Octagon Hall was originally built to be the home of the Caldwell family. Andrew Jackson Caldwell wanted a unique house for his family that stood out from all others, so he had it constructed with eight sides. The home took nearly 10 years to build, completed right at the onset of the Civil War.
The Confederate States of America was established in February 1861, but never recognized by any other government or nation. Its constitution legalized and protected slavery. Once the cannon fire and gun shots commenced, the oddly shaped home became a key sanctuary for Confederate troops. As many as 10,000 Confederate soldiers camped on the grounds before retreating into Tennessee. In February 1862, Union army came in pursuit and took occupation of the property.
Today, it is the site of the Octagon Hall Museum and the Kentucky Confederate Studies Archive. There are Civil War artifacts on display along with Native American artifacts, a library, and genealogical and historical research material.
The grounds are also home to a cemetery for the enslaved laborers who once worked in the house and its grounds. The Octagon Hall garden is a historically accurate rendition from the period that you can view when in season.
Know Before You Go
There is a gift shop on site. Open year around except for during major holidays. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 9 - 11:30 a.m.; 1 - 3:30 p.m.