Department of Parks
Site of Race Track At William Whitley State Historic Site Purchased
STANFORD, Ky. – The Kentucky Department of Parks has purchased 50 acres of land next to the William Whitley House State Historic Site, the location of one of the first horse racing tracks in the country.
The site is where Whitley, a frontiersman and soldier, established a race track and for the first time used clay instead of turf and raced horses counterclockwise as opposed to the British practice of running clockwise. Whitley’s house and the property were also known as “Sportsman’s Hill.”
Funding for the property came from the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund, which gets part of its funding from license plate fees that feature Kentucky State Parks. The department paid $311,499 for the property.
Parks Commissioner Gerry van der Meer said the purchase is significant because it will help the parks preserve an important part of Kentucky history. The department is making plans on how it will interpret the property for park guests.
The 18th century home near Stanford was the first brick home west of the Alleghany Mountains. The house is about 10 miles south of Stanford off US 150.
For more information about the historic site, visit www.parks.ky.gov
The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 52 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges -- more than any other state. For more information on Kentucky parks, visit our Web site at http://www.parks.ky.gov