In the midst of Lexington’s historic antebellum Gratz Park, the Hunt-Morgan House stands as a reminder of early 19th century life, when Lexington was known as The Athens of the West.
Built in 1814, the Federal style Hunt-Morgan House has many beautiful architectural features, including the Palladian window with fan and sidelights that grace its front façade. In 1955, the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation was formed to save the home from impending demolition. The organization restored the home to its Federal appearance and now operates the house as a museum.
The museum’s collection of early Kentucky furniture, antique porcelain and 19th century paintings captures the elegance of the Hunt and Morgan families. The rooms are furnished with articles of the period as well as those owned by the family. The Alexander T. Hunt Civil War Museum, located on the second floor of the Hunt-Morgan House, features an extensive collection of Civil War relics and memorabilia.Click here to download the Hunt-Morgan House brochure.
The Hunt-Morgan Family
The Hunt-Morgan family of Central Kentucky ranks as one of the region's most historic, producing the first millionaire west of the Alleghenies, a civil war brigadier general and Kentucky’s first Nobel Prize Winner.
During the early history of the nation, John Wesley Hunt became a leading landowner and businessman in Kentucky and one of the wealthiest men in the western part of the country. His business empire included interest in banking, horse breeding, agriculture and hemp manufacturing. Among his business associates were Henry Clay and John Jacob Astor.
Confederate General John Hunt Morgan was christened “Thunderbolt of the Confederacy” by an South and described as "King of the Horse Thieves” by Northern sympathizers. Morgan legends abound from his dramatic escape from a federal prison to a ride through the Hunt-Morgan House on horseback to kiss his mother goodbye.
Dr. Thomas Hunt Morgan brought international fame to the family and the Bluegrass by becoming the first Kentuckian to win a Nobel Prize. Morgan graduated in 1886 from the State College of Kentucky, later the University of Kentucky, and received his doctorate from Johns Hopkins University. He co-authored The Mechanics of Mendelian Heredity, which established the fruit fly as the model agent for the study of genetics. He received the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1933.
The Alexander T. Hunt Civil War Museum
The Alexander T. Hunt Civil War Museum, located on the second floor of the Hunt-Morgan House, features an extensive collection of Civil War relics and memorabilia for education purposes.