Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Exciting find in Westport Kentucky and the Gaines Family

Originally Posted March 4, 2010
Still one of my most exciting finds


I have been participating in the 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy challenges. The challenge for week 4 was to use the inter-library loan system at our local library. The book I requested through ILL was History & Families Oldham County, Kentucky: the first century, 1824-1924. I had a photo of a house with Westport, KY written on it and simply took a stab in the dark by requesting a book for that area.

The first photo, to the left, was a photo I had, the second photo was IN THE BOOK!! I started thumbing through the book as soon as I picked it up. I saw the house and said "wait a minute I've seen this house before". To say I was surprised and excited would be putting it mildly! The caption below the photo says at the time the photo was taken the house was owned by Clyde Gaines. I also have photos identified as Clyde Gaines, Jr., Connie Gaines and J.S. Gaines. Gaines is not one of my direct surnames, however, my Grandfather's sister was named Ora Gaines Allen and she lived in Clark County, Kentucky. Clark County and Oldham County are not adjoining counties. I have called the Oldham County Historical Society in hopes of finding out if the house is still standing and any information on the Gaines family. The book states the house is called Hurricane Hall and was built on a bluff above the Ohio River one mile north of Westport. I hope to hear something back tomorrow.

I spoke with the Oldham County Kentucky Historical Society...this house burned to the ground in the 1930's. I asked for additional information as to the location of the house. I was told, in no uncertain terms, that is private property and I would be trespassing if I went there. Seemed odd to me how adamant the Historical Society person was about that. Makes me wonder if the same family still owns the property and maybe she knows the family? I assured her I was only trying to locate the house on Google Earth which didn't seem to appease her all that much.