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Afternoon Lecture Series
Frank Kelderman | Afloat at Locust Grove: Traversing Indian Diplomacy on the Ohio River
Wednesday, November 6, 1:15 pm

In 1842, the Choctaw diplomat Peter Pitchlynn had a chance encounter with the author Charles Dickens on a steamboat on the Ohio River, between Cincinnati and Louisville. Pitchlynn was returning from diplomatic business in Washington; Dickens was traveling the country to write his “American Notes” (1842). In this talk, Frank Kelderman takes Dickens’s account of their meeting as a starting point for exploring the Ohio River as a thoroughfare for Indian diplomacy, connecting the eastern United States to Indian country. Drawing on literature, visual art, and archival materials, this talk will give an account of indigenous presence in a region where that presence has long been unrecognized.

Frank Kelderman is an assistant professor of English at the University of Louisville, where he specializes in 19th-century Native American literature. He is the author of “Authorized Agents: Publication and Diplomacy in the Era of Indian Removal” (SUNY Press, 2019), which examines Native American writing and oratory from the Upper Missouri River to the Great Lakes. His research has also been published in the journals “American Literature,” “American Studies,” “J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists,” and “Great Plains Quarterly.”

This program is part of the city-wide program Afloat: An Ohio River Way of Life.

The Locust Grove Afternoon Lecture Series is held the first Wednesday of each month. Dessert and coffee are served at 1:00 pm with the lecture immediately following at 1:15 pm. Admission is $6, $4 for Friends of Historic Locust Grove. Reservations are not required.

Richard Bell | Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and Their Astonishing Odyssey Home
Thursday, November 7, 6:30 pm

Richard Bell, associate professor of Early American History at the University of Maryland, returns to Locust Grove with his new book, Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and Their Astonishing Odyssey Home. Stolen recounts the gripping and true story about five boys who were kidnapped in the North and smuggled into slavery in the Deep South—and their daring attempt to escape and bring their captors to justice, reminiscent of Twelve Years A Slave and Never Caught. Dr. Bell will speak about how their ordeal—an odyssey that takes them from the Philadelphia waterfront to the marshes of Mississippi and then onward still—shines a glaring spotlight on the Reverse Underground Railroad, a black market network of human traffickers and slave traders who stole away thousands of legally free African Americans from their families in order to fuel slavery’s rapid expansion in the decades before the Civil War.

Admission is $15/$12 for members. Reservations required; visit for tickets. Cash bar available; doors open at 6:00 pm.

Emilie Strong Smith Chamber Music Concert Series
Armonia e Passione: “Concerto alla Rustica”
Sunday, November 17, 5:30 pm

Enjoy a feast of Italian music for Baroque string band, with the music of Vivaldi, Marini, Bertali, and more from Armonia e Passione, a 17th-century Italian string band based in St Louis featuring Celina Casado, Stephanie Hunt, and Jeff Noonan, and led by William Bauer.

Locust Grove’s Emilie Strong Smith Chamber Music Series offers concertgoers a unique opportunity. Patrons delight in music that the Clarks and Croghans would have heard in the room where they most likely would have enjoyed it — the second-floor Great Parlor of the historic house.

Refreshments at 5:00 p.m.; concert in Locust Grove’s Great Parlor begins at 5:30 p.m. Individual concerts are $20 each. Pre-paid reservations are required–please call (502) 897-9845.

Season subscriptions may be purchased by calling Locust Grove at (502) 897-9845. Categories are Patron, $200; Supporter, $100; and Subscriber, $70.

This month at Locust Grove:

Afternoon Lecture Series
Stuart Sanders: Kentucky Duels
Wednesday, October 2, 1:15 pm

You’re aware of Alexander Hamilton’s duel with Aaron Burr, but did you know that there were some remarkable affairs of honor in Kentucky? Join author and public historian Stuart W. Sanders to discuss some of the Commonwealth’s most remarkable duels and their impact on the Bluegrass State. It’s a lecture at ten paces!
The Locust Grove Afternoon Lecture Series is held the first Wednesday of each month. Dessert and coffee are served at 1:00 pm with the lecture immediately following at 1:15 pm. Admission is $6, $4 for Friends of Historic Locust Grove. Reservations are not required.
Part of The Age of Hamilton series at Locust Grove.

Frankenstein: A Reading Performance by Kentucky Shakespeare
Tuesday, October 22, 7:00 pm

Right in time for Halloween, join Kentucky Shakespeare in the great parlor inside Locust Grove’s historic home as they bring this classic story to life in a staged reading performance. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley wrote and published Frankenstein during the Croghan’s occupancy of Locust Grove, making this a perfect melding of worlds to mark the season. Light refreshments provided. Tickets $20 per person or $15 for Locust Grove members; prepaid reservations required. Visit to reserve.  Doors open at 6:00 pm; performance begins at 7:00 pm.

18th Century Market Fair
Saturday, October 26 and Sunday, October 27 10:00 am – 4:30 pm

Experience the 18th century with all five senses! You are invited to join Locust Grove and the Illinois Regiment of Virginia as we bring the spirit of the past alive with the Market Fair. You can participate in 18th-century style entertainment, purchase replicas of 18th-century military and household items and enjoy food and drink as our founders did. See the sheep, and horses, and meet and converse with early Americans. Mock battles for our country’s independence feature General George Rogers Clark’s own company, the Illinois Regiment of Virginia, as well as British Dragoons and Marines. Admission $8 adults, $4 children.

Afternoon Lecture Series
Kate Hesseldenz: Margaretta’s Guest: Lafayette’s Visit to Liberty Hall
Wednesday, September 4, 1:15 pm

Lafayette, the last surviving Major General of the Revolutionary War, embarked on a great tour of the United States in 1824-1825 as the “Nation’s Guest.” Why did he visit Liberty Hall in May of 1825? Why did Margaretta Brown feel triumphant after his visit? Did John Brown serve as an aid to Lafayette during the war? In this talk, Curator Kate Hesseldenz will answer these questions as you learn about Lafayette’s connections to the Browns of Liberty Hall.
The Locust Grove Afternoon Lecture Series is held the first Wednesday of each month. Dessert and coffee are served at 1:00 pm with the lecture immediately following at 1:15 pm. Admission is $6, $4 for Friends of Historic Locust Grove. Reservations are not required.
Part of The Age of Hamilton series at Locust Grove.


Fall on the Farm
Saturday, September 7, 10:00 am – 4:30 pm

Enjoy a day filled with the hustle and bustle of harvesting, cooking, distilling and other activities that would welcome in the fall season on a 19th-century farm. Learn about the seasonal life on a farm through historic demonstrations in the hearth kitchen, farm distillery, and outbuildings. $9/adults; $8/seniors; $4 children 6-12; free for children under 6.


Beginner’s Book Binding for Kids
Saturday, September 14, 10:00 am – 11:30 am

Curious kids ages 7 to 12 will learn the basics of book binding during this fun, one-day workshop celebrating the art and craft of making books. Participants will bind a simple book with a marbled paper cover using a needle and thread, and learn about the process of making books in the 18th and 19th centuries before leaving with their very own blank book. This workshop is led by Locust Grove artist-in-residence Brandon Vigliarolo, the bookbinder behind Strano Books. $30/$25 for members; all materials included. A parent or guardian must stay on site for the duration of the workshop. Adults are welcome to assist their child with all activities. Space is limited; call 502-897-9845 to register by September 6.


Basic Book Binding for Adults
Saturday, September 21, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Learn more about the art and craft of book binding by making a simple blank book with a marbled paper cover. Brandon Vigliarolo, the bookbinder behind Strano Books and Locust Grove’s Summer Artist-in-Residence, will speak on the history and process of bookbinding before leading participants through the steps in making their own blank book with marbled cover.

$40/$35 for members; all materials included, and participants will be able to take their tools home. Space is limited; call 502-897-9845 to register by September 16.


Books, Prints, Paper and Art Sale
Saturday, September 28 and Sunday, September 29, 10:00 am – 4:30 pm

This special show and sale includes dealers in used, new, and collectible books, as well as maps, prints, paper, and art, at all prices and in all categories. You’ll find books about collecting, art, decorative arts, architecture and design, as well as artwork and prints. Saturday, September 28, 10 AM – 4:30 PM (Free admission) Sunday, September 39, 10 AM – 4:30 pm (With Antiques Market; $8 admission charged)


Fall Antiques Market
Sunday, September 29, 10:00am – 4:30pm

From whimsical china dogs to funky mid-century modern chairs, from stately silver to charming children’s toys, the Fall Antiques Market has something for everyone and every budget. Dozens of individual dealers from around the region will offer antique and vintage furniture, textiles, jewelry, silver, tchotchkes, ephemera, fine Kentucky crafted pieces of furniture and decorative arts, and much more. Food and drink will be available for purchase. Admission: $8 adults; free for ages 12 and under. Proceeds support the continued preservation and operation of Locust Grove.


Locust Grove is located at 561 Blankenbaker Lane (between Brownsboro Road and River Road), Louisville, KY 40207.

Historic Locust Grove, a National Historic Landmark established c. 1792, is planning a year of programming centering on The Age of Hamilton, the period of time from c. 1770- 1805 that encompasses the American Revolution and the early years of American independence.

Keyed to the arrival in June 2019 of Hamilton: An American Musical, at the Kentucky Center for the Arts, Locust Grove will look at the personalities and events of the era of the American Revolution through the Early National period in depth. Washington, Jefferson, Burr, and Hamilton all were part of the world of William Croghan and George Rogers Clark.

The story of Locust Grove finds its roots in the American Revolution, through the military service of Major William Croghan, who established and lived at Locust Grove from 1792-1822, and his brother-in-law, General George Rogers Clark, who founded Louisville in 1778 and led the Illinois Campaign that brought the western territories under the control of American forces at the same time George Washington commanded the Continental Army in the east. Croghan fought with the Continental Army and was a participant in the battles of Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine, and Germantown. He wintered with Continental forces at Valley Forge and witnessed the British surrender at Yorktown in 1781. Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, the Marquis de Lafayette were all part of the world of both Croghan and Clark.

“The experiences of the people of the Revolutionary era presented in Hamilton are mirrored in the stories of the people of Locust Grove and early Louisville,” says Carol Ely, Executive Director of Locust Grove.  “It’s exciting to have the chance to explore the personalities and ideas of the era in fresh new ways.”

Locust Grove kicks off The Age of Hamilton this month with A Winter’s Ball, just in time for Valentine’s Day. This historical ball will be held on Saturday, February 9 from 7:00 – 10:00 pm, and will feature live music and period dancing. Co-sponsored by The Jane Austen Society of North America—Greater Louisville Region, guests will be asked to wear historical dress from their favorite time period as we capture the atmosphere of the ball where Alexander Hamilton met his bride, Eliza Schuyler in 1780. 

Guests should look for a trio of Punch with the President evenings in March, April and May focusing on the lives and libations of presidents George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson.  Led by visiting historians, including Dr. Matthew Costello of The White House Historical Association, Gwynne Tuell Potts, and historical interpreter Peyton Dixon, these evening programs find connections between the first three presidents, early American history, and Locust Grove, along with period drinks. Locust Grove’s Afternoon Lecture Series, held on the first Wednesday of each month, will focus on revolutionary topics such as African Americans in the Revolution and dueling in Early Kentucky. A subsequent program on June 6, Hamilton: How the Musical Remixes American History, presented by Dr. Richard Bell, will explore the historical origins of the blockbuster musical.

This season of programming at Locust Grove also engages the site’s educational mission, with a professional development opportunity for teachers on February 16, and a student competition where students will perform using historical documents as their inspiration. Thanks to the generosity of the Louisville Theatrical Association/PNC Broadway in Louisville, participants in these programs will have the opportunity to win tickets to see Hamilton when it arrives in Louisville. Members of the public will also have the chance to win tickets for the show.

Finally, Locust Grove’s Age of Hamilton will culminate with The Hamilton Festival on June 16, 2019.  This celebration of the Revolution will feature student performances of original pieces, a re-creation of the Hamilton-Burr Duel, a sing-a-long, and presentation on clothing of the period, Aaron Burr’s time in Louisville, and more.

According to Brian Cushing, Locust Grove’s program director, “The site has explored a lot of exciting directions over the years but the contributions to the United States of America by the Revolutionary War veterans connected with Locust Grove, especially George Rogers Clark, remains the cornerstone of our story.  Now that Hamilton is shining a spotlight on that era, we’re able to draw our visitors, into the core of our mission of the exploration of history.”

A full calendar of The Age of Hamilton events and more information can be found at

The Croghan and Clark families and their friends welcome guests from near and far to Locust Grove for a special one-day only celebration of Christmastide, 1816. On Saturday, December 8, from 12pm to 7pm, Locust Grove will come alive with the sights, sounds, and smells of the season as Locust Grove’s corps of First Person Interpreters bring to life the residents of the historic house, as well as their friends and neighbors. Visitors will have the opportunity to converse with the Croghans about the news of the day—the recent election of James Monroe as the fifth president, the admission of Indiana to the union as the nineteenth state—and learn about life in the 19th century. Guests can join in the dancing and period games, and will have the opportunity to stop in the hearth kitchen to watch meal preparations for the festive occasion.

“Christmastide is a great opportunity to experience Locust Grove as it was alive with friends and family celebrating the season and being together”, says Program Director Brian Cushing. “The craftspeople we have pulled in to show you how the world around them worked in those days really rounds out the experience.”

In the Visitors’ Center, enjoy live music, shop in the museum store, and find gift-quality books for a special holiday edition of Locust Grove’s Used Book Sale. If you’re looking for 19th century gifts for your 21st century life, look no further than the Holiday Artisan Market. Here you’ll find vendors selling period wares, including stoneware, leather goods, textiles, and more. Children will have the opportunity to make period holiday cards and orange and clove pomanders. Christmastide is the perfect time to make a new holiday tradition as you learn about traditions of the past!

Christmastide, 1816 will take place on Saturday, December 8 from 12 pm – 7pm. Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for children, and free for children 6 and under. Locust Grove is located at 561 Blankenbaker Lane (between Brownsboro Road and River Road), Louisville, KY 40207. For more information call 502.897.9845 or visit

When visitors enter Locust Grove’s grounds during this year’s 18th Century Market Fair on Saturday, October 27 and Sunday, October 28, they’ll be transported to the year 1778 in the middle of the American Revolution. That’s the year George Rogers Clark founded the city of Louisville during the Illinois Campaign that was the cornerstone to the War in the West, including his successful raid at Kaskaskia. Visit with members of the Continental Army on the side of the Americans and the British Dragoons and Marines, Scottish Highlanders and Hessians fighting for King George III and learn about life on a military campaign. The reenactors will be talking about what’s happening in 1778 in the fight for independence, especially as the city of Philadelphia, the capital of the new United States of America, is occupied by British forces.

“We’re trying to walk our visitors through major events of the American Revolution year by year, and after last year’s Market Fair set in 1777, we’re setting this year in 1778,” says Brian Cushing, Locust Grove’s program director. “Visitors will be able to experience life in 1778 and view the war as it happened. Each day will be unique! This will be a rare opportunity to let the 21st century fade into the background as visitors come face to face with the events of our long-ago revolution.”

Mock battles during this year’s Market Fair will include the Battles of Quinton’s Bridge, the Invasion of Kaskaskia, and the Battle of Monmouth, followed by a duel between John Laurens and Charles Lee on Sunday. Fans of the musical Hamilton will recognize the Battle of Monmouth and the duel as key plot points in the lives of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. These historic events were part of the Revolutionary War experience of Locust Grove founder William Croghan, who fought at Monmouth and who would have been familiar with the fallout that led to the duel.

American and British forces will be traveling with their wives and children, so visitors can learn about 18th century games, laundry, meal preparation, medicine, and other aspects of daily life. Punch and Judy shows, a tarot card reader, a rat catcher, musicians, and other 18th century personalities will bring life to the market, as vendors and craftspeople will demonstrate their trades and offer their 18th century goods for sale. Period food and drink will be available from perennial Market Fair favorites His Lordship’s Beef, with meat fire-roasted on site, and Crown Point Bread Company, featuring hearth-baked breads, delicious cookies, and artisan cheese. Locust Grove’s own concession will also serve sandwiches and baked goods. Period children’s activities and tours of the historic house will also be offered.

The 18th Century Market Fair will be held at Locust Grove on Saturday, October 27 and Sunday, October 28, 10:00 am – 4:30 pm daily.

Admission: $8 for adults; $4 for children 12 and under: Free for children 4 and under. A full list of vendors and schedule of events can be found at

Afternoon Lecture Series
Sandy Staebell: Faces and Places in Kentucky Quilts
Wednesday, August 1, 1:15 pm

Quilts and other textiles frequently use faces and places that are tied to memory and provide a sense of identity, family, or place. In some, these images were based on real-life individuals such as President George Washington and Kentuckians Henry Clay, George Rogers Clark, and Robert Penn Warren, while in others they were inspired by fictional characters such as Don Quixote or children, real or imagined. Examples of “places” found in textiles include state quilts, governmental buildings, churches, and honeymoon cottages.

Sandy Staebell is the Registrar and Collections Curator at the Kentucky Museum at Western Kentucky University. This program was funded in part by the Kentucky Humanities Council, Inc. and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Locust Grove Afternoon Lecture Series is held the first Wednesday of each month. Dessert and coffee are served at 1:00 pm with the lecture immediately following at 1:15 pm. Admission is $6, $4 for Locust Grove members. Reservations are not required.


The Summer Used Book Sale
Friday, August 17, 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Saturday, August 18 and Sunday, August 19, 10:00 am – 4:30 pm

The region’s best book sale! 25,000+ used, antiquarian, and new books in all categories will be offered for sale. All categories-history, biography, mysteries, reference, science fiction, travel, cookbooks, children’s, Kentucky, romance, crafts, gardening, and much, much, more! Prices begin at $1 for paperbacks, and $2 for most hardcover books, with a large selection of illustrated books, rare books, and sets, priced individually. A special selection of remainders will be on sale, selected by the former Hawley-Cooke remainders buyer. All books are sorted by category and are in good condition. Because of the volume of donations, books may be added to the display during the sale. Special discounts on Sunday.

Members’ Preview: Thursday, August 16, 5:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Locust Grove members get the first look at the Summer Used Book Sale.  Memberships can be purchased at the door at the preview, or in advance online at our membership page or by calling Locust Grove at 502-897-9845.


Summer Thursday Concert Series with Kentucky Opera 
Locust Grove and Opera: A Musical Timeline
Thursday, August 30, 6:30 pm

Enjoy your opera favorites as explored through the history of Locust Grove. Settler William Croghan was calling Louisville home by 1784. That same year, Mozart became a Freemason in Austria, personally adapting ideals that not only influenced the American Founding Fathers, but would later embed themselves in his acclaimed opera, The Magic Flute. When The Magic Flute premiered a few years later in 1792, Italian opera legend Gioacchino Rossini was born in Italy, and back in Kentucky, William and Lucy Clark Croghan were building their home, Locust Grove. The Croghan family sold the land to riverboat captain James Paul in 1878, when productions of Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S Pinafore premiered in the states, inspiring great interest in light opera throughout the country. When the site was purchased by Jefferson County and the Commonwealth of Kentucky and subsequently restored and opened to the public in 1964, Kentucky Opera was producing Bizet’s Carmen, Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte and Verdi’s Rigoletto.

Admission: $16/$14 for members. Doors open at 6:00 pm; performance begins at 6:30 pm. Bring your own blankets and chairs. Against the Grain Brewery and Sweet ‘N Savory Food Truck will sell concessions.