Keene, Kentucky | Historic Bluegrass Hamlet

This small hamlet in Jessamine County was first known as “North Liberty.” It was later renamed “Keene” when several Keene, New Hampshire residents moved there. The vibrant community quickly grew to include a grist mill, hemp factory & rope walks, tailor, hatter & more.

19th century Business Directory Map of Keene, Kentucky

In 1841, Mason Singleton developed the Keene Springs Resort. Located near sulphur springs, the hotel provided a notable refuge for Lexingtonians fleeing the city’s cholera epidemics. Paul Sawyier, the famed Kentucky artist, at one time lived and worked in Keene, completing his painting of the former Keene Springs Hotel, here called “Wilson Store at Keene.”

Wilson Store at Keene by Paul Sawyier

After the Civil War, Keene became known as a predominantly Black community. Several fraternal lodges and a oft-praised school, Keene Industrial Institute. Much community activity centered around the still-active, historic Macedonia Baptist Church.

A Federal program in 1979 aimed to restore Keene, improving the lives of its aging population. Condemned houses were demolished and indoor plumbing & electricity were installed for many residents.

Barn at Cave Spring Farm

Keene’s charm is again recognized today. The surrounding areas known for beautiful, fertile lands near Cave Spring Creek, are popular among farmers & builders. Don’t forget to see our Cave Spring Farm & Cambridge Estates offerings. Explore our Jessamine County listings here

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