Pretty (Haunted) in Pink

 , By Ronald Howard Livingston
on Wednesday, October, 25 2017 07:28:00 am   , 752 words  
Categories: Uncategorized , 177836 views



In the minds of many, nothing makes a house more distinctive than a reputation for being haunted.  What could possibly make such a house stand out even more?  How about a pink paint job! Yep, a haunted pink house! Kind of scary, right? Or, how about alluring? Though pink and haunted may seem incongruous qualities, they are intriguingly shared in this recently-listed fascinating and notable abode.


A spectacular example of nineteenth century architectural Eclecticism (featuring elements of Chateauesque style), the mansion now popularly known as "The Pink Palace" at what is today numbered 1473 St. James Court in Louisville, Kentucky, was built beginning around September in 1891. It was not originally intended as a residence but was constructed as the St. James Court Casino, an exclusive gentlemen's club for residents of St. James and Belgravia Courts. Such use of the edifice was of rather short duration, as indicated by an announcement in the April 23, 1893, issue of The [Louisville] Courier-Journal that Mr. and Mrs. George Avery, "are now occupying their new residence, the Casino, out in St. James Court."


George Capwell Avery had married Kate Emma (Shindler) Jewett, in New York City on January 7, 1891. George was the son of Benjamin and Susan (Look) Avery. The father had come to Louisville in 1847 and set up a plow manufactory which after the Civil War became B.F. Avery and Sons, the largest plow factory in the world, at one point producing up to 600 iron plows a day and employing 250 men. By 1901 George Avery was the company president, but by then (1897 in fact), his St. James Court home was sold to new owners: George Hall Wilson and wife Ida Belle (Bailey) Wilson. George Wilson was the owner of the Wilson Ear Drum Company, which sold a device he had invented for improved hearing. City directories and newspaper articles indicate that the home was originally numbered 39 St. James Court, but at some point after the 1904 directory the address became 1473. In 1927 the residence was conveyed to Judge James Parker Gregory and wife Ruth (Miller) Gregory. Judge Gregory died in 1940. His widow and a daughter, Alice M., continued to reside there in the mansion until 1943. On May 28, 1948, the stately abode was sold to the Jefferson County Women's Christian Temperance Union, and they in turn held it until September of 1972.


Purportedly the WCTU was responsible for the home becoming The Pink Palace. The story goes that the organization had the unusual paint job done as some sort of a "message" concerning alleged improper use of the premises in its earliest years. The trouble with that claim however is that it is usually coupled with a wrong date of anywhere from 1910 to 1920, years when the property was not owned by the women's union. Another online rendition is that the new owners (the Wilsons) had the red brick three-story painted right after their purchase of it from the Averys, but then mistakenly avers that that date was 1910. (The Wilsons owned the home from 1897 to 1927.) Whatever the correct initial year of the new shade, it appears to have had no discouraging effect upon a shade of a different sort.


Ghost tales about the home maintain that it is haunted by a man known to taletellers simply as Avery or Mr. Avery (presumably George), usually described as a white-haired clean-shaven six-feet tall Southern gentleman in turn-of-the-twentieth-century attire, who appears as a crisis apparition, a specter who manifests to give warning whenever danger is imminent. Parts of the edifice in the 1970's and '80's were partitioned off as apartments. The most well-known story of Avery's appearance holds that a single woman named Jennie who as early as the 1960's occupied a basement apartment was taking a bath when she was startled to see the figure of Avery. She sprang from the tub just as a huge concrete block was shoved into it through a window above by two would-be burglars. Another incident in which Avery forewarned of danger was his appearance to other residents who were in the kitchen when faulty wiring resulted in a fire.


The Pink Palace is currently for sale. According to many recent posts online since about July 2017, the beautiful pink mansion of 5,231 square feet, containing six bedrooms, four bathrooms, and two kitchens can be yours. You'll need to check online listings for the price. There are sites online that give you lots of pictures for a virtual tour. (Not pictured is Avery, but that doesn't mean he doesn't come with the deal.)


(Photo: The Pink Palace as it appeared 4 June 2007, by Censusdata, Wikipedia.)


Another Rudd Connection

 , By Ronald Howard Livingston
on Tuesday, August, 30 2016 12:47:00 am   , 187 words  
Categories: Uncategorized , 114631 views


(William Cullen Rudd)

Researching today for a blog entry I've been working on, I took a tangent in links and came upon the entry for John Davison Rockefeller. I noted with interest that his sister, Mary Ann, married a Rudd.  I clicked on her link and noted that her husband was William Cullen Rudd (1845-1915).  I noticed that he was born, raised, and died in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, and is buried there in Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, the same cemetery in which John D. is interred.  Some of my ancestors had been in Cuyahoga County and then moved to Drayton Plains, Oakland County, Michigan. In a nearby county in Michigan, one of my ancestors of that line married the daughter of Lucy Rudd who was the daughter of Silas, oldest son of Increase Rudd---about whom I recently blogged.  Increase (1734 - 1803) was the son of Joseph W. Rudd (1708 - 1787) who was the son of Nathaniel Rudd (1652 -1727).  Nathaniel (1652) was also the father of Nathaniel Rudd (b. 1707), ancestor of William Cullen Rudd.

I thought the genealogical connection and the coincidental timing of my discovery of it was interesting and thus noteworthy.


Increase and Bathsheba Rudd

 , By Ronald Howard Livingston
on Sunday, August, 14 2016 01:29:00 am   , 77 words  
Categories: Uncategorized , 84627 views



I'm a descendant of Increase Rudd (1734 to 1803) and Bathsheba Johnson Rudd (1739 to 1821), through their son Silas (1754 to 1804).  Increase and Bathsheba were from Middletown, Rutland County, Vermont. Shown here is their house which I have been told still stands.


I don't have any idea who the people in the picture are, but the presence of the penny farthing at the fence would indicate the photo was taken after 1870.

Silas had a brother named Barak!

(Photo: Courtesy of Darlene Packard)

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