Waveland State Historic Site

Waveland State Historic Site, known as the Joseph Bryan Mansion, is located in Lexington, Kentucy. It is a small historical park packed full of history. I was able to visit again this week and grab some pictures. If you enjoy history, this park has some interesting facts surrounding it's past.

It's no surprise that the history of this site has a Daniel Boone connection. The Boone and Bryan families met in North Carolina with Daniel's sister marrying William Bryan. They had a son that they named Daniel Boone Bryan. Boone surveyed the land where Waveland is and gave it to his nephew. Bryan settled the land by 1786, calling it Waveland because of the waving fields of grain near the house. He built a small cabin. Joseph Bryan had the mansion built at a later date. The mansion is a Greek Revival home which is now operated by the Kentucky state park system. (Parks.ky.gov)

Front view of the Bryan Mansion

Side views of the Mansion

According to the information on the park website, the door of the mansion is a replica of the doorway of the North entrance to the Erechtheum at the Acropolis in Athens.

Close up of door knocker on main door

Daniel Bryan became a successful businessman. He and his wife, Elizabeth, had 12 children.

The red barn can be seen from the parking lot. It can be rented for special events.

Joseph Bryan's son, Joseph Henry, eventually owned Waveland. He established it as an important thoroughbred farm. He had a race track built across from the mansion. He was a gambler who lost over a million dollars in less than seven years. He was forced to sell the home to pay his debts. (Wikipedia)

The red barn. Behind the barn sat a small cabin with what looked to be a model or a dollhouse. I'm not sure the history on that yet but I'm going to try to find out.

Spoiler alert: There is a geocache hidden near the visitor center and gift shop.

Gift shop

There are picnic tables and a playground near the parking lot.

The cast iron bell on the property


The two story brick slave quarters were near the mansion. The Bryan's kept thirteen slaves- ten men and three women. The male slaves took care of the farm. (Wikipedia)



A portion of the old Bryan Cemetary

The gate to a garden area

The garden gate

A child's play cabin still sits on the property. Children still enjoy playing in this.

The small door on the children's play cabin

There is a small trail that leads past a pond and past another cemetery.

The weather was really nice for a walk here today.

The pond on the trail


The cemetery on the trail has many headstones unreadable because of the wearing away over the years.

There are several benches and bridges along the trail.

Continuing along the path

Fall leaves covered the bridge.

There were some huge leaves in the stream.

Another view of the pond.

Reflection of the trees in the water was beautiful.

Before leaving you can see the monument erected to honor the patriarchs of Waveland.

Tours are available at Waveland. There's so many interesting facts about this land. You can visit the website to find out more about Waveland. Go to parks.ky.gov to find more information. Walking the grounds is free but guided tours cost just a few dollars. Paid tours will be given by guides dressed in 1800's clothing. Visitors will be given a look inside the mansion. It's definitely one of the historic parks I would recommend!

Thanks for visiting Waveland with me!




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