Three chimneys where the Rowlett house once stood.  Between Monterey and Gratz in Owen County.  April 15, 2006.  6:07 p.m. EDT.

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     Six generations of Rowletts lived in the house that once stood here.  Dating to 1859, it was destroyed by fire, vandalism, a few years ago after it had become derelict.
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     This was a substantial house sitting on valuable farmland beside the Kentucky River, which is just beyond the line of scrubby trees in the background of the picture.  This point is about midway between the communities of Monterey and Gratz, both also situated on the river.  In the old days, the Kentucky River was a vital avenue of trade into and out of the central, Bluegrass, region of the state.  The Rowlett house surely was a familiar sight to barge and steamboat traffic on the Kentucky in the 19th Century.
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     The two-storey house had two wings and at least six full rooms.  The main part of the building, which probably faced the river, was between the two outer chimneys.  The second wing was anchored by the center chimney and faced left in the photo, perpendicular to the other part of the house.
     Remnants of several outbuildings are about the place, and an old family cemetery is at the edge of the yard.  The farm is still owned by the family, though none still lives on the property.

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     Thanks to Natasha Allen of the Owenton News-Herald and George Willick for information about the Rowlett house.
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Originally posted April 22, 2002.  Revised, with a new photo, on April 17, 2006.