Hunt-Morgan House

201 North Mill StreetDSC_0069-400

The Hunt-Morgan House, historically known as Hopemont, was built by John Wesley Hunt in 1814. Hunt was known as the first millionaire west of the Alleghenies and earned his fortune from the mercantile business shortly after Lexington was established. Other notable personalities have also resided at Hopemont. Hunt’s grandson, General John Hunt Morgan, was a general in the Confederate Army who gained the nickname “The Thunderbolt of the Confederacy” through his many raids and daring military feats. John Wesley Hunt’s great grandson, Dr. Thomas Hunt Morgan, was born in the house in 1866. Dr. Morgan became famous for his work in genetics and is the first Kentuckian to have won the Nobel Prize.

The Hunt-Morgan House is a Federal style residence with specific emphasis on the geometric phase of the period. The building has many fine architectural features including a Palladian window as well as fan and sidelights that grace the front fa├žade, and also a large spiral staircase adjacent to the front entranceway.

In 1955, the Foundation for the Preservation of Historic Lexington and Fayette County was formed to save the Hunt-Morgan House after the demolition of the neighboring Col. Thomas Hart House that year. The Hunt-Morgan House was saved and the name of the Foundation was changed to the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation. The organization restored the home to its 1814 appearance and the house is now an interpretive museum illustrating the lifestyle and culture of early 19th-century Kentucky affluence. The home is also the site of the Alexander T. Hunt Civil War Museum, which contains many Civil War artifacts.