Restoring the Past

Butler-Turpin House original
outdoor kitchen to be restored

Sale from paintings to benefit
historical project funding

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

(December 2010) – Built in 1859, the detached stone kitchen at the historic Butler-Turpin House in Carrollton, Ky., has seen a lot of wear and tear over the years. A new project is under way to restore the kitchen, ensuring it will be around for many more years to come.
The original stone kitchen was last restored in the 1930s, said Evelyn Welch, Historic Site Museum Manager for the Butler-Turpin State Historic House. “We hope to begin renovation by the end of October.”

Gen. William O. Butler

Photo provided

This giclee of Gen.
William O. Butler
is one of two on
sale to benefit an
outdoor kitchen
renovation project.

The kitchen “is the only surviving out building remaining on the farm once known as Butler Hill,” she said. There was once a series of outbuildings at the site, some that dated to the first generation Butler Log House.
While humidity has resulted in the deterioration of the original plaster over the years, the interior can be refurbished, said Welch. The first and most important step will be to install an HVAC system that will control temperature and humidity to protect the building. Also planned is an exterior repointing phase for 2011-2012. This will involve removal of the Portland cement applied during a 20th century repointing. “Portland cement was man-made and popular in the 1930s,” said Welch. “It’s not really lime mortar.”
Welch said that because “the kitchen is the only remaining out building at the site, it is paramount to restore this building in the way it deserves using appropriate materials and craftsmanship.” Local craftsmen from the area will be employed in the renovation.
In an effort to raise the adequate amount of funding, The Friends of Butler will play a vital role in the funding process by raising the matching funds for a grant that was submitted to the Kentucky Parks Foundation whose mission is to offer funding for projects that are not being met by state funding, said Welch. The grant amount was for $3,600 and total cost for this project is just under $7,000.
With a goal of $1,800 in mind, the Friends of Butler are selling two reproductions of historical paintings. One is of Gen. William Orlando Butler and available in two sizes. A 20x24-inch painting sells for $175, while a larger painting of Gen. Butler, 28x36 inches, is available for $300. The original was painted by John R. Johnson. The second painting is of the Butler Mansion (18x48 inches) by Francis Gilbert Hill. It sells for $300.
The original portrait of Gen. Butler “hangs in the parlor of the Butler-Turpin house,” said Melissa Tharp, treasurer for the Friends of Butler. It was a gift to Thomas Steed Clark’s great-great-grandfather, Union Gen. George W. Morgan of Mt. Vernon, Ohio.
The Butler Mansion painting by Hill was originally donated by the artist at the time of the Butler Memorial Park dedication in 1931. Hill was the grandfather of Mary Ann Gentry, a Carrollton artist.
The Friends of Butler has submitted the required paperwork to become a 501(c)3 organization. “We meet once a month and decide on different things we want to help the park accomplish,” said Tharp.
Marjorie Bowers, president of Friends of Butler, said the group “understands the importance of Gen. Butler State Resort Park and its historic legacy of the Butler family for Carroll County.” For this reason, the organization will offer assistance to projects consistent with their mission. “This is an organization not only for the citizens of Carroll County but for everyone from the region that calls General Butler home.”
When the Friends of Butler held its first Christmas event in 2009 at the site, it was clear that work was needed. “It was a huge success for us,” said Tharp. The event included tours of the mansion, which was decorated for a 19th century Christmas, and homemade baked goods and tea prepared by volunteers and served in the historic kitchen.
“It went so well it has become an annual event,” Tharp said. This year’s fundraising Holiday Tea will be held Dec. 4.

• For more information or to order a giclee, contact Marjorie Bowers at (502) 732-9938 or Melissa Tharp at (502) 682-0256. Donations for the renovation may be sent to Friends of Butler, P.O. Box 625, Carrollton, KY 41008.

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