A pioneer spirit meets early Kentucky refinement in Halleywood. Its story is intertwined with the earliest history of the Commonwealth. In the spring of 1775 Daniel Boone & his men established the fort at Boonesborough, in Madison County. Among the party was John Halley and, soon after, his nephew Samuel Halley joined him from Virginia. The Halley family (sometimes also spelled Holly or Hawley in accordance to its pronunciation) are credited with planting the first orchard in Kentucky, building the first stone house, first store, and first tobacco barn at Boonesborough, as well as shipping the first tobacco to England.
Lacking his own children, the elder John Halley entrusted nephew Samuel with affairs and passed along his land. Eventually Samuel owned a large portion of Madison County, including the original site of Boonesborough. He & his family built a stone house, traditionally Virginian in style. After losing that home and others to fire, he moved to Scott County, enlisting famed early architect John McMurtry. McMurtry’s plans for the 1852 design incorporated a large facade similar to Waveland, as well as a notable balcony. The balcony bears McMurtry’s imprint with its cutout trefoil motif, common to all of his Gothic designs. Pilastered walls are arranged in the L-shape popular at the time. It was here, in the vicinity of the great house, that Samuel & family used scientific research to develop cutting-edge methods for tobacco farming. Son Dr. Samuel Halley further improved the industry, reforming “tobacco marketing in a way to give farmers equity in dealing with manufacturer’s buying monopolies.” (Bevins)
The house remained in the Halley family until 1918 when it was purchased by horseman Thomas Piatt (a Derby-winning breeder & founding Keeneland Association shareholder). Never intending to use the home as a residence, for 30 years the home laid vacant or occupied by tenants, sometimes playing host to pigs or used to dry tobacco.
As a young girl Piatt’s granddaughter Connie Clinkenbeard (née Young) so admired the house that he eventually gifted it to her. She and her husband embarked on a thoughtful restoration in 1967. Later owners have protected the estate’s legacy, preparing it for its next steward.
Today, the historic residence and its proposed division of 18.2 ± acres are primed for modern living. The home’s 4959 square feet boasts 4BR and 2.5 BA. Preserved architectural details add grand appeal. Outside, a two-room brick building backs the farm and a tobacco-style horse barn offers five stalls. A 4+ bay detached workshop and garage allow ample space for hobbies and storage. With its rich history, fine details, & manageable tract size, 500 Paynes Depot marks a rare opportunity. Its new steward will share in a rich Bluegrass heritage in a desirable Scott County locale.