Review of Jack Jouett House Historic Site in Versailles, KY
Did you know the “Paul Revere of the South” settled in Kentucky after the Revolutionary War? I sure didn’t. Captain Jack Jouett was asleep one night outside the Coocoo Tavern when he heard the hoof beats of Banastre Tarleton’s British Troops coming down the road. He knew they were after Thomas Jefferson and the Virginia Legislature, so he took off on his horse through the back country to warn them. He rode 40 miles, sustaining multiple serious injuries along the way that would disfigure him for life. He arrived at Montecello at 4:30 in the morning, warning Thomas Jefferson and the Legislature and saving most of them from capture. Only 7 members of the Legislature, including Daniel Boone, were captured that day but they were all released because they were not the high-profile folks Tarleton was after.
Jouett migrated to Kentucky after the war. He lived in present-day Woodford County for 13 years with his wife and their 12 children. He was a horse breeder, farmer, and livestock importer whose knowledge was often sought out on many farming matters. According to Janice Clark, Executive Director of the Jack Jouett House Historic Site, Jouett was on the Separation Committee to separate Kentucky from Virginia and was active in many other aspects of early Kentucky life and politics.
He built a brick home at a time when most frontier folks in Kentucky were living in one-room log cabins, and his home still stands well-preserved on the grounds today. In addition to breeding horses, Jouett also had a working distillery and mill on this site which has recently been uncovered by volunteer archaeologists.
The home and historic site are open to visitors April-October, Mon. 10am-noon, Fri. noon-5pm, Sat. 10am-5pm, and Sunday 1-5pm. It is also open by appointment year round. There are also volunteer opportunities for everything from archaeology to special events help.
See the website for details.
By guest contributor: Maggie