Waveland, located in Danville, Kentucky, was constructed between 1797 and 1800 by Willis Green.
Willis Green, of Scotch-Irish descent, was born and raised in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia 1 where he served as the deputy clerk of Fauquier County, Virginia. 3 Green relocated to Kentucky in a surveying party in 1782 1 and in 1783, married Sarah Reed in what was described as “one of the Christian marriages ever solemnized on Kentucky soil.” 3 Reed was the daughter of John Reed, one of the first settlers of Danville.
Green represented Kentucky County in the Virginia legislature and then in Kentucky’s own legislature, was a framer of Kentucky’s constitution and an original trustee of the Transylvania Seminary in Lexington. 1 3 He also held office as the clerk of the court in Lincoln County. Green received a land grant of 2,000 acres near Danville, and over the period of three years, constructed a late-Georgian style residence. The interior was crafted by skilled workers from Philadelphia. A rear slave quarter connected to the kitchen.
Waveland, named for the undulating terrain surrounding it, was originally oriented to the east towards present-day Gose Pike. 3 After Houstonville Pike was constructed to the west, the house was reoriented with the addition of a front porch and the reversal of the interior stairway.
Waveland was passed down to his wife after Green died in 1813. 3 After she passed in 1816, it was purchased by their son, Judge John Green, who had studied law under Henry Clay and served as aide-de-camp to Governor Isaac Shelby in the War of 1812. Green served in the state Senate and in the House. The third owner of Waveland was Dr. William Craig who acquired the house after his brother-in-law, Judge Green, died. 3 After Craig passed in 1854, his eldest son, John J. Craig, became the owner. It was then sold to J.D. Erskine in 1924.
The land surrounding Waveland was actively farmed until the 1960s when it was sold off to be developed into suburban housing. 1 The residence itself was abandoned in 1976. 2
After Tessa Horton of Lexington placed the house up for auction on June 8, 2013, various preservation groups, including the Bluegrass Trust for Historic Preservation, the James Harrod Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Boyle Landmark Trust, banded together to acquire Waveland for $87,200. 1 After a failed starting bid of $100,000, the starting price was lowered to $50,000 and was only edged up to $80,000 by Shane Baker, co-owner of the Wilderness Trace Distillery, who had intended to purchase the site to save it from being demolished.
The Bluegrass Trust placed an easement on Waveland to prevent it from being torn down and has plans to resell the residence to someone who will restore it. 1
[su_spoiler title=”Sources” icon=”caret”]
- Blackford, Linda B. “Preservation groups come together to buy historic, crumbling Georgian house for $87,200.” Herald-Leader [Lexington] 8 June 2013: n. pag.
- Kocher, Greg. “Danville’s Willis Green house to be auctioned.” Herald-Leader [Lexington] 6 June 2013: n. pag.
- United States. Dept. of the Interior. Waveland. Comp. Mary Cronan. Washington: National Park Service, Sept. 1975. Web. 11 May 2014. Article.