Dixiana Farm Mansion Burns.. and Some History

Postcard of Dixiana Farm, Lexington, Ky.
A sad news update on a building I've never noticed... an early-Saturday-morning fire consumed and destroyed the mansion at Dixiana Farms (f/k/a Hamilton Stud) in Lexington. WKYT's video is here. Firefighters stood by waiting on water tankers to deliver water to the scene as no hydrants were near. Located off Russell Cave Road, it appears that parts of the mansion predated the Civil War (the oldest parts destroyed). Dixiana Farm was founded in 1877 by Barak G. Thomas (1826-1906), a major in the Confederate army who later was elected sheriff of post-war Fayette County. Major Thomas, in ailing financial and bodily health, sold the farm in 1897 [fn] and retired to his 'city home' at 194 West Main Street (n/k/a 646 West Main Street after renumbering in 1907). [fn] Barak G. Thomas passed in 1906. [NYTimes obit]

Dixiana Mansion, Lexington, Ky.
Ultimately, in 1909 Dixiana Farm was purchased by James Ben Ali Haggin (a major name in Lexington history) who owned the adjacent, more prestigous Elmendorf Farm. Haggin converted the great Thoroughbred farm to tobacco land and Dixiana was used for that purpose until Haggin sold the farm in 1925 to James Cox Brady (then one of the thirty richest men in America) who restored Dixiana to racing prestige. There is a lot more history here and here. Most recently, the property was purchased for $13 million in 2009 by Bill Shively..

I only wish I had seen the mansion before it burned. So much history...

UPDATE (2-17-2012): The history of the farm in this post is correct, but I was today advised by Dixiana Farms that the mansion pictured above remains standing. It was actually the Domino Stud Farm mansion that burned in early 2010. The two farms - Dixiana and Domino - were separated in the 1940s but reunited under both original acreage and name in 2009. Here is a photo of the Domino Mansion, courtesy of Dixiana Farms, as it appeared before it was lost to fire. Stay tuned as plans are pending with regard to this historic landmark:
Photo: Dixiana Farms

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