Friday, June 29, 2007

Confederate Home at Pewee Valley Station Kentucky

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The postcard of the day is the Confederate Home at Pewee Valley Station Kentucky. This beautiful three story home was originally the Villa Ridge Inn in the late 1800s and was built for $90,000 as a luxury summer resort for the families of the Louisville elite. It failed, however, to attract enough business and was closed after only a few seasons. It was sold and became the Kentucky College for Young Ladies but that venture also closed within a short period of time. Around this time Bennett H. Young, a former Confederate officer and Kentucky businessman, formed a group to provide for the aging Civil War veterans who had war related disabilities and illnesses and could not provide for themselves. The group raised over $16,000 and asked the Kentucky government to support the cause which they did unanimously. A board of trustees was appointed with Young as the chairman.
The trustees were able to purchase the now vacant Villa Ridge Inn and the home opened in November of 1902 and quickly grew to around 350 residents. Requirements for acceptance were honorably discharged Confederate veteran, a resident of Kentucky for at least 6 months prior to acceptance, a sound mind and free of addiction to alcohol. The home provided shelter, food, medical care entertainment and religious services and received continued support from the state.
In March of 1920, a fire destroyed a large portion of the home but no lives were lost. The main building, the laundry and a portion of the infirmary were lost. By then, the number of residents had dwindled to a point where the remaining facilities were sufficient to remaining men until July 1934 when the state decided to close the facility and transfer the 5 remaining residents to the Pewee Valley Sanatorium. Over the 32 years it was open over 700 veterans were cared for. The remains were later razed and all that is left today is the Confederate Cemetery and the entrance gate originally installed in 1904.
This postcard is available in my Kentucky listings along with more than 10,000 additional postcards available on my website at Moody's Postcards.

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