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House History

The Denny House is an impressive, antebellum Greek Revival house located near the center of the historic village of Paint Lick, Kentucky, in Garrard County.  According to folklore and official area historical markers, “First settlers found Indian signs painted on trees and rocks along the creek banks and around the nearby salt lick.  They gave the settlement the name of Paint Lick.”  Paint Lick Creek marks the border between Madison and Garrard counties, and it was here that Colonel William Miller settled a land claim and built Miller Station, in 1775, later called Paint Lick Fort.

In 1840 George Denny built this house on 540 acres of land his father had purchased in 1827 from his father-in-law, Col. William Miller.  The house became a political statement after the marriage of George Denny to Elizabeth M. Faulkner, daughter of the powerful and well-connected retired State Senator John Faulkner.  With political guidance from his father-in-law, George Denny later also served as a Kentucky State Senator 1859-1863.

The two-story, three bay brick home sits on a hand laid limestone foundation, with massive Doric columns.  The first floor center hall plan features large parlors on each side of the entry foyer, a formal dining room, a kitchen, and a sleeping porch.  The East parlor has a number of books and historical documents concerning the house, a gas fireplace, a piano, and sitting areas.  The West parlor has a gas fireplace and additional sitting and dining areas.  The grand entry staircase leads from the foyer to the second floor landing with an additional sitting area and the two main guest rooms.  The back rooms and sleeping porch are accessed by the staircase at the back of the house.

Over the years The Denny House has undergone multiple rounds of renovation, with indoor plumbing and electricity added around the turn of the 20th Century.  Bathrooms, a kitchen, and a mud room were added, and the house has been retrofitted with a central heating and air conditioning system.  The front porch floor was modified from original hand-cut limestone to inlaid brick, and we hope to restore it and the Doric Columns in the near future.  The entry foyer highlights a well-preserved square of the original 1840s wallpaper, and, in fact, the walls are papered in the modern version of that same design, made by the same manufacturer as the original.  The Denny House was placed on the National Historical Register in 1983.

Today The Denny House sits on 7.8 acres and has numerous outbuildings and gardens.  To the east are raised herb garden beds and a large tobacco barn.  The smoke house, root cellar, slave quarters building, outhouse, and farm sheds are behind the house and, over time, have been used for many purposes.  More recently some of the buildings were part of the Fitzarran Kennel, an award winning breeding kennel for Irish Wolf Hounds and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.  Today the kennel building and smoke house are part of the onsite home brewery, H. H. Gumbert Brewery.  To accommodate the brewery we hope to have a trellis system to raise hops near the front entrance to the property.  Another small building is the hen house where we collect fresh farm eggs.

The Denny House offers a unique opportunity for the traveler to get away from modern-day hustle and bustle and to step back and relax into the time of the Victorians.  It is a great venue for bridal showers, baby showers, weddings, anniversaries, small bridge groups, teas, private dinner parties, small family gatherings, and club or office retreats.






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