Home, Home on the Ridge on Kiddville Lane

On the stretch of road between Frankfort and Midway where Old Frankfort Pike straightens out and the trees form an arch as ancient stone walls run along the seemingly quiet road, lives a place that stirs me with a mixture of pride, awe, and a sense of belonging. It sounds somehow corny but where we live moves me. The special places where the landscape and manufactured elements come together in a uniquely Bluegrass kind of way, like the tables in front of the clubhouse at Keeneland, the icehouse at Ashland and the tin-roofed gazebo in the garden at the Hunt Morgan house, tug at me.

As I fly into Blue Grass Field over the patchwork of fields and plank fences I scout the areas of dense trees to identify houses I know and roads that I recognize and I realize again that I belong here. Maybe because I was born in Lexington at the University Hospital, maybe because my family has lived in Kentucky for seven generations, this place feels like home. I went away for college and to work in the big city of Los Angeles for some years. During those years, whenever I came home I couldn't wait to put my nose to the ground to breathe deeply of the familiar damp warm earthy home smell. I missed that smell and the saturated green of the grass and trees almost as much as I missed my family.

Maya Angelou said, "The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are." For me, this applies to the town where I live as much as the specific spot where I lay my head at night.

I wasn't expecting it but that feeling of awe and recognition hit me as I stood at the top of the ridge behind the tiny 200-year-old brick house on Kiddville Lane. I went to the ridge to see the edge of the property line. As I turned around, the view surprised me. From Kiddville Lane the L-shaped house looks adrift in a big field with no trees or fences, but from the ridge, one sees what is actually the front of the house framed by the trees in the fence row along the road and the road itself, as well as a large tree at the side of the house.

Because the house, known as the S. Baxter House, is designated as a Kentucky Landmark and "deemed worthy of preservation" by the Kentucky Heritage Commission, W.M. Ellis could not bear to see the house demolished when the 340 acre farm on which it sits was subdivided into 10 acre building lots so he bought it with the intention of rehabilitating it. Having completely restored the exterior of the house by repointing the brick, painting, and replacing windows, this week he begins renovations on the interior.

Thus far, he has gutted the interior to the brick walls, repaired one of the three fireplaces and closed the other two, and had architectural plans drawn for the completion of the house. The plans for the three-room house include a patio to connect the two wings, a large eat-in kitchen, bedroom suite with a bathroom and walk-in closet and a generously sized great room. Huge cabinet doors flank the working fireplace framed by a massive mantle in the great room where stairs are to be replaced that will lead to an upstairs sleeping loft.

The 18-inch thick walls create ledges that act as window seats under every window. While the lot is only 10 acres, because the property line is behind the drop after the ridge, the owner of this property will be able to sit on the impromptu window seat, look through the window and declare that he or she owns the land as far as the eye can see. And as Madonna says, "it feels like home."


5300 Kiddville Lane (off Jack's Creek on the way to Raven's Run)

1100 square feet; 10.3 acres

$175,000 as it is today but the price will increase as work is completed

1 bedroom; no bath-yet

Contact W.M. Ellis 252-6677

If you have a unique or interesting house for sale contact Lissa Sims at lsims@aceweekly.com.