Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Queen Home and Narssia's cottage

I never knew much about my mother's family, the Queens.  Other than "Cousin Roger" who lived in Chattanooga, I never even knew another "Queen".  But I do remember my mother telling me that her father was born in this house in Bardstown.  It is on East Stephen Foster Avenue, just before going down the hill to Federal Hill and My Old Kentucky Home State Park.

Records show that the house was built in 1836 by Joseph Queen.

I always thought that Joseph Queen must be my Great Great Grandfather, since my grandfather, William Duffield Queen, was born in 1872.  But it turns out the Joseph Queen, born in 1802 in Maryland, was William's father and Joseph was 70 years old when Will was born!  Joseph is listed as a blacksmith on county records.  The Queens still lived in this house in 1872,

This is the back of the house ...
 ... the cornerstone ...
 ... and a view of the home (and cottage) from down the street.

Right next to the Queen home is a little cottage, built in 1816 and owned by Joseph Queen.

The story that they tell on tours in Bardstown is that this was the home of Narssia - a former slave woman who was given her freedom and the cottage by her master, Joseph Queen. She was the first black woman in the state of Kentucky to own property.  Narssia eventually sold the cottage to get money to buy her son's freedom.


  1. How wonderful to be connected to history like that. Such a stately home!

  2. Yes, I kind of think that the house probably looks better now than it did back then!