The 4th Annual Bourbon and Browns fundraising event held on Saturday could not have asked for better weather or a more perfect venue. Held in the beautiful and historic homes and gardens of the Orlando Brown House and Liberty Hall, the event drew the largest crowd thus far. The attendees were also generous donors. During the live auction, the three items were sold for $5,400 total, which included a halter worn by 2015 Triple Crown Winner, American Pharaoh. Among those in attendance were former Lt. Governor Crit Luallen, as well as former Kentucky Governor Martha Layne Collins, who both support the history of the Commonwealth and that of Frankfort.
About 300 people enjoyed the evening with Bluegrass Music provided by No Tools Loaned, bourbon and wine provided by Brown-Forman, and food by Holly Hill Inn. With live music, live and silent auctions, such a beautiful venue on a perfect Spring evening in Frankfort, it’s a no wonder so many people showed and stayed to enjoy the festivities.
About Liberty Hall
In 1786 General James Wilkinson, who owned much of what is today downtown Frankfort, sold the tract that includes Liberty Hall to Frankfort resident Andrew Holmes. In 1796, Holmes sold four acres to Senator John Brown, where Liberty Hall and the Orlando Brown House now reside.
Liberty Hall (1796) was built by Senator John Brown, Kentucky’s first Senator after it became a state in 1792, and the Orlando Brown House (1835), was designed by Gideon Shryock, and owned by Senator Brown’s second son. Liberty Hall is operated as a house museum and is open to the public. Liberty Hall Historic Site is a 501(c)3 organization owned and operated by Liberty Hall, Inc., and The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Brown began construction of a home on the property shortly after purchasing it, though he was often away on government business in Philadelphia, then the capital of the United States. The architect of Liberty Hall is unknown, although Brown may have done some of the design. One of the earliest brick homes in Frankfort, this structure was made from bricks fired locally from clay dug from the cellar. The construction continued until 1800 when the house was substantially complete. It lacked only the glass windows, which were added in 1804. In addition to the main house, several dependent structures were built on the property, including a kitchen and laundry, smokehouse, a privy, stables, carriage house, and slave quarters.
In 1835 John Brown divided his property in order that his sons would have equal inheritance. His elder son, Mason, inherited Liberty Hall. For his younger son, Orlando, Brown hired Gideon Shryock, designer of the Kentucky Capitol, to design a new house. Constructed in the Greek Revival style, the Orlando Brown House was built by local contractor Harrison Blanton. The entire project cost $5,000.
In 1934, Mary Mason Scott, John Brown’s great-granddaughter and the last resident of Liberty Hall, died; she left Liberty Hall to her brother, John Matthew Scott. He sold Liberty Hall to a group of concerned citizens who had formed Liberty Hall, Inc., a nonprofit organization to preserve the historic building. They opened the house as a museum in 1937.
The Orlando Brown House was occupied until 1955. Anne Hord Brown, Orlando Brown’s last remaining descendant, left the house to the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Kentucky (NSCDA-KY). The Dames opened the house as a museum in 1955. It was designated in 1971 as a U.S. National Historic Landmark.30BourbonBourbon