Brown Pusey House is Elizabethtown landmark
ELIZABETHTOWN, KY. (WDRB) -- The Brown Pusey House has been a landmark in Elizabethtown since it was built in 1825. One well-known guest made it his home for years, and there's even a connection to President Abraham Lincoln.
The Brown Pusey House was first known as the Hill House. John Y. Hill built it in 1825 -- a tailor turned builder when his first business didn't pan out.
Twylane Van Lahr, the Executive Director of the Brown-Pusey House, explains Hill was, "not really an experienced builder. This was one of the first homes he built, and I think it's incredible. It's still standing almost 200 years later, and in very good condition."
Hill built the house by hand over two or three years. Each one of the bricks was made with clay from the area and molded and fired on the site. Inside the house, the original hardwood floors are made from poplar trees right there on the property.
Van Lahr says, "It was a substantial home, not a mansion, not huge, but would have been very substantial because they were a pretty affluent family for that time period."
Hill eventually turned his home into a boarding house with his second wife, known as Aunt Beck. Van Lahr says, "She was well known for her good food and coffee and a favorite stop on the way from Louisville to Nashville....Folks would stop and spend the night and get meals here because you didn't have fast food on every corner like we do now, so they had to plan that very carefully."
The price was $2 a night, and 25¢ a meal. One famous guest, General George Custer, lived there for two years with his wife while stationed in the area in the 1870's.
Van Lahr says, "She wrote to his wife before she followed him here and he told her about the quaint lady who ran the house. And it wasn't as bad as they thought. It might be because she made really good biscuits and applesauce that were served at every meal."
Afterwards, the men and women retired to "his" and "hers" parlors to relax before heading upstairs for the night. There's even a bit of presidential history gracing the rooms -- a cabinet made by President Abraham Lincoln's father Thomas.
Van Lahr explains, "We know he apprenticed here in town with other carpenters and was an extremely talented craftsman. There are nine of those in existence, and we're very fortunate to have one of them."
Over the years, Aunt Beck's nephews, the Pusey brothers, bought the house to share it with the community as a museum, and a gathering place for parties and weddings.
Van Lahr says, "The walls are filled with memories from many generations. We have second and third generations getting married here now, because parents and grandparents have very fond memories of this location."
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