|The Oldham House - Lexington, Ky.|
|Listing from Lexington City Directory, ca. 1864|
In 1839, the Oldhams sold the home to William R. Bradford. Though they lived there only a short time, their ownership was marked as the first time a freed slave at owned a home in Lexington. In 2008, their South Limestone home was the inspiration for a one-woman act portraying Daphney Oldham. In In This Place, Daphney told her story of being born into slavery but dying as a free woman of color. The show was a collaborative effort between LexArts and director Ain Gordon; thanks be to God, Ain has published the entire performance on Vimeo:
Ain Gordon's IN THIS PLACE... from Ain Gordon on Vimeo.
|1890 Sanborn Map of then|
95 S. Limestone/Mulberry
The property would transfer hands many times over the following century-plus. Over the years, it would be utilized as "a single family home, an antique store, apartments, and eventually a rooming house."
The house became quite dilapidated.
|Oldham House, ca. 1965|
|Oldham House, ca. 2007|
Photo: Gilpin Masonry
In December 2006, the home's savior entered into a fight with the architecture review board (BOAR) over a sloped-roof addition Coleman had added to the rear of the structure. BOAR found the addition was 4 1/2 feet too wide and the sloped-roof was not in keeping with the architectural style. Seven months later, the planning commission overruled the BOAR.
An op-ed in the Feb. 4, 2007, Herald-Leader summed up the situation quite well in: "Lexington's desire and ability to connect with the past is fantastic and, in many ways unique among growing, forward thinking cities. But our love for history and tradition should not blind us from the reality of the modern day."
Additional photos of the deTour of the Oldham House can be viewed on flickr.
Sources: ancestry.com; BGT; LBAR; local.lexpublib.org; Merlene Davis (H-L); Rootsweb
The Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation hosts a monthly deTour for young professionals (and the young-at-heart). The group meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. Learn more details about this exciting group on Facebook! You can also see Kaintuckeean write-ups on previous deTours by clicking here.