218 Wilkinson Street, Frankfort, KY

(502) 227-2560

Status: Former Residence; Historic Museum



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In 1786 General James Wilkinson bought most of the land that now makes up most of downtown Frankfort. He laid out the original street map and happily named all the streets after himself and his friends.

In 1796 he sold 4 acres to Senator John Brown who was one of the men that was instrumental in making Kentucky a State.

The Senator was often away in Philadelphia – the Capitol of the United States at the time – but always had a team in Frankfort working on his future home. The bricks of the house were made from clay in the basement of the house.

In 1800 the house was complete – except for glass windows which were added in 1804 – and the Senator moved in. As well as the main house there were many outbuildings constructed at this time including: a kitchen, a laundry, a smokehouse and slave quarters.

In 1934 Mary Scott – John Brown’s great-granddaughter – passed away and left Liberty Hall to her brother who sold it to a citizen’s group called Liberty Hall Inc. They opened it up as a museum in 1937.

Today Liberty Hall – as well as the adjacent Orlando Brown House that the Senator had built for his second son – are owned by the National Society of Colonial Dames of America in Kentucky. They are both open to the public as museums.


Paranormal Activity

The Grey Lady Ghost

The Grey Lady is Margaretta Varick, the wife of Senator John Brown, who stopped in Frankfort to see her niece on her way to see her son in Illinois. On the night of July 27, 1817, she became violently ill and was dead by morning. Her cause of death was never determined.

The first recorded sighting of the Grey Lady was in the 1880’s by Mary Mason Scott in an upstairs bedroom. The ghost appeared as a full body apparition of a tall lady veiled in grey; she would appear again for the next 2 nights.

Mary went from being frightened half to death to referring to the ghost as “our beloved ghost”.

The Grey Lady Ghost has been seen countless times since then. Many people believe – due mostly to the fact that no one has ever found her gravesite – that Margaretta was buried on the house property. That is the accepted theory as to why she continues to haunt Liberty Hall over 200 years after her death.

The ghost was photographed on the stairs in 1965; the photo can be seen on the Liberty House website.

These days she is most commonly seen looking out of the Palladian window – the window above the front entrance - or on the stairway.

A Spanish Opera singer is also said to have disappeared on the property and her apparition walks the property.

The final ghost on the property is that of a young soldier that has been seen looking into the ground floor windows.