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.
|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.
Idlewild 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.
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