Check out the Adam Rankin House, The Oldest House in Lexington And Where the Famous Burrows Mustard Was Born
I will admit I'm a Heinz Ketchup kind of person. Not a mustard fan at all. But if Burrows Mustard which was made right here in Lexington was still around, I am pretty sure it would go great with a giant pretzel! Why am I talking about mustard on a post about the oldest house in Lexington? Well this little home has so much cool history and it involves the ole mustard. Let's first recap the house. This log cabin type home was built in 1784 thus today making it the oldest standing residential structure in Lexington, KY and known as the Adam Rankin house. Located on South Mill Street in Lexington's historic South Hill neighborhood, this home was built by Adam Rankin, a local minister. If you walk or drive down South Mill, you will notice the home is actually hard to see at first because it doesn't face the street like all the other homes. In fact, it is facing the extra lot and creeping up behind the Rankin house is a good view of Kincaid Towers. That explains some of it's history. This home was originally located at 215 W. High Street just right around the block. Pulling the tax records today, there really isn't a 215 W. High Street anymore but the general area is now a parking lot for Kincaid Towers and other nearby business. In the early 1970's this home was moved as Lexington underwent an urban sprawl and in order to save the home, preservationist saved the home and we thank them for that. Think about nearby Rupp Arena as construction started in 1974, I am sure they wanted to free up as much space as they did around the arena for economic expansion for things such as Kincaid Towers which opened in 1979 and of course the Hyatt Regency connected to Rupp opened shortly after and of course by 1985, the Radisson Hotel now Hilton was standing. And you know rumor is the Radisson was built so Lexington could secure in the 1985 Men's NCAA Final Four. So it was only fitting for the home to be moved. Actually, the lot is nice and gives visitors chance to chat with other guests to the property.
So back to the Mustard, I guess after Adam Rankin either passed or moved, Nathan Burrrows who was an early settler to Lexington made his famous mustard and manufactured it on W. Vine in a building behind his house. Samuel McCullough who was like a son to Burrows took over the mustard business after Burrows passed in 1841. The Burrows mustard recipe was so tasty that it won several awards at the 1882 World's Fair in London, England and it was claimed that Queen Victoria was a fan. Many are not sure what ever happened to the recipe, but some think it ended up in the hands of Proctor and Gamble, or at least that is a rumor I heard. I know there is a book written on the mustard and many are hoping to bring it back to Lexington. Since mustard grows so naturally here, it would only be fitting and actually pretty cool. And a little more about Samuel McCullough, he was an astronomer and see a listing for one of his maps on the auction block for over $27,000!! Its the earliest published celestial wall map made in the United States. See below for the video of the Rankin house and the book on the mustard.
Hi, it's Kim Soper of ExploreLexingtonKY.com. I am downtown Lexington. So as you can see, I am not far from the blue building and Kincaid towers. I am on South Mill Street and I'm here at the Adam Rankin house, which is the oldest structure, oldest residential structure in Lexington, Kentucky. They're having a beautiful open house today. The Lexington History Museum will be moving into this building in the upstairs portion which will be used as their office, and then tours will be allowed on the downstairs. So it's a beautiful place. A lot of you guys might see these little historical markers that we see all through Lexington, but check it out. There was also famous mustard, Burrows’ mustard that was made here in this location. And that goes back to the 1850s. So it's a great mustard and this nice gentlemen just brought me a cool book.
Someone actually wrote a book on the mustard, so I'm sure it's been sold numerous times the recipe, but the goal is to bring that back and bring it back to Lexington, which should be a really cool, fun fact to share with your guests coming in for the weekend, that as they barbecue and fire up the grill this weekend, that maybe soon we might have a cool Lexington mustard back on the circuit. So you guys will have to check it out. But the Adam Rankin house, The Lexington History Museum does an incredible job preserving our history and our community. And this is one of the most beautiful structures I can say. I've been inside to see how well it's been taken care of over the years. So check it out, put it on your list. South Mill Street, follow their Facebook page and just come down and make an appointment with them. I'm sure they'll be able to get you in, it is beautiful. Have a great weekend. And as we say in Lexington, go cats always and talk to you soon.