The Edwin Hite Ferguson Mansion

Title

The Edwin Hite Ferguson Mansion

Subject

Ferguson Mansion (Louisville, Ky.)

Description

Edwin Hite Ferguson (1852-1924) was a Louisville industrialist who made his fortune in the cottonseed-oil business. His company grew to be the 2nd largest of its kind in the world. Ferguson commissioned the Louisville architectural firm Cobb and Dodd—the same firm responsible for designing the Seelbach Hotel and the Kentucky capitol building—to design his home in 1901. Construction of the mansion took four years (1901-1905) and $100,000, approximately ten times the cost of the neighboring Victorian homes. At the time, the mansion was the most expensive home in Louisville. In comparison, the home would cost an estimated $2 million today, which doesn’t include the difficulty or cost of the intricate craftsmanship found throughout the building. Since 1986, the mansion has been the home of The Filson Historical Society.

The mansion originally housed nine occupants: the three members of the Ferguson family: Edwin Hite Ferguson, his wife Sophie Fullerton Ferguson, and their daughter Margaret, in addition to six servants. Unfortunately, in 1907, not long after the mansion was completed, Ferguson was ousted from his own company. From that point on his fortune began to dwindle, eventually forcing him to sell the mansion in 1924.

The Pearson family purchased the mansion, and it served as Pearson Funeral Home until the mid-1970s. The mansion also provided the headquarters for John Y. Brown, Jr.’s successful 1979 gubernatorial campaign. The mansion became the headquarters of The Filson Historical Society in 1986 as part of The Filson’s centennial celebration.

The images in this gallery were taken in 1912 when the Ferguson family still lived in the home. The images show the lavish lifestyle of the family and the fine craftsmanship that went into building this Beaux-Arts style mansion. To see all the Ferguson Mansion images check out our online Photograph Database.

Creator

Unknown

Source

Ferguson-White Family Photograph Collection, The Filson Historical Society

Date

1912

Rights

This image is issued by The Filson Historical Society. Property rights in the collection belong to The Filson Historical Society. The user is responsible for copyright issues. Permission for use of this image for ANY reason should be obtained by contacting Filson's Curator of Collections via research@filsonhistorical.org.

Format

black-and-white photographs

Type

Still Image

Collection Items

Front entrance of the Ferguson Mansion, 1912
Front entrance of the Edwin Hite Ferguson Mansion which now houses The Filson Historical Society. Built in the Beaux-Arts style, the mansion was built between 1901 and 1905, and was designed by the Louisville architectural firm of Cobb and Dodd.

Main Hall, 1912
Main Hall on the first floor of the Edwin Hite Fergson Mansion. The room features a unique grain effect in the oak paneling which was achieved by the costly procedure of quartersawing. The intricately carved octagonal table in the center of the room…

Main Hall, grand staircase, 1912
Main Hall and grand staircase on the first floor of the Edwin Hite Ferguson Mansion. Many intricate furnishings are observable in detail.

Main Hall, 1912
Main Hall of the Ferguson Mansion which features a custom built octagonal table and fireplace.

Main Hall fireplace, 1912
Main Hall fireplace on the first floor of the Edwin Hite Ferguson Mansion. This Renaissance Revival Caen fireplace is a solid piece that was carved in France and shipped whole to the United States. The two coats of arms on the mantel belong to Mr.…

Library, 1912
Library on the first floor of the Edwin Hite Ferguson Mansion. The mansion's library is distinguished by its original built-in bookcases. The three overhead light fixtures (two of which are visible in this image) are the original Tiffany lamps custom…

Library Fireplace and Mantel, 1912
Library fireplace and mantel on the first floor of the Edwin Hite Ferguson Mansion. The mantel features a bronze bas relief by American sculptor Julia Bracken (Wendt), 1870-1942.

Reception Room, 1912
Reception Room on the first floor of the Edwin Hite Ferguson Mansion. The room features a large fireplace with mirror above, a side table and seating. The chandelier and sconces still hang in the room today at The Filson Historical Society.

Reception Room, 1912
Reception Room on the first floor of the Edwin Hite Ferguson Mansion. The image features a bust in the left hand corner, a side table and seating. The chandelier and sconces still hang in the room today at The Filson Historical Society.

Dining Room, 1912
Dining Room on the first floor of the Edwin Hite Ferguson Mansion. In keeping with the social nature of the Ferguson family, the dining room was used for both casual family dining and large social events. The dining table and side board shown in the…
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