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

Guest room on second floor of the Edwin Hite Ferguson Mansion, 1912
Guest room on second floor of the Edwin Hite Ferguson Mansion. The room includes a large bed, vanity with mirror, a fireplace, and several chairs.

Dressing Room, Edwin Hite Ferguson Mansion, 1912
Dressing room on the second floor of the Edwin Hite Ferguson Mansion. The room includes a large wooden three-way dressing mirror and a vanity set in front of the window. The room is adorned by bronze Tiffany Art Nouveau dragonfly light fixture which…

Bedroom on second floor, 1912
Bedroom on the second floor of the Ferguson Mansion, possibly Mrs. Ferguson's room. Room includes a decorative wooden canopy bed, fireplace, small secretary desk, dresser with mirror, and several chairs.

Mrs. Ferguson's Bedroom, Second Floor, 1912
Bedroom on the second floor of the Ferguson Mansion, possibly Mrs. Ferguson's room. Room includes a wooden canopy bed, dresser with mirror and several chairs.

Mr. Ferguson's Bedroom, 1912
Bedroom on the second floor of the Ferguson Hite Mansion, possibly Mr. Ferguson's room. Room includes a wooden canopy bed, a dresser with mirror, a fireplace and two chairs. Image view shows hallway attaching this room to possibly Mrs. Ferguson's…

Second Floor Bedroom of Edwin Hite Ferguson Mansion, 1912
Bedroom on the second floor of the Edwin Hite Ferguson Mansion, possibly Mr. Ferguson's room. Room includes a wooden canopy bed, several chairs, and a fireplace.

Main Hall on Second Floor of the Edwin Hite Ferguson Mansion, 1912
Main Hall on the second floor of the Edwin Hite Ferguson Mansion. Image shows sitting area, doorways to the second floor main bedrooms and staircase to the third floor.

Staircase from the First Floor, 1912
Staircase from the first floor Main Hall leading to the second floor Main Hall of the Edwin Hite Ferguson Mansion. The image shows a large Persian rug hanging over the banister, a chandelier hanging in the center of the stairway, and a grandfather…

Dining Room Fireplace, 1919
Dining Room fireplace on the first floor of the Edwin Hite Ferguson Mansion. The glass tile fireplace is credited to the Chicago firm of Orlando Giannini. The glass artwork depicts a flowering vine growing over a brick wall.

Dining Room, 1912
Dining Room on the first floor of the Edwin Hite Ferguson Mansion. The room is surrounded by a mural depicting several hunting scenes from the German folk tale "Der Freischutz." The dining table and side board shown in the image are among the few…
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