|Carriage House behind the Hunt-Morgan House - Lexington, Ky.|
Hopemont, built in 1814, preceded the above carriage house by some twenty years. It is quite unlikely that John Wesley Hunt - believed to be Kentucky's first millionaire - would have built Hopemont without an accompanying carriage house. On this notion alone, one must conclude that the pictured carriage house was the home's second. Although much of the interior structure is original, the carriage house was slightly modified at the turn of the twentieth century, i.e. circa 1900.
It is said that John Wesley Hunt's nephew, John Hunt Morgan - the famed "Thunderbolt of the Confederacy," stalled his famous Black Bess in the carriage house. And although the legend has been told in different ways, one version is as follows: General Morgan saddled Black Bess in the carriage house before riding through the rear of the Hunt-Morgan House only to stop and kiss his mother on the cheek before galloping out the front door.
Of course, Black Bess has been immortalized herself in another way when artist Pompeo Coppini sculpted a masculine mare upon which General Morgan would forever bestride in front of the old courthouse in Lexington. Yes, this famous mare is likely the most infamous 'tenant' of the Hunt-Morgan House carriage house.
Alvey, R. Gerald. Kentucky Bluegrass County (p.64-65)
Federal Writers Project, Kentucky: A Guide to the Bluegrass State (p. 204)