Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings
William Whitley, one of the most renowned Indian fighters along the Wilderness Road, built this house between 1787 and 1794. A native Virginian, he had come to Kentucky in 1775 and taken part in the War for Independence. As settlers surged westward after Clark's Kaskaskia campaign of 1778-79, Whitley, a colonel in the Lincoln County Militia, helped protect from Indian attack emigrant parties traveling along the Wilderness Road. In 1794 he led a militia expedition into Tennessee in pursuit of some renegade Indians. These and his other activities helped bring peace to the wilderness of eastern Kentucky. Although at an advanced age during the War of 1812, he enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army and in 1813 died in the Battle of the Thames.
Sportsman's Hill, perhaps the oldest brick residence west of the Alleghenies, is a 2-1/2-story structure of brick, laid in Flemish bond. The initials of Whitley and his wife are inlaid in large size in the front and rear exterior walls. Some of the interior walls are handsomely paneled in wood. The inner iron supports on the doors served for protection against the Indians. The house is maintained by the State and is open to the public.
Last Updated: 29-Aug-2005