My House


"To us, our house...had a heart, and a soul, and eyes to see us with; and approvals and solicitudes and deep sympathies; it was of us and we were in its confidence and lived in its grace and in the peace of its benediction."
 --Mark Twain



The house in 1906
The Kelly House is a contributing structure within the Old Neighborhoods National Register Historic District and is an example of Queen Anne cottage architecture, as evidenced by the cross-gabled roof, the symmetrical layout of the house, and the hipped roofs over bays at the front and west sides of the house. The stained glass windows at the front of the house are also a feature of this architecture and are original to the house.

The house was built circa 1887 by James Crawford Kelly, a Lafayette County cattle farmer who owned a livery stable and a general store in Lexington.  The one-story house is frame construction with cedar clapboards and a brick foundation.  The house originally consisted of six rooms: an entryway, two parlors, a dining room, a kitchen, and a bedroom.  Another two rooms and a small porch on the east side of the house were added sometime after 1910.  Mr. Kelly and his wife, Maria Louisa (Duncan) Kelly lived in this home until their deaths in 1916. The house was then owned by their son, Aubrey (A.O.) Kelly until the early 1950s.   After A.O.'s death, the house had numerous owners.

With shingles, in 2006
The exterior appearance of the Kelly House was significantly altered in the late 1960s when the clapboard siding was covered with cedar shingles and the original porch was removed and enclosed. Original iron roof cresting (visible in the 1906 photo of the house) has also been removed.  Two exterior doors leading to the side porch were removed when closets were built in the house.  The original back door of the house was replaced sometime after the construction of the additional two rooms.  The door at the rear of the house is not the original.  The house still retains nearly all of its original exterior trim.  All but one of the original windows retain their glass.

After the first paint job, 2010
The interior layout of the house remains mostly as it was originally.  Plaster walls and ceilings are intact in all original rooms of the house with the exception of the dining room ceiling.  The house retains nearly all of its original trim although it has been painted.  The original interior doors were damaged when they were sawed in half by a previous owner but the original steeple hinges were retained.  The current owner has repaired the doors.  It is believed that the original wood floors are intact but have been covered by later flooring.  Closets have been added to the kitchen, two bedrooms, and a parlor.  The two rooms of the post-1910 addition have been divided for bathrooms. The roof on the west side of the post-1910 addition has been replaced and does not follow the original roof line.

Spring of 2015
The lot size is much the same as it was in 1887 except for several feet taken off the front of the lot by the City of Lexington when South Street was widened.  The lot was originally bordered on the east by a wood and iron fence with an iron gate.  (Part of this fence is visible in the 1906 photo.)  The cistern near the back door of the house has been covered with concrete.  A two-story stable was located at the northwest corner of the lot but was torn down sometime after 1930.


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