THROWBACK THURSDAY – Horse Cave’s Painted Lady

Throwback Thursday returns to Horse Cave in Hart County this week. Its founding family was the Wilsons, pioneers who braved the travel what was then the pioneer wilderness right after the American Revolution in the late 1700s. One of the Wilson family homes still sits just off Main Street in downtown Horse Cave.

During the American Revolution, James Wilson was a soldier, who fought bravely for his new country. As a reward for his military service, the government gifted his family land in modern day Hart County. Just before the journey through the wilderness began, James passed away. But his widow Elizabeth was bound to reach Kentucky, the family’s new home.

Setting out on the Appalachian Trail with her eight children and all of their families, Elizabeth Wilson led the group thru the Cumberland Gap and eastern Kentucky. Losing her eldest son along the way, the family finally arrived in what is considered modern day downtown Horse Cave near the entrance of Hidden River Cave.

The family brought all they needed to survive on the frontier—means to farm, build shelter, make and mend clothing, etc. Elizabeth Wilson is often called the Mother of Horse Cave.

The beautiful home on Main Street with dormer windows and a turret tower on the corner was her grandson’s home. The Victorian-era home is brightly colored, known as one of the painted ladies. Elizabeth’s grandson sold the home to Doctor George Thomas, who was the first take owner of Hidden River Cave. The house is known as the Thomas home according to the National Register of Historic Places.

The city uses the historic home for community events and has done its best to preserve its history. That’s it for this week, brought to you by Hart County Tourism. I’m Telia Butler for SoKY Sunrise.