The Hawley House
By Odell Walker
[Picture for this story: “The Hawley House sits on the banks of the Cumberland River.”]
The Hawley House and farm sits on a hill overlooking the Cumberland River, a short distance from the Interstate 24 bridge.
The Hawley family came to this area from Vermont. In an 1825 deed, George and Elizabeth Hawley gave lands along the Cumberland River, in present day Lyon County, to their children. The children were James, Gideon, Malvenia, Elizabeth and Annise Long, wife of Thomas Long.
The house was built by James Hawley who was born in Vermont in 1808. He married Sarah Martin, also of Vermont, in 1834 in Caldwell County. At that time, Lyon County was still part of Caldwell County.
An exact date cannot be placed as to when the house was built, but all indications are that it was built in the 1840s. Slave labor was used to build the house from brick that was made on the site. According to legend, slaves that built the house were set free after the house was finished.
The original house consisted of two large rooms on the ground floor with a wide hall. The same rooms and hall existed on the second floor. There is a chimney at each end of the house and a fireplace in each room. The house was built on a hill with an overlook and beautiful view of the Cumberland River.
In 1878, a summer kitchen was being added to the house and the floor joists were installed and ready for the floor to be laid. Annise Mary Hawley, the nine year old daughter of Van B and Electa E Hawley, ran into the room and fell across the exposed floor joist. She died from the injury.
The children of James and Sarah Hawley were George W Martin Van Buren, Isaac M, Annise E, Mary E, David S and James Jr.
James Hawley died in 1853 of yellow fever and his wife, Sarah, died in 1879. They wre buried in a nearby cemetery, now destroyed. Since the death of Sarah Hawley in 1879, the house and farm has had several owners. The house and farm is presently owned by the Ernest Jones family.
The Skinner House
By Cindy Simpson
[A picture of the Skinner House is on this page.]
Tom and Cindy Simpson reside at 2030 Lake Barkley Drive in Old Kuttawa with their two children. They bought their home from Mrs. Tritt Jones in 1985. According to Mrs. Jones, the house was built in the late 1800s by Governor Charles Anderson as a gift for his daughter, Belle Anderson Skinner.
After moving from Ohio, Governor Anderson bought a large piece of land on the Cumberland River and laid out the the town of Kuttawa. (see related article) Governor Anderson built his daughter’s home across the street from his own home which stood where the park is now located.
The four bedroom home has been well maintained over the years and has had several owners. Mrs. Jones’ parents, A.J. and Julia Martin, once lived in the home. Mrs. Jones, who resides in Elkton, recalls coming in the back door one afternoon only to be whisked away by Secret Servicemen. Much to her surprise, Vice President Alben Barkley was speaking on the front porch.
Vice President Alben Barkley was speaking to a political group that had gathered in the street of Kuttawa. The front porch of the Skinner House was used as a temporary platform.
When Barkley was campaigning for an incumbent office holder he had a favorite expression, “We don’t need to swap horses in the middle of the stream and we don’t need to swap a racehorse for a Shetland pony”.
Mrs. Jones shared a dairy [sic-diary?] with the Simpsons that belonged to Governor Anderson’s daughter. The diary entries date back to 1904.