The house is best known for three things: (1) the Civil War skirmish here in 1863; (2) the architecture of the home, such as the elaborate ironwork outside and woodwork inside; and (3) the many haunting ghost stories.
This house was built in 1857-59 by John R. Jones, his wife and sons. Jones came here with a land grant for 1,050 acres and 40 slaves, 9 who attended the house and the others living in cabins along the perimeter of the land. One cabin is still partially standing in a grove of trees in a back field that you can see from the winery.
In June of 1864, a band of Confederate guerillas came here from an encampment a couple of miles down the road at what was known as Camp Charity. The soldiers were securing fresh provisions of horses and food when a captain spotted a fancy saddle and decided to take it. Jones thought otherwise as he slipped into the back servants' entrance under the stairway to the house and grabbed his rifle. Jones shot through a flowerbed of irises, which were called flags then, and into a circle of men, hitting the guerilla captain. Of course, a gun battle ensued and the guerillas eventually set the porches and balconies on fire before riding off to Chaplin, a small town 10 miles to the east, where they found a doctor for the captain. Unfortunately, they had to amputate the captain's arm and this infuriated his men all the more. The Confederate soldiers returned in the evening, ambushed Jones, and shot him dead by the water well out in back of the house.
A local attorney tells the story that as a young boy he used to play here with a friend and he remembers that when it rained you could still see the bloodstains on the concrete where Jones lay dying. That sounds like a story a little boy would remember, don't you agree?
Well, this tragic event incited fierce sentiment among the town's people, as you can imagine. The following month, a Union troop came through town and heard the stories from the townspeople. The Union soldiers proceeded on to Louisville to a Confederate POW camp at Cave Hill Cemetery, where they passed around a bag of beans among the prisoners. The two prisoners who drew out the black beans were brought back to Springhill where the Union soldiers asked Jones' sons what should be done with the prisoners. To everyone's horror, the prisoners were shot dead in the front yard in reprisal for the Confederates taking Jones's life. There were over 150 such reprisal killings in Kentucky during the Civil War.
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