Historic house restored at Mercer park

September 19, 2003|ANN R. HARNEY

HARRODSBURG - After years of work by local preservationists, one of the oldest brick structures in Mercer County has been restored and was opened to the public at a ceremony Thursday.

The Thomas Logan House was built in 1795 on land that now holds Anderson-Dean Community Park. Logan held the job similar to today's road supervisor.

When industrialist and philanthropist Ralph Anderson bought and donated the land for the park, a large old house on the back of the property was found to have been built around the 18th century structure.

Some thought at the time that the best thing to do with both structures was to knock them down, but members of the Harrodsburg Historical Society and later James Harrod Trust for Historic Preservation fought to keep the smaller house standing.


At the same time, money was sought to pay for the restoration of the Logan house. A state grant was obtained, but those funds along with matching and in-kind contributions funds from Mercer County Fiscal Court were well under the amount contractors would charge for the work.

Helen Dedman, president of James Harrod Trust, credited Mercer County Judge-Executive Charlie McGinnis with keeping the ball rolling while at the same time keeping a sharp pencil to the figures needed for the project.

Dedman said the project was bid three times until the costs came into the range of the money available. In all, the project cost about $225,000, but that did not take care of all of the needs for the house.

A committee of Dedman, Jim Shipler and Terry White was named to oversee the project. Harrodsburg City Commission paid for a water line to be run to the house, and Anderson pitched in again and bought the light fixtures for the house.

Dedman thanked the various local and state officials who helped complete the project.

"It was very challenging," said Michael Whitaker, who works for Terry Adams Inc. of Elizabethtown and did all of the carpentry in the house. "Nothing was square or true."

David Dolen said the house was in terrible shape; there were holes in the walls that went through the external brick. Some of the brick had to be replaced, he said. Once the restoration got under way, it took about 14 months to complete.

To celebrate the completion of the project, a ribbon cutting and reception were held at the house. Ann Wilcher, a Logan descendent, was on hand to cut the ribbon.

"We are very, very proud of this house," Dedman said.

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