Thursday, November 15, 2012

Idlewild, Historic Home Near Trenton, KY

The Colonel E. G. Sebree house

"Do you know anything about that big old house along Highway 41, east of Trenton?" a blog reader asked one day. I had to say "No," because honestly, I couldn't think what house she was talking about. Then one day, as I passed the home in the photo below, I realized that of course she was talking about this big old house.

Col. Sebree house near Trenton, KY
The Colonel E. G. Sebree house near Trenton, Kentucky

This large antebellum brick mansion is near the highway, but in the summer, it's almost completely hidden by foliage and deep shade. In the fall and winter, a passing motorist can catch a glimpse of it, facing southwest behind the trees. Last week, I paused on the highway to take these photos, with one eye on the camera viewfinder and the other eye on the rear-view mirror.

This house was built about 1830, and its official name is Idlewild. One of its owners was Colonel Elijah Garth Sebree,  a prominent landowner, tobacco and cotton trader, coal mine owner, and railroad builder. Col. Sebree purchased Idlewild in the 1840s, around the time of his marriage. He and his wife lived at Idlewild for the rest of their lives, and when they died,  their daughter Georgia Sebree Banks inherited the home. It remained with the Banks family until 1983, when it was purchased by Dr. Robert Haley of Nashville and his wife Joy, a Todd County native. I don't know who owns the home currently.

IdlewildIdlewild was nominated for the National Historic Register by Miss Dolly Banks in 1980. Some architectural features mentioned in the application can be seen in the photo at right -- Corinthian columns (added sometime around 1900), stone lintels above all openings in the house, stone sills at the windows, and flush chimneys at the ends of the house.

The original kitchen was a separate brick room connected to the house by a "dogtrot" (breezeway.) When the Haleys purchased the home, they enclosed a back porch and made it into a kitchen, installed some indoor bathrooms and modernized the electrical wiring.

Read more at these links:

Monday, November 05, 2012

Homemade "Gourmet" Pretzels

Double-dipped decadence!

I'm going to take these to a potluck tomorrow, and I hope they will be a success. Sometimes I have trouble with potlucks.

The white ones were dipped in melted peanut butter chips, then in white almond bark. Their toppings are walnut chips and mini-M&Ms.

The chocolate ones were dipped in melted Kraft caramels (what a mess--next time I'm using butterscotch chips, instead!), then dipped in chocolate almond bark, and then sprinkled with Heath brickle or crushed Chick-o-Stick.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Local Historian Needed

Maybe you can help?

A college professor from University of Texas has contacted me. He's planning a visit to Christian County to do some family research. He'd like to correspond with someone who's familiar with "the land and history of Vaughn's Grove, Fairview, KY, and the areas where our ancestors once lived."

He will start planning his visit when he retires at the end of this semester, and when he starts planning, he wants to send questions to someone who knows the area well.

It seems to me that he needs someone with a deeper knowledge of local history than me. I am not a native of this county. When I write about some bit of local history on the blog, it's because I've been curious and I've researched it. It's not because I know all about this area.

I wondered if one of the readers might be a long-time resident who has a broad knowledge of the history and people of the Fairview area. If you can help or suggest someone, please send contact information to me at

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Farewell to Golden October


And on to November. Here in Christian County, Kentucky, last night and the night before last, we had our first frost of the season.
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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.