archives a place on the National Park Service National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom, which commemorates the men and women who resisted the institution of slavery. It is also on the National Register of Historic Places and serves as the repository for Oldham County records. The Archives are part of the larger Oldham County History Center, which also includes a modern museum and new event space. 

Unfortunately, the 200 Oldham County school children who were scheduled to attend the dedication were unable to make it, but the crowd that did was treated to a nice program hosted by the History Center. The audience heard remarks from Andrew Patrick of the Kentucky Historical Society, Terri Miller and Bob Martin, representing the Oldham County Historical Society, Davied Voegele the Oldham County Judge Executive and Joe Davenport the mayor of LaGrange. Nancy Theiss, Execitive Director of the Oldham County Historical Society and the driving force behind the marker, gave a dedication address emphasizing the importance of remembering our history and contronting difficult chapters head-on. 

The marker was dedicated on April 13, 2018.

It reads:

Built circa 1840, this restored
“four square” home was originally
home to James Mount (1796-1864)
and wife, Amanda Malvina Railey
Mount (1810-1888). Amanda was
the first cousin once removed of
Thomas Jefferson. Family papers
reveal aspects of Oldham County
slavery including sales, escape
attempts, and bounties offered.
Sponsored by Oldham County Tourism

Listed on the National Register
of Historic Places, the Mount
home became the J.C. Barnett
Library & Archives in 1998. In
2016 it was placed in the
National Park Service National
Underground Railroad Network
for rare slave court records.
Sponsored by Oldham County Tourism