Farmhouse Shows Life Of Average Kentuckians

May 11, 2013

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- A Franklin County farmhouse that dates back to the 1800s is being considered for a historic designation as an example of how average Kentuckians have lived.

Knight-Taylor-Hockensmith House in Frankfort.
Knight-Taylor-Hockensmith House in Frankfort.
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The State Journal reports the two-story home sits on 53 acres and is built around a two-room log saddlebag house.

The consideration comes after the home was spotted by Janie-Rice Brother, a senior architectural historian for the Kentucky Archaeological Survey, while she was surveying historic farms 2011.

Brother says said the Knight-Taylor-Hockensmith House is unique because it provides details about the life of average Kentuckians from antebellum times to the turn of the 20th century.

According to an application to have the property place on the National Register of Historic Places, the home contains elements of Gothic Revival, Italianate and Queen Anne architectural styles as different owners added on to it over the years. The property also contains a one-room log outbuilding, a springhouse and a stonewall.

Brother said other historic homes in the area are attached to a prominent person or family, and they have been handed down. She said this property probably stayed intact because past owners weren't wealthy enough to demolish structures and build new homes.

"If you're not extraordinarily wealthy, you're going to use what you have," Brother said. "And so they kept the old parts of the house and simply added on to them whereas in some other cases, if you have someone who has the financial means, they might just tear it down and build a more stylish house on the site."

Edmond Thompson, 51, inherited the property a couple of years ago after his mother died. He said his father purchased it in 1947.

Thompson, who lives next door, said a listing on the national registry could help with the cost of renovating the home. A tax credit of up to 30 percent of qualified rehabilitation expenses is offered by the Kentucky Heritage Council offers with a minimum investment of $20,000.

"That made it worthwhile to us to go ahead and bite the bullet and decide that instead of letting it continue deteriorating," Thompson said. "It was to the point that we still could go ahead and rehab it, so that's what we decided to do.