Garred House

Residential / Kentucky

The Garred House, known as “the most commodious stone house in the Sandy Valley,” is a demolished historic residence south of Louisa, Kentucky. The residence, along with a burial vault and chapel, were listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


In 1820, David and Jennie Garrett acquired land along the Big Sandy River south of Louisa and erected a log cabin. 2 David ordered the construction of a Greek Revival style burial vault in 1835, which was the first of its kind in the area. 1 2 3 It was built of native stone with the front entrance featuring marble quarried in Vermont. But once the marble slab had arrived, David noticed that the family name had been misspelled as Garred instead of Garrett. The mistake remained intact and the name change was made permanent. Located at the top of a hill, the vault became a landmark for passing riverboats along the Big Sandy.

A two-story residence, of hand-cut sandstone, was then constructed by sons Ulysses and David W. in 1850. 1 2 3 The front featured five window bays and a first-level porch, with low square chimneys on the north and south elevations. 2 3 The rear addition contained a kitchen 1 and rooms that once housed slaves. 2 3

Shortly after the residence was built the Garred’s split the property and David W. built a two-story frame house nearby. 2 David donated the land, materials, and labor for the erection of a small brick Methodist church near the family cemetery and stone house.

The Garred property was further divided in the 1870s, with the Ulysses taking ownership of the circa 1850 house and David W. controlling property to the south. 1 The stone house later served as a hotel for passing travelers, described by William Ely in The Big Sandy in 1887 as “second to no other hostelry in the valley.” 2 3 3d

It later became home to Dr. Francis E. Burgess, a noted doctor, and poet. 1

The Garred house was purchased in 2009 by Jim Booth who had the intention of restoring the residence. 1 Unfortunately, the long-abandoned house was demolished after a tornado ripped through the area.


  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.