April Cole, Cheryl Olds Cheek, Eric Whisman, Frankfort, Franklin County, Franklin County Trust for Historic Preservation, Gene Burch, Glen Willis, History, Jim "Sully" Sullivan, Martha Moore, Richard Taylor, Riverside Soiree, Teresa Sullivan, Terri Sullivan, Terri's Catering at the Glen Willis House, The Glen Willis House
Everyone deserves a second chance, right? Why not historic properties too? That’s exactly what Ms. Martha Moore thought of the old Glen Willis House 40 years ago, as it sat as merely an empty shell and headed for the auction block to be torn down by developers for a new strip mall along the Kentucky River.
The Franklin County Trust for Historic Preservation Inc., was chartered November 27, 1974, for the purpose of preserving and restoring historic landmarks in the area. The Glen Willis was the first endeavor and was purchased at auction on August 23, 1975, with a personal loan that Ms. Martha Moore had taken out to purchase the house. At the time, it sold for a mere $60,000. Although the trust had not raised enough money to purchase the house, they believed “the importance of the house and its former occupants, they had to purchase it and protect it from almost certain demolition.” They began a decade long project to raise funds to restore this historic home.
Fast forward 40 years. The Glen Willis was sold to the state ten years later to complete it’s renovations and be used as office space. It spent 20 years as state offices before becoming a flurry of restaurants. And now, under the ownership of Terri and her husband Jim “Sully” Sullivan, Terri runs her wildly successful catering business from the home, which serves as a beautiful backdrop for weddings, meetings, parties and other notable Frankfort events, including the Riverside Soiree, which was held Friday at the historic Glen Willis. It was truly a celebration of being able to save and salvage such a beautiful piece of Frankfort history!
The night was filled with music, art, food and spirits as 125 people attended the first ever soiree held by the Franklin County Trust for Historic Preservation. Partly a celebration of the accomplishments of a community that believes in something, and partly a fund raiser for the trust itself, there was an artist gallery with works by many local artists.
Among the works on display was the photography of Mr. Gene Burch. Locally famous for his compositions, including a calendar he has produced since 1992. Ms. April Cole is Owner, Editor & Photographer at Capital Living Magazine, and Owner/Photographer for Digital Expressions Photography. Her photographic work was also featured that evening, displaying works of Franklin Counties historic places and much more! Many enjoyed the original oil paintings of Frankfort by Cheryl Olds Cheek. Works of art were also displayed by Mr. Richard Taylor, a past Poet Laureate of Kentucky, Kenan Visiting Writer at Transylvania University in Lexington, and co-owner of Poor Richard’s Books in Frankfort. Entertainment during the soiree included music performed by The Stringling Brothers and The Hart Strings.
During the evening’s events, Ms. Moore was presented with a specially made piece of pottery from Broadway Clay. She told the story of how she would drive past the run down Glen Willis and what it took to purchase and renovate it. Terri Sullivan was also presented with a $2,000 grant check to help with further upkeep of the Glen Willis.
It was a wonderful evening enjoyed by all. For anyone looking to join the Franklin County Trust for Historic Preservation, contact Eric Whisman, President, at
Andy Beshear, Attorney General, Glen Willis, Glen-Willis House, Govenor Steve Beshear, Governor, Jim "Sully" Sullivan, State Attorney General, Teresa Sullivan, Terri's Catering at the Glen Willis House, The Glen Willis House