James Duke’s Residence

The James K. Duke House is a circa 1792 11-room brick antebellum in central Kentucky. The site is notable for its duels and connection to early horse racing in the United States.

The land the residence was built upon was deeded to Col. Abram Buford, who fought in the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. For his service to the nation, Buford was granted thousands of acres of fertile land in Kentucky.

Buford was instrumental in the development of the horse industry in the state, raising thoroughbreds and winning the first races in the area.

His daughter, Mary, married James K. Duke, a Washington, Kentucky resident and graduate of Yale Law School. After Buford died in 1833, they inherited the residence, which was enlarged and rebuilt to orient to the south. The family was known for their lavish entertainment on the farm and their famed horse stables.

Ann Bevins photographed the Duke residence for the National Register of Historic Places nomination form in 1970, which shows the house still occupied but a little worse for the wear.


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