Known as “the most commodious stone house in the Sandy Valley,”1 3 the residence, along with a burial vault and a chapel, were listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The land for the estate was purchased by David and Jennie Garrett in 1820, and a log cabin was constructed.2 Thirty years later, a two-story residence was constructed by both sons, Ulysses and David W. Garred, from multi-colored, hand-cut sandstone.1 2 3 The front featured five window bays, widely spaced, and a first-level porch.2 3 The endwalls feature low square chimneys.

The rear addition, as well as a shed and three-bay garage, feature a different grade of rock that resembles what was typically used by the Works Progress Administration in the construction of many area schools and public buildings.1 A kitchen ell is in the addition, along with rooms that once housed slaves.2 3 Some outbuildings include a smokehouse and a barn that dates to 1820.

The family name “Garrett” was changed in as a result of David senior’s construction of a Greek Revival burial vault in 1835, which was the first of its kind in the area.1 2 3 Located at the top of a hill, the vault was used as a landmark for passing riverboats as it could be seen for two miles in either direction. The sides feature native stone, while the front entrance feature marble quarried in Vermont. The massive slab was transported via the Mississippi River from New Orleans, then via the Ohio and Big Sandy rivers to Louisa, where it was then hauled by an ox team to the site.

But once the marble slab had arrived, it had become apparent that the family name had been misspelled as “Garred” instead of “Garrett.” The mistake remained intact and the name change was made permanent.1 2 3

In 1845, the senior David passed away.2 Ulysses was elected to the state legislature in 1848, and again in 1873.1 2(3d)

Soon after the new stone residence was constructed in 1850, the Garred’s split the property. David W. constructed a two-story frame house nearby.2 In 1870, David donated land, materials and labor for the construction of a small brick Methodist church. Tucked between the church and the stone house was a family cemetery.

The automobile garage was constructed on July 15, 1932, evidenced by a date scratched into the concrete below the cut stone.1

The Garred property was divided in the 1870s, with Ulysses taking ownership of the house and David controlling the property to the south.1 The residence later served as a hotel, described by William Ely in The Big Sandy in 1887 as “second to no other hostelry in the valley.”2 3(3d)

The residence was most recently home to Dr. Francis E. Burgess, who practiced medicine from the home. Burgess was a dedicated poet, often writing topics relating to Lawrence County, including his residence.1

The property was purchased in 2009 by Martin County entrepreneur Jim Booth, who has the intention of restoring the residence.1

  1. Preston, Tim. “New luster for a Lawrence gem.” Daily Independent 15 Nov. 2009. 1 Dec. 2009.
  2. Perkins, Marlitta H. “Garred-Burgess House.” Lawrence County Landmarks. rootsweb, n.d. Web. 1 Dec. 2009 Article.
  3. United States. Department of the Interior. “Garred House, Chapel and Burial Vault.” National Register of Historic Places Inventory – Nomination Form. Comp. Gloria Mills. N.p.: n.p., n.d. National Park Service. Web. 1 Dec. 2009. Nomination Form.
    3a. Big Sandy News, 1 Sept., 1922, p. 1.
    3b. Collins, Lewis and Richard Collins. Collins Historical Sketches of Kentucky. Vol. II, Louisville: John P. Morton and Co., 1874, pp. 258, 261, 459.
    3c. Connelley, William Elsey, and E. M. Coulter. History of Kentucky. Vol. I, Chicago: America Historical Society, 1922, p. 1101.
    3d. Ely, William. The Big Sandy Valley, Catlettsburg: 1887.
    3e. Population, Economic and Land Use Study, Louisa, Kentucky. Kentucky Program Development Office. September, 1968, p. 3.