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House free for the moving

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Victorian house has 13 rooms

By Ron Benningfield

Local funeral home operators Brad Turner and Todd Skaggs are offering a 3,500 square-foot home in Hodgenville for the taking.

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The only stipulation is that the person who takes the home must pay an earnest deposit and agree to pay for moving the historic Victorian-style house off the property located next to Bennett-Bertram Funeral Home on Water Street.

“It will probably cost in the neighborhood of $100,000 to move the house (60 by 36 feet), and that has been the greatest drawback to someone taking it,” said Wesley Warren, a funeral director at Bennett-Bertram.

He said six or seven people have expressed interest in the house but at latest count, only two remain serious contenders for the home with floor-to-ceiling windows, four mantels and a total of 13 rooms.

I.W. Twyman, a LaRue County lawyer who was a delegate to the Kentucky constitutional Convention of 1890-91, built the house in 1889. According to court records, he was prominent in LaRue County, having incorporated Kenyon College (on a site where Hodgenville school stood) and a bank in LaRue County.

The house also may have a connection to another historic figure. Though no documentation has been found, Warren mentioned the story goes that in 1902, a little over a decade before becoming this nation’s president, Woodrow Wilson spent the night as Twymanís guest while on a trip to Hodgenville to visit Lincoln’s birthplace.

If Wilson did visit, he would have noticed the intricately carved mantels, a full-length porch supported by Doric columns, yellow poplar doorway (still containing its original sidelights and stained-glass transom), an arched inside doorway leading from the back foyer to the dining room and yellow poplar millwork retaining its original shellac throughout.

Albert Bennett, a partner of Bennett-Bertram at the time, purchased the house in the 1960s. His widow, June, lived in the home until her death in 2007 when Skaggs and Turner purchased it. 

The owners want to have the lot on which the house is situated to be vacant for possible funeral home expansion or other uses. 

Though the plumbing and electrical systems need upgrading and the house could use quite a bit of cosmetic work, Warren said they would like to see it moved intact, if possible.

“It’s such a pretty home,” he said. “We would rather not see it torn down.”

Warren may be contacted at 270-358-4151.