Once again, a historic house in the Bluegrass apparently is headed for demolition.
The Robert Sanders House, the first brick house in Scott County, could be torn down Wednesday, said Jason Sloan, director of preservation for the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation. The house is on U.S. 25 about a mile south of the Georgetown bypass and overlooks a creek called Cane Run.
The nonprofit Trust has been in contact with Ken Jackson, the house's owner. who apparently thinks the property will be more marketable without the structure, Sloan said.
"We don't believe that, so we offered to help market the property," Sloan said. "We didn't get anywhere with that."
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A message was left for Jackson on Friday, but he could not be reached for comment.
The Trust learned in January that the house might be demolished.
"We made attempts to contact the owner and offered to help market the property in order to sell it, because we did not want the house to come down," Sloan said.
Jackson got a demolition permit in late February, Sloan said. He said a salvage company is pulling interior items out of the house.
"They're pulling the wood, the floors, the paneling in order to sell it," Sloan said. "The pulling of that material lessens the historical integrity of that house. So then any attempts we're making to get it into other hands is being diminished, because we believe the house is an asset to the property."
The house, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was on the Blue Grass Trust's 2004 and 2009 lists of "endangered properties." It was for sale in 2004, and in 2009 was described as "neglected" and "will continue to deteriorate."
Thought to have been built in 1797, the 21/2-story house with a full basement "is considered the first brick house built in Scott County and may be the best one of its period in all of Central Kentucky," the Trust said in 2009.
The house was the home of Robert Sanders (some references spell his name Saunders), an early Thoroughbred breeder. He was also the owner of Scott County's first racetrack and the operator of a tavern.
The Trust said the interior "is the real treasure."
"The first story room to the east of the central stair hall contains the original walnut mantelpiece and paneling," the Trust's description said. "Detailing includes scallops, large reeding, fretwork, cornice, and chair rail, all in the original, unpainted walnut.
"To the right of the fireplace is a bookshelf with doors containing small panes of glass and to the right is a closet which once housed an early stairway.
"The rest of the house preserves original mantels, trim and floorboards. An early addition is still attached, though highly deteriorated, to the back of the house and a well pump and old faucet are still on the site."
Sanders settled on a 1,000-acre tract in Scott County about 1790. He owned Blaze, one of the first English racehorses in Kentucky.
A family history refers to Sanders as "the wealthiest pioneer in the state." He was known for lavish spending; a basement shelter became known as "one of the finest wine cellars in the state," according to a 1973 inventory and nomination form to put the house on the National Register.
The Sanders estate also included a springhouse, ice house, smoke house, loom house, blacksmith shop and a stone barn. The barn "originally had tiny portholes for mounting rifles," the inventory and nomination form said.
Sanders died in 1805.
Scott County historian Ann B. Bevins said it would be a shame to see the house come down.
"It's one of the best early Kentucky houses," Bevins said. "Its architecture is phenomenal. Its woodwork is overwhelming
"We've long held that this is the most significant building in Scott County and one of the most significant in the state."