Keeneland Magazine


Keeneland, Investing in Racing's Future since 1936.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 57 of 91

58 WINTER 2014 K KEENELAND.COM The stately three-story Federal-style brick mansion occupies a prominent corner of Gratz Park. Period furnishings add to the historic ambience. THESE WALLS … By Maryjean Wall / Photos by David Stephenson P ause at Market and Second streets, squint into the past, and you might see Gen. Thomas Bodley coming home from the War of 1812-14. The general was searching for a house to suit his social standing, a stature greatly en- hanced with this popular war. Even Lexington's own Henry Clay had promised the U.S. Senate that Americans were fully capable of snatching Canada from the British. The British countered by leaving the White House a smoking ruin. The war pret- ty much ended in a draw, but Bodley returned to a city celebrating victory with a procession in which throngs carried a thousand lighted candles through Lexington streets. He soon found the house of his dreams. In 1814 Bodley, 44, paid a merchant named Thomas Pindell $10,000 for a brick residence, newly built by Samuel Long, at Market and Second streets. The building has been known in more recent years as the Bodley-Bullock House, with the Bullock portion of the name taken from the last among its private owners, Waller and Minnie Bullock. The Bodley-Bullock House has history. It also has a ghost. This year marked its bicentennial, a milestone few Bluegrass buildings have attained. From its location at the southeast corner of Gratz Park, the house has witnessed immense change over time, from those days when homing pigeons carried race results — to modern times when videos stream over smart phones. To appreciate this lengthy existence, consider that Bodley and his wife, Cather- ine, entertained when socialites in Lexington still clung to the Colonial custom of piling their powdered hair in towering arrangements atop their heads. For the past 30 years the Junior League of Lexington has leased the house from Transylvania University, making its headquarters here and making the building available for wedding receptions and other events. Modern brides descend an el- liptical staircase that remains as awe-inspiring as it was during the Bodley era. IF Bodley-Bullock House, home to many prominent Lexingtonians, turns 200

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of Keeneland Magazine - WINTER 2014