Community History – Ludlow – Elmwood Hall

Elmwood Hall

Elmwood Hall is the first permanent home to be built in the City of Ludlow. The home is located at 244 Forest Avenue.

In 1790, what is today the City of Ludlow was granted to General Thomas Sandford for his long service to the United States Military. This grant consisted of approximately 1,200 acres. Sandford built a log cabin on the property.

In 1818, Thomas D. Carneal traded his land (in what today is Fort Mitchell) with Sandford. Carneal immediately began constructing a grand Federal Style summer home on his newly acquired property. History records that Carneal’s slaves did most of the construction work. The building took four years to be completed. Carneal named the house Elmwood after the large elm trees that shaded the property.

Carneal and his family utilized Elmwood as a summer home until 1827, when the structure was sold to William Bullock, a wealthy English Catholic. Bullock visited the home in 1827 and fell in love with the graceful structure, its pleasant orchards and expansive fields.

William Bullock operated a very successful silversmith store in Liverpool, England. Beginning in the 1790s, he began collecting historical memorabilia and curiosities. These collections eventually formed the nucleus of Bullock’s Museum in Liverpool. In 1811, the museum was moved to Piccadilly Square in London, England. Among Bullock’s most prized acquisitions was the carriage of Emperor Napoleon of France.

Bullock intended to establish a model village on his newly acquired property. He acquired the services of I.B. Papworth, a well-known English architect, to draw plans for his model city. Bullock planned to call the city “Hygeia,” a Greek word meaning health. Bullock traveled to England in an effort to sell lots in his new city. His efforts did not meet with much success.

In 1830, Bullock gave up on his plan and sold Elwood Hall and 710 acres of property to Israel Ludlow for $21,380. In 1840, Ludlow sold the Hall and 42 acres to his brother-in-law, George Kenner (Ludlow maintained ownership over the rest of the estate).

Elmwood remained a residence until 1920, when the Thomas family purchased the hall for use as a candy factory for $4,700.00. The Thomas family operated the candy factory in Elmwood Hall until 1971 when the establishment was closed. The building has since been used as a private home.

The home’s original main entrance faced the Ohio River (north). When the Webster Subdivision was laid out in c. 1880, Forest Avenue was constructed. At this time, the main entrance was switched to the south side of the building. The construction of Forest Avenue also resulted in the demolition of the home’s kitchen wing.

In 1972, Elmwood was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

News Enterprise, July 8, 1971, August 31, 1972, p. 1; Kentucky Post, May 10, 1902, 1p. 1.

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