World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Samuel May House

Article Id: WHEBN0027669858
Reproduction Date:

Title: Samuel May House  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: David A. Zegeer Coal-Railroad Museum, Big Sandy Heritage Center, Magoffin County Pioneer Village and Museum, Kentucky Folk Art Center, Barthell, Kentucky
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Samuel May House

Samuel May House
Front and northern end
Samuel May House is located in Kentucky
Samuel May House
Location 690 Northlake Drive, Prestonsburg, Kentucky
Built 1817
Architect Samuel May
Architectural style Federal
Governing body City of Prestonsburg
NRHP Reference # 80001526 [1]
Added to NRHP April 1, 1980

The Samuel May House is a Federal style residence located at 690 Northlake Drive in Prestonsburg, Kentucky. It built in 1817 by Samuel May, a Kentucky state representative (1832–1834) and a Kentucky state senator (1835–1838) from Floyd County. It now serves as the Samuel May House Living History Museum.


In 1808, Samuel May emigrated to Floyd County from Virginia and married Cathrine Evans. From 1817 to 1821, May acquired 350 acres (1.4 km2) of land along the banks of the Levisa Fork, where he developed a farm and set up a mill.[2]

Construction of the home was very laborious due to the homes remote location in Eastern Kentucky. In 1816, May's slaves began working the kilns that produced the bricks for the residence. Lime for the cement was created by crushing the shells of freshwater clams gathered from the Levisa Fork. The lumber used in the construction was whip-sawed from logs and was hauled to the site, where it was cured and shaped. Even the nails had to be shipped in from a factory in Abingdon, Virginia.[3]

The house illustrates May's expertise as an architect and builder. The bricks on the front part of the house were laid out in a Flemish bond: a decorative and structurally strong pattern of brick laying. Also, all walls in the house, including the interior partitions, are four bricks deep. This unusual building technique not only created deep window sills and door frames, but helped preserve the structure over the generations.[3]

Although the home is two stories, the home has only six rooms. The largest of the rooms is Samuel May's Parlor, which measures eighteen by twenty feet. The large rooms were a necessity because the home also served as a community hall and as a shelter from the frequent Native American attacks. The interior is furnished in poplar woodwork, which is now painted white. The floors are made out of both poplar and white ash.[3]

In 1842, Samuel May sold the home to his brother, Thomas May, because of his inability to pay off his mortgage. Several years later, Samuel May moved to California gold fields in hopes of regaining his former wealth. He was unsuccessful and died in Placerville, California in 1851.[2]


The dream of renovating the historic home and developing it into a living history museum began in March 1993 with the creation of the Friends of the Samuel May House, Inc.[4] Due to a lack of funds very few tasks could be completed. But in the spring of 1997, the city of Prestonsburg purchased the home and received a $400,000 grant from the Kentucky Heritage Council and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. This allowed the city to fully restore the historic home to its original condition.[4]


  1. ^ National Register of Historic Places profile Retrieved 2010-06-10
  2. ^ a b Henderson, Jayne C., National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form for Samuel May House 29 January 1980. Retrieved on 2010-06-10
  3. ^ a b c The Oldest House in the Valley (online version) Retrieved on 2010-06-10
  4. ^ a b The Samuel May House Archives-Introduction Retrieved on 2010-06-10

External links

  • Friends of the Samuel May House
  • Prestonsburg Convention and Visitors Bureau
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.