West of US 421 South/Big Hill Road
1st Quarter of 19th Century
The small one-and-one-half-story dwelling lies on a tree shaded knoll in the middle of pasture land. A portion of the house was built in the early 19th century. William Baugh was the original owner with Thomas Palmer (1788 - 1869) and his wife Nancy (1792-1876) acquiring the property in 1844. Having had several other owners, during the present century it was the home of Herman Lee Donovan (1887 - 1964), president of both Eastern Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky.
The Palmer house played a small but important role in the Civil War battle of Richmond in August 1862. The South side of the house was damaged during a skirmish that ensued after Confederate soldiers discovered Union men drinking the liquor that the Confederates had stored in the basement. The house gain further notoriety when Gen. John Miller (1798-1862), a former merchant of Richmond and a relative of the Col. John Miller (1750-1808) who founded Richmond, died there 6 days after being wounded while trying to rally the Union troops near Mount Zion Church (MA-92
The dwelling's exterior still reflects the Federal style, although the orientation of the house has been reversed since it was built. The for the original front is at the west side of the house and contains a central doorway. The painted brick walls of the front (present rear) are laid in Flemish bond white while the other exterior walls are common bond. The garrett is lit by small sash windows located on either side of the interior in chimneys. Jack arches top the windows and fluted wooden surrounds and enframe them.