Historic Beauty in Bourbon County Restored to Perfection

Fran Elsen


Nestled in the rolling green pastures of Bourbon County, Hunterton Farm at Woodlawn sits in all its glory as the home and working Standardbred operation of Steve and Cindy Stewart. Purchased 12 years ago, the home has undergone a massive renovation under the guidance of lead architect Reese Reinhold and head carpenter Robert Barnes. 

As only the third owners of the house built in 1818, the Stewarts have recreated or preserved the architectural details wherever possible, including the original limestone foundation, which is continued on the new addition.

The home, known as Woodlawn, is listed in Historic Architecture of Bourbon County (the “green book”) and the National Register of Historic Places. It was built by the second Kentucky Governor, James Garrard, as a wedding gift for his son, Capt. William Garrard. William was a commandant of the Bourbon County Militia and eventually elected as the Bourbon County Clerk and the district representative to the Kentucky General Assembly. He served as a captain in the War of 1812 and was an incorporator in the Paris Library in 1808. His daughter, Eleanor, married Joseph Henry Holt. The house and 900 acres of land remained in the Holt family until 1950. Jack G. Tucker and Mary Elizabeth Gillig Tucker and their children owned the farm next, and Mrs. Tucker lived there until her death in 2011.

The house is a Federal-style brick residence boasting a superb wide doorway, elliptical fanlights, and sidelights featuring a stunning pattern of circles and curves in the tracery. 

The original ash floors remain in the main area of the house and the fine mantels in the library and parlor each have a Dolly Madison mirror that have been passed from owner to owner through the years. The beautiful mural depicting the bluegrass countryside was created by local artist Cindi Nave and covers all four walls of the dining room, with a nod to a special tree on the property. Many of the books that line the built-ins in the library date back to the 1800s and have been passed down with the house. It is believed that the dormers may have been a later addition but they are referenced in the 1933 “The Enchanted Bluegrass” as “three dormer windows break its sloping roofline across the front”.

The home, known as Woodlawn, is listed in Historic Architecture of Bourbon County (the “green book”) and the National Register of Historic Places.

The Stewarts carried the ash floors into the addition and there are several points of interest to note throughout the home. The large light fixture, built in 1880, originally hung in the Kansas state capitol building and was converted from gas to electric. The massive farm table was created by local craftsman Jason Jacoby and Branson Eubanks using wood from the farm. The stained glass came out of the Pabst mansion in Milwaukee, WI, and the hand-hewn beams in the greatroom were salvaged from barns and purchased in Shiloh, Ohio. The stone used for the addition was salvaged from an old spring house that was being demolished and is a perfect match to the existing stone foundation. The counter in the mud room is also from centuries-old walnut tress on the farm and the slate on the floor was salvaged from slate barn roofs. The patios and luscious garden areas were created by John Carloftis Fine Gardens, and Debra Hupman designed the stunning kitchen and baths.

Light floods the house throughout every room via large floor-to-ceiling windows and a total of 34 built-in skylights. The windows in the home were restored to their original beauty by Laryn Karsnitz of Lexington Windows. Salvaged antique doors and a variety of furniture pieces have been repurposed and used throughout the home to create a designer’s dream space. •


Historic Paris-Bourbon Co. Hopewell Museum

Since 1978, the HPBC has been offering a variety of family-oriented programming and events open to the public. The recent open house featuring the historic Woodlawn property, is one such example.  

Upcoming events can be found on the HPBC website: hopewellmuseum.org