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Sunday, April 28, 2019

Sunday Spring Walk Around Central Kentucky :) (Updated)

 ... and the dogwoods are in bloom :)   Sundays are my only full day off, but the past 3 have been rainy.  However, the rain ended early today, so we visited Raven's Run Nature Sanctuary (Fayette/Jessamine County, Kentucky), as well as visited the grounds of "Ashland" - the Estate of Henry Clay (Lexington, KY).

I'm not sure, but I believe the white flowers below the dogwoods are Autumn Angel Azaleas, which only bloom briefly in spring (and again in August/September, for longer); thus, you have to catch the dogwood/azalea combo at just the right week to see them bloom together - which we did :)

After early morning rain, we decided to take a little hike to the river at Raven's Run Nature Sanctuary :)

Opening trail at Raven's Run ...

Blue-Eyed Marys and Yellow Wood Sorrel  ...

Blue-Eyed Marys and Dwarf Larkspur ...

A wood clearing with Blue-Eyed Marys and Larkspur in bloom ...

Dwarf Larkspur in purple and pink ...

Dwarf Larkspur and Jacob's Ladder ...

Jacob's Ladder (LOVE this wildflower) ...

 Red Columbine (grows only at the cliff around the river) ...

A lime kiln and stone fences (original portions of which were built by Irish indentured servants,1790s to 1840s) ...

Just some other lovely sights along the way :) ...

After our hike, we went downtown for pics of the best dogwoods in town, before they're gone, which happen to be at the homes near Henry Clay's Ashland Estate.

For those unaware, Henry Clay was a attorney, orator, and politician from Lexington, who ran for POTUS three times and lost all 3 times (but very nearly became the 5th POTUS) - and this is speculated to be because though he was a strong Federalist, he believed in everyone having a voice, so he was more or less an independent, trying to understand both sides of an issue - which brought him accusations by both parties of not truly being committed to either cause and disloyal, rather than a more reasonable person lol.

(Yes, from the beginning, people expected you to force yourself fully into 1 of only 2 boxes and then check every single issue box on every single issue your party threw your way, lest you be frowned upon and distrusted by both parties. Except unlike today, virtually no one accused anyone else of being "Satanic" over politics, likely because of the outcome of shameful  Salem Witch Trials, just the the century prior.)

Nevertheless, he was still well respected by both political parties for his ability to negotiate compromise between them (which particularly came into play between the North and South), who bestowed upon him the title of "The Great Compromiser."

He is most famous for negotiating "The Great Compromise of 1850," in which the slave trade was federally abolished, unfortunately in exchange for leaving actual slave ownership laws up to each state to decide - which Clay engineered in the hopes to stave off war (which worked, until he died).

Much like Thomas Jefferson, Clay was a slave-holding emancipationist - which is NOT the same as an abolitionist (I wish).

Essentially, that means that though both Jefferson and Clay felt guilty about slave ownership not being true to "all men are created equal" values (and worked locally to find legal ways to emancipate them, particularly after their deaths) - they were too cowardly to do anything about it and become true abolitionists, because they cared too much what the neighbors thought - so they continued to own slaves due to the social status it gave them, and so as not to lose power in Southern politics  :(

He felt that by working slowly to emancipate slaves in Kentucky, other states would follow suit. (However, he was too slow and too personally conflicted on the issue of slavery himself, so no one followed - thus the war ensued 7 years after "The Great Compromiser" had died.)

HOWEVER, he was best friends with Abraham Lincoln (through Lincoln's wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, also from Lexington), who also once owned slaves, but unlike Jefferson and Clay, had the courage to emancipate them within his lifetime and became an abolitionist.

It is suspected the Abraham Lincoln/Henry Clay friendship is the reason that Kentucky had it's a "middle state" status, despite being the gateway to the South via the Ohio River/Mason Dixon line - and as such, Kentucky residents were given an option to serve either the Union or Confederate side without true military penalty.

(In fact, some members of my family fought for the Union side, some for the Confederacy - and though rare, there were literally cases of brother fighting brother as far as middle state residency, during The Civil War.)

In fact, his "middle state" legacy continued in our state for another 150 years, because until the 2000s (Bush II's administration), our state was roughly 50/50 Republican/Democrat.  Since then, Kentucky has become strongly and angrily red, with just Lexington and Louisville being blue (just the city districts themselves, Fayette and Jefferson counties are not fully blue).  Just like everywhere else in the election in 2016, the more rural you go, the more red you see).

Regardless, here is his Italianate estate, just west of downtown Lexington, just off Main Street/Richmond Road ...

The smokehouse (which currently holds The Gingko Tree Cafe) ...

The ice houses: Before refrigeration, wealthier southern Kentucky slave-holding families would carry ice up from the Kentucky river (roughly 25 miles away) via wagon and put them in semi below ground domes ...

The gardener/groundskeepers house  ...

The sun peeked out just in time for us to snap this pic of the poppies :)

In addition to both walled and free gardens, Henry Clay had a fondness for gardening, particularly trees (Ash Trees, from which the estate gets its name).  He liked to import and plant on his property every kind of tree indigenous to the United States that he personally liked, as well as trees found around the world, to reside on his property.

Dogwoods, Ash, Pear, Silver Maples, Wild Cherry, Elm, Sycamore, and Walnut ...

In fact, Henry Clay was the first person to bring the first Gingko tree to the United States from Asia ...

The Eastern Redbud (note the reddish hue to the bark) ... 

As well as the red flower buds off the main trunks and branches ... 

A silver birch from the the northern United States ... 

A tulip tree ... 

 Though I appreciate his taste in architecture and trees, I'm much more proud of his great-granddaughter, Madeline McDowell Breckinridge ...

... who was a Christian social reformer and suffragette, famous for not only helping to end child labor laws and create a Baby Health Service,  but abolishing residual Jim Crow laws in Kentucky and helping women obtain the right to vote.

In fact, she died just after she saw the 19th amendment ratified by the State of Kentucky, which was due in large part to her efforts :)

Additionally, she was the editor for the Lexington's newspaper, The Lexington Herald (Leader) at a time when most women only dreamed of such things, especially in more rural states :)

Having grown up at Ashland, this plaque in her honor also graces the grounds of Ashland :)

(And from what I understand, there's talk of a statue of Madeline Breckinridge to replace the statue of Jefferson Davis at the state capitol building in Frankfort - please God, let that rumor be true!:)

That's right, you heard me - she was a very feminine, old-school feminist and Christian Social Justice Warrior - ya know, back when the terms "Christian" and "Social Justice" were not an oxymoron (just because politicians told you they were) ;)

(And I dare anyone - especially in THIS town - to to even try to besmirch the saintly reputation of the much-beloved Mrs. Breckinridge as being a "Marxist femnazi social justice warrior" - instead of what she was - a very kind-hearted woman, acting naturally on her Christian compassion :)

And of course, like me, she was also Episcopalian - Go Pisckies! ;)

Mark and I decided if we ever bought a home in Lexington, it would be in the Ashland neighborhood, rather than the flashy, newer communities:  A mix of Italianate, English Cottage and Tudor styles, Irish Stone Cottage Style, American Colonial, Federal and Cape Cods, Dutch Colonial, Spanish Colonial, and Prairie-Style and Craftsman homes, sprinkled with a few Southern-style Antebellum and Greek Revival homes :)

*There are a few German Tudors, but not too many - you will see them more from Northern Kentucky and above into the Midwest.

** Also, there are no Victorians in the Ashland (Downtown/East) area - they are all in downtown Lexington, just north of Main Street, approximately three-quarters of a mile from Ashland.

Spanish Colonial/Italianate mix 

Irish/English Tudor and Federal Colonial mix

Georgian Colonial 

Traditional Dutch Colonial

Dutch Colonial/Prairie Style/Greek Revival mix

Spanish Colonial/Italianate mix

Federal Colonial/Greek Revival/Antebellum mix

Traditional Dutch Colonial/Federal Colonial mix

Irish Cottage/Federal Colonial mix

Dutch Colonial/Federal Colonial/Greek Revival mix

Federal Colonial/Greek Revival Mix

Federal Colonial/Dutch Colonial mix

Federal Colonial/Traditional Dutch Colonial mix

Traditional Dutch Colonial /Federal Colonial Mix

 Ha-ha-ha! JUST KIDDING!

 Because though they're not the oldest or largest homes in Lexington, these homes built from the 1850s to the 1940s will still cost you $1.5 to $4 million dollars.

Or if University of Kentucky Wildcats Basketball Coach, John Calipari ever decides to sell his renovated Italianate mansion, right on Main Street/Richmond Road (and about 5 houses down from Ashland), make that  at least $5+ million :)

So ... maybe the smaller ones near Ashland?

(Renovated) Federal Colonial

Prairie Style/English Tudor mix

*** The home below is actually my favorite house in the Ashland/Chinoe/Woodlake neighborhood ...

English/Irish/German TudorMix

By the way, out-of-towners - "Chinoe" is pronounced "SHIN-oh-way."

It's supposedly a Native-American word - possibly Shawnee - but nobody can remember where it came from or what it means lol.

English Tudor/Cottage and American Craftsman Bungalow mix

Georgian Colonial/Cape Cod Mix

Georgian Colonial

Original American Craftsman California Bungalow

Just kidding again!

Because even the smaller Craftsman-style homes on the Ashland side of Main Street/Richmond Road will still cost you $650,000-$850,000.

Perhaps the Craftsmans on the opposite side of Main/Richmond Road, then?

Dutch Colonial plan, American Craftsman California Bungalow

Dutch Colonial Plan, American Craftsman California Bungalow/Prairie Style Mix

Original American Craftsman California Bungalow

Original American Craftsman California Bungalow

Maybe - but they're still $375,000 to $500,000.

That is because even though they are smaller and on less land, than those nearest Ashland, they are still only 1 of 3 neighborhoods in the city of Lexington where you can even find an original Frank Lloyd Wright inspired true Craftsman  Bungalow :)

(The other two areas are the Bell Court neighborhood, also near downtown, and the Roselawn/Arcadia neighborhood, nearer to Baptist Health and UK Hospitals).

Can you believe these Craftsman bungalows above and below - Frank Lloyd Wright's California Bungalows and PrairieStyle Homes - were bought via $2000 kit from a Sears and Roebuck Catalog, and the average cost was $2000?  

Here is an example of an original add for a Dutch Colonial style American Craftsman California Bungalow  ...

*I had written here earlier that Sears went the ToyRUs way and bit the dust, in 2018, but upon checking, it appears Sears was saved in the 11th hour in January 2019.

Lastly, though dispersed throughout these photos, just one last peek at the dogwoods before they're gone for the year ... :)

In case you were curious, the house is Dutch Colonial/Federal mix, btw. 

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