The Second Oldest Home in Williamstown

by Betty Jane Kinmon

The home of Mrs. Laura Chipman is over 105 years old.  It was built before the Civil War. It's the second oldest house in Williamstown.  The house was built by Mrs. Chipman's father, who made the bricks himself.  The clay from which the bricks were made came from James Street.  The house has a front door that is even older than the house.  It is put together with wooden pegs.  There is a two-room cabin behind the house where the Negro slaves lived.  One of the Negro women raised eight children in the cabin.  After the Negroes were freed, she continued to live with the family.  They told her they would buy her a house so she could have a home of her own but she declined.  She said she already had the best home anyone could have and continued to live with them for 52 years after she was freed.  Mrs. Chipman has some beautiful antiques, including a cherry table given to her mother as a wedding gift.  Among her many, many books there is a history of Kentucky, written in 1885 and a book written by Robert E. Lee.  She also has a China cupboard full of beautiful crystal dishes; throughout the house there are many other antiques and beautiful paintings.   Mrs. Chipman's grandfather, Ms. Stroud, from Reading, Pennsylvania, knew William Arnold very well.  Mr. Arnold told Mr. Stroud if he would stay here, he would give him all the land from the Williamstown High School to the end of town.  However, Mr. Stroud didn't take the land; he went to Georgetown to live.

 Mrs. Chipman had a very interesting newspaper dated December 6, 1861, which tells about the Civil War.  During the war, Mrs. Chipman's mother once had to cook for 25 soldiers.  Two soldiers were killed across the railroad tracks from where she lives.  The house has so many interesting features that you would have to see it to appreciate it.  


From a collection of essays written in American Literature Eleven.  The class was taught by Ms. Hazel Ogden of Grant County High School in the 1963-1964 school year, and was typed by the typing classes of Mrs. Mattie Cox.  It is copyrighted by the Grant County Schools, and is used here with their kind permission. We found a copy in UK's King Library.