Thursday, April 19, 2007

Whitehaven at Paducah, KY

Life in The Upper South... History and Old Stuff

Whitehaven mansion at Paducah, KYWhitehaven mansion at Paducah, KY

Whitehaven is a beautifully restored mansion at Paducah, KY, located near Interstate 24. If you ever pass through Paducah, I hope you'll take time to visit it. Take Exit 7 off I-24 and follow the signs.

Whitehaven mansion at Paducah, KYOne wing of the house hosts the Kentucky Welcome Center and rest stop. Its facilities are open 24 hours for travelers.

The main part of the house is open for tours every half-hour from 1:00-4:00 p.m. daily. The house is furnished with antiques, and the second floor holds a collection of Vice President Alben Barkley memorabilia.

Even if you don't happen to arrive at the time that the tours are being given, you can walk around the porches, peek in the windows, and enjoy the grounds. And of course, you can pick up a Kentucky map and lots of tourist information in the Welcome Center.

The historic marker at Whitehaven gives a good synopsis of the house's story:


Main part of house, two-story brick structure, built in 1860's by Edward Anderson. Edward Atkins bought it in 1903 and had noted Paducah architect A.L. Lassiter transform Victorian farmhouse into Classical Revival mansion. He added the Corinthian-columned front portico and named house Whitehaven.

In 1908, Paducah Mayor James P. Smith bought and renamed home "Bide-A-Wee," Scottish adage for "Come Rest A While." Smith family members lived here until 1968. After mansion restored, it opened on June 23, 1983 as Whitehaven Tourist Welcome Center. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

The historic marker doesn't explain that Whitehaven had suffered a good deal of vandalism and deterioration, and its future was uncertain until the decision was made to restore and refurbish it as the welcome center at I-24's northern entry to Kentucky. It's a model of historic preservation of which Kentucky is (and should be!) proud.

Whitehaven mansion at Paducah, KY

More photos of beautiful Whitehaven can be viewed at:

Whitehaven mansion at Paducah, KY

Technorati Technorati tags: , , ,


~Knower of Stuff~ said...

'Whitehaven' was my uncle's family's home (Richard C. Smith), although as a kid, I just remember 'them' calling it "the Smith Mansion", and could't really tell ya anything about it. Whenever we'd visit in the 1960's, it was to their home on Loan Oak Hwy. (prior to I-24), just East of where I24 is. My aunt sold their house and land for the hospital. I'm not even sure the house is still there.

~Knower of Stuff~ said...

Oh... forgot this... my paternal grandfather was Mayor of Paducah during the depression.

Genevieve Netz said...

Yes it's still there. It has been refurbished as an interstate rest stop and welcome center, as you can see in the photos

~Knower of Stuff~ said...

Yes... I've been there, the last time being in 2003. I was thinking about my aunt & uncle's house on Loan Oak. I think my cpusin told me that it,was,going to be torn down, or maybe it already has been. Fot a,time, it has a,hospice facility.

Anonymous said...

Apparently Edward Anderson is my great great great great grandfather

Shawn said...

Who are you? I'm his 4th great grandson (also Anderson.) Would love to connect.

VRVW said...

There is a book called Whitehaven: the Rebirth of a Southern Mansion by Richard Holland 1989. It states that my husband's grandfather Ed L. Atkins bought the house in 1903 for $4000 and hired his good friend A. L. Lassiter to completely remodel it for his beloved wife, Grace. However, with in a few years of moving in, she died. He lost interest and with his two daughters, left for Oklahoma. The remodel made it recognized as one of the great landmarks of Western Kentucky.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.