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“Beautiful Historical Mansion and Grounds”

White Hall State Historic Site
Ranked #2 of 19 things to do in Richmond
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Attraction details
Owner description: White Hall State Historic Site was the home of Cassius Marcellus Clay, 19th century emancipationist, politician, newspaper publisher, Ambassador to Russia, and friend to Abraham Lincoln. The restored Italianate mansion was built in 1798 and remodeled in the 1860s. General Green Clay built the original brick Georgian-style home called Clermont. Cassius M. Clay inherited the house upon his father’s passing. He and his wife Mary Jane Warfield Clay built the new addition that more than doubled the size of the house and added such modern amenities as indoor plumbing and central heating.
Reviewed 16 October 2011

I was born and raised in Ky but had never visited the White Hall Mansion In Richmond Ky. To my pleasant surprise, it is a beautiful Itallianette Mansion in rural Ky that has been restored by the former Ky first lady, Beullah Nunn. And, how grande it is! An architectual wonder, there are 3 florrs of magnificence from the 1860 era in Ky. Filled with Ky and Us history, our guide was wonderful and full of Clay family stories and historical facts. If you go and he is there, ask for Randy: you will enjoy his patience and knowledge very much. We had a 9 yr old with us and he kept her interested all the way throught he tour wheich went well over our scheduled hour. Allow time for the grounds as there is a outside restored kitchen, ice house, smoke house, and beautiful gardens kept by the women of Richmond. A great day for a minimal charge of 6.00 per adult, 3.00 for students and children. A real bargain! The house has many stairs and is not handicap accessible.

1  Thank granmab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"cassius clay"
in 17 reviews
"ghost walk"
in 7 reviews
"historical home"
in 4 reviews
"small visitor center"
in 2 reviews
"fascinating history"
in 3 reviews
"kentucky history"
in 4 reviews
"every hour on the hour"
in 2 reviews
"small lake"
in 2 reviews
"answered every question"
in 2 reviews
"history lovers"
in 2 reviews
"tour guide was very knowledgeable"
in 2 reviews
"well worth the visit"
in 2 reviews
"gift shop"
in 4 reviews
"mansion"
in 6 reviews
"tours"
in 10 reviews
"playground"
in 2 reviews
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70 - 73 of 73 reviews

Reviewed 31 October 2010

My family and I for Halloween 2010 saw an ad for a "ghost walk" at the White Hall mansion. Knowing that the mansion has had a number of paranormal experiences and is considered very "haunted", I jumped on the opportunity to reserve a place for a tour. Upon arrival, we were introduced to our "spirit guide" who read all of her lines from a piece of paper and was very unprofessional. The tour was broken down into separate eras of Cassius Clay where actors portrayed historical figures. These "actors" were students of Eastern Kentucky University and were less than stellar. Not once during the one hour tour were there any mention of haunting or ghosts of the White Hall estate. i feel very ripped off as I payed $40 for my family to enjoy some nice ghost stories from White Hall and all that we got was a standard historical tour that is usually only $6 a person. The mansion itself is a very cool place but it isn't even all that creepy unless it is played up a bit. Many people looked very bored and many were sitting on the floor playing on their cell phones.

Overall, stay away from this during Halloween if you are looking for a good spook. if you want a ghost story of any kind, please, stay away!! If this is the best script writing the EKU theater department has at its disposal then it definitely needs an overhaul. Just a really bad experience!

1  Thank dudleydoobad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2010

White Hall was the estate of Cassius Clay who was friends with Abraham Lincoln. It is a beautiful piece of land with a massive beautiful mansion. Tours are available to the mansion but I did not participate and instead chose to tour the grounds. The property is very peaceful and there were not a lot of visitors when I stopped. I would recommend the place to anybody. Such a lovely piece of Kentucky history!

2  Thank KentuckyTravelBug80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2009

I have to say I really enjoyed White Hall – and even if you’re not very enthusiastic about house museums this one is still worth visiting. It is in the middle of Madison County’s largest working farm – 2200 acres still owned by the family… sort of. When Cassius Clay died (in the library in the house!!) the house was purchased at auction by one of his daughter’s husband – and members of that family line still own and farm the land. All of the outbuildings on the property are also original – which I thought was great! There are some out back including a kitchen and ice house, and some out front including the gift shop, which used to be the corn crib and the restrooms which used to be the grist mill.

My tour guide was a lot of fun! She had a spunky way of weaving humor and modern references into the history lesson and keeping the hour long tour interesting! She commented how scandalous I was in the house, fashioned to the 1860s, showing so much leg by wearing shorts and that I was much too tall for the fashions of the day, at 5’9” because the average woman was only 5’4”.

The house itself is a great piece of historical architecture… although as my guide told me – after the auction it was actually not really used as a residence. Tenants lived in it for awhile, and then it was used as a barn – with animals running through it! Even though it sat like that for some sixty years much of the original elements survived including these large, deep plaster mouldings on the main floor that I was very impressed by. Also the piano is original to the house – it never left the ballroom even when it was full of barn yard animals!

Apparently it was Cassius Clay’s first wife who spent his money designing and building most of the house. The front entrance was changed three times, so the house has officially faced three different directions through its history. There are these unique curved walls all over the house and one of the coolest things was the triple closet bathroom!! The house had interior plumbing with three closets in the hall being turned one into a toilet run by water, the second a sink and the third a 50-gallon copper bathtub which was incredible. There was a water tank built into the ceilings over the closets that gathered rain water to use for plumbing and from the upper floor, you can see the tank through a cut away in the floor. This is definitely something you don’t see often and I thought was really impressive and totally unique.

Also on the top floor, is a dress that Cassius Clay’s wife wore to see a play at Ford’s Theatre with President Lincoln only a few weeks before his assassination in that same location. It sits next to an original document with Abraham Lincoln’s signature on it – also a very impressive collection piece! There was also a Lincoln room on the top floor with some additional history and displays.

One of the other cool elements of the house was a jail cell in the basement with barred windows and all – although missing the shackles that apparently once hung from the walls. White Hall is an enormous house, with 6 levels staggered in a maze like formation! I’m glad my guide knew where she was going, because I’m not sure I could have figured it out.

6  Thank ampd333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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