Thursday, September 8, 2011
walkLex: Hunt-Morgan House finally
getting new, readable historic marker
By Peter Brackney
Readers of KyForward have seen the Hunt-Morgan House before. Also known as Hopemont, the beautiful house is located in Lexington’s Gratz Park at the corner of Second and Mill streets. There, a historic marker, number 3 in the Kentucky Historical Highway Marker Program, reads:
Home of John Hunt Morgan, “Thunderbolt of the Confederacy.” Born Huntsville, Alabama, June 1, 1825. Killed Greeneville, Tennessee, September 4, 1864. Lieutenant, Kentucky Volunteers in Mexican War 1846-1847. Major General, C.S.A., 1861-1864.
Problem is, you can’t really read the Marker. Bronze Marker #3 is over fifty years old and, though its lettering has been repainted white more than once, it remains nearly illegible. The facts are a little misleading as well. While General Morgan certainly stayed at the house, calling it the “home of John Hunt Morgan” is a stretch. Further, the sign does nothing to recognize two other influential occupants: John Wesley Hunt and Dr. Thomas Hunt Morgan. But help is on the way!
The Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation, the Morgan’s Men Association and several other groups and citizens are providing the $2,300 necessary to replace this sign with “updated text and an extended history.” The new sign is expected to be unveiled sometime in October. For more pictures of the historic marker and the Hunt Morgan House, click here.
Peter Brackney has combined a love of Kentucky with an interest in history in www.kaintuckeean.com, where he shares his photos and stories about some of the unique places around the Commonwealth. Born in Ohio, he came to Kentucky at an early age and grew up in Lexington. A double alumnus of the University of Kentucky with a B.S. in accounting and his juris doctorate, he lives in Nicholasville with his wife and son. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.