Margaret Rash, 95, owner of storied Nicholasville estate, dies

kward1@herald-leader.comNovember 2, 2013 

Margaret Rash, 95, the owner of Chaumiere des Prairies, a storied Nicholasville estate, died Thursday.

Mrs. Rash and her late husband, Wallace McDonald Rash Jr., farmed the property on Catnip Hill Road for more than 40 years.

Mrs. Rash was living at Taylor Manor Nursing Home in Versailles at the time of her death.

Chaumiere has been in Mrs. Rash's family since 1884, when her grandfather bought it.

In 1796, David Meade II and his family moved from Virginia to Kentucky, and Meade began work on what would become a grand house and 40 acres of gardens. Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor, Henry Clay and Aaron Burr visited Chaumiere.

A distinctive octagonal parlor and side rooms remain from the original home, but the main Greek Revival house that stands on the property now was built in 1840 by a subsequent owner.

After Meade's death in 1830, Chaumiere was sold to a farmer who let his livestock trample the lush gardens within a week and who tore down parts of the original home.

Mrs. Rash and her husband said in a 2005 Herald-Leader article that they felt privileged to live there.

Mrs. Rash worked as a lab technician at the University of Kentucky and St. Joseph Hospital.

Kerr Brothers Funeral Home on Harrodsburg Road is in charge of arrangements.

Karla Ward: (859) 231-3314. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety

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