Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Attends Ceremony Celebrating the Renovation of My Old Kentucky Home

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, November 01, 2006  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Gil Lawson

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher today celebrated the completion of a renovation project at one of Kentucky’s most celebrated homes – Federal Hill Mansion at My Old Kentucky Home State Park at Bardstown.

The Georgian-style mansion that legend says inspired Stephen Foster’s “My Old Kentucky Home” has undergone nearly $1 million in extensive interior renovations.

“My Old Kentucky Home is so integral to our collective memory — and our identity — that we sent it out to the nation on the back of the quarter dollar,” Governor Fletcher said during a ceremony at the park. “It is a recognized symbol of Kentucky’s heritage and tradition.”

This is the first major renovation since 1977. The goal was to make the home look as it did in the 1850s when Foster wrote his famous song. The work includes new interior finishes, reproduction wallpapers, carpets, drapery treatments and bed hangings.

The work, made possible by an anonymous donor, began in 2004 and was carried out by a group of expert artisans. They include Matthew J. Mosca, a consultant on historic paint finishes from Baltimore; Jim Yates, a consultant on wallpaper from Johnson City, Tenn., who has installed wallpaper at the White House; Kevin and Marva Hereford, consultants on the draperies and bed hangings from Milton, Ky.; Todd Deetsch, a consultant on grain finishes in Middletown, Ky.; and Ron Langdon, the home’s curator.

Sen. Dan Kelly (R-Springfield) said, “This is another example of a local community taking advantage of its heritage to promote tourism in Kentucky, and I commend them for their efforts.”

“My Old Kentucky Home is not only a historic landmark, but represents the true spirit of all Kentuckians. This renovation lends all citizens a key to our Commonwealth’s rich past, which will help lead us into the future,” said Rep. David Floyd (R-Bardstown)

Construction of Federal Hill was started by John Rowan in 1795 and was completed in 1818. The state took control of the home in 1922. It has undergone renovations in 1926, 1950 and 1977.

My Old Kentucky Home will also be holding its annual candlelight tours Nov. 24-25, Dec. 1-2 and Dec. 8-9 this year. This event features tours led by guides dressed in Christmas period correct clothing at Federal Hill mansion. The house is decorated for the holidays as it would have been in the 1800s. Guests are served refreshments after the tour. For information, contact the park at 502-348-3502.

The 285-acre park also has an 18-hole golf course, campground, picnic area and a summertime theatrical production – “The Stephen Foster Story.”