to get period carpet reproductions
State Parks Foundation
awarded historic home $3,200
Helen E. McKinney
CARROLLTON, Ky. (May 2009) The Kentucky State
Park System is comprised of 52 state parks and one interstate park shared
with Virginia. Carrollton is lucky enough to have one of them: Gen.
Butler State Resort Park, where the 1859 Butler-Turpin House is about
to receive an update.
by Don Ward
Butler-Turpin House in Gen.
Butler State Resort Park, is open to
tours during the summer season. It
also plays host to a summer concert
series that includes wine tastings.
Funding was recently provided in the amount of $3,235.50
from the Kentucky State Parks Foundation to conserve and install historic
reproduction Brussels and Wilton carpets in the home. Brussels is a
loop pile, Wilton a cut pile carpet.
The foundation decided this would be an appropriate use of its money
because maintaining and restoring historical items is very important
to them, said Erin Wright, volunteer coordinator for the Department
of Parks. The foundation is supported through an endowment, private
fundraising and donations.
Awarding of such grant money often increases public awareness of state
parks and historic sites in Kentucky. This is one of the criteria
that are used to evaluate the applications, said Wright. Other
criteria include areas such as whether the project will help connect
people to state parks and fostering stewardship of state parks.
When my Old Kentucky Home (Federal Hill) received new reproduction carpets,
two large carpets were salvaged from the historic home. Still
in relatively good condition, but in need of conservation, these carpets
were brought to Gen. Butler to be stored with the hope that funding
would become available to conserve (clean) and install at the Butler-Turpin
State Historic House, said Evelyn Welch, Historic Site Museum
Manager for the Butler-Turpin State Historic House.
Both are appropriate for the time period of the Butler-Turpin House.
The Brussels carpeting will be placed in the hallway and the Wilton
will be installed in the parlor, complementing the homes Greek
Revival woodwork and family heirlooms. The home currently has area ingrain
Depending upon the wealth of the family, ingrain carpets would have
been found in other rooms of the home but that would not have been the
case for the very wealthy, said Welch. In the 19th century Wilton carpets,
which have a plushy, velvet look, cost double the price of Brussels
carpets and would have been used in the best rooms of a home.
Floor coverings were highly prized during this Federal period and very
costly. Wealthy American families had Brussels carpets in the remaining
rooms of their homes. At first glance, Brussels carpets resemble tapestry
carpets with the pattern showing through on the wrong side. They were
manufactured for rooms with not much hard wear.
Welch said the first floor of the historic Butler-Turpin House received
a new wood floor during the 1930s. Documentation described tacks
along the wall which supports (the idea) that the home had wall to wall
carpeting, Welch said. The reproduction carpet will give
the 1859 house the appropriate period look typical of the period.
Evidence was found of carpet up to the baseboard on the staircase landing.
The Butler-Turpin family, as would be the case for any family,
would have these carpets in the best rooms, Welch said.
These carpets were as standard to decorating then as carpet is
today, she said. The biggest difference is fewer choices and fewer
The grant from the Foundation is a matching grant. The match may be
supplied in the form of funding or services (labor), said Wright. Such
grants do not have to be repaid.
Welch is currently working on a funding match for much needed repairs
on the Butler-Turpin Houses exterior brick steps. Anyone with
masonry experience who would like to volunteer their expertise or time
is encouraged to contact Welch.
The Butler-Turpin State Historic House is open for public tours from
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday. Admission is charged.
The Kentucky State Parks Foundation awarded a total of five grants in
the amount of $16,735 for state park projects. The foundation was established
in 2007 as a non-profit to promote the resources of Kentuckys
52 state parks.
The foundations first purchase was an officers sword carried
in the War of 1812. It was used by Green Clay while leading his Kentucky
troops. The sword stayed in the family until the 1980s, when it was
purchased from a private collector.
Other park projects that received grants from the foundation
John James Audubon State Park, Henderson, $5,000
to redesign and create a new main playground area.
Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park, Burkesville,
$4,500 to construct an historic interpretive one mile loop trail.
Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, Prestonsburg, $1,500
to conserve and frame the White squaw drawings.
E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park, Louisville,
$2,500 to improve the Goose Creek Trail.
For more information, visit: www.GeneralButlerLivingHistory.org.
Back to May 2009 Articles.