Chalfant Rock House, Bracken County, KY

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Sunday, I traveled back home, to see the parents and take a few photos (of course).

So I left early (for me) and began the trek back to BrackenCounty.

When I left Covington, there was nary a flake of snow to be seen.  But soon after I crossed the PendletonCounty line, I began to see snow hanging in the trees.

I cut down from the AA Highway to Route 8, for the scenery, hoping a photo opportunity would present itself.

Which it did.

I came upon the Chalfant Rock House.  I had read a few bits and pieces about it in the past, but had never visited.  That would change on Sunday.

I parked the Silver Armadillo and crossed the road, down the slight hill into the yard of the small stone house.  The snow was beginning to accumulate and it nearly covered my shoes (which should have been boots, had I anticipated the snow).

The Chalfant Stone house is assumed to have been built by surveyors in appx 1771, making it the oldest house in BrackenCounty and one of the oldest in the state of Kentucky.  Everything that I’ve read calls this place Rock Springs, Kentucky.

The house is named for Mordecai Chalfant, a Revolutionary War veteran, who I assume lived on the property at the time of his 1805 move here from Pennsylvania, although information that I can glean from the interwebs is pretty slight.

Mordecai was born in Pennsylvania in 1757, fought in the Revolution, moved to BrackenCounty and died here in 1823.  I don’t know what he did in the span of years in between.

I found some directions to the ChalfantCemetery, which I’d like to visit some day, in friendlier weather.

My Dad told me that back in the day; there were rumors that the house was haunted.  Someone that he worked with used to see someone standing in the front doorway in the mornings as he was on his way to work.  No one lived in the house at that time.

I suppose that if a house was going to be haunted, one that was built in the 1700s has a better chance than other, just due to the sheer number of years it’s existed and the volumes of people and human dramas that had to have played out inside its 2 foot thick stone walls.

I did not detect any ghostly presence as I was poking around the property, bummer…

There is talk of moving the house to Augusta, so that it can be a tourist attraction, and be better maintained, as it gets vandalized in its current locale.  Moving it will be quite expensive, and it will lose some of its integrity, as the chimneys, at the very least, will have to be dismantled and rebuilt once the move was complete.

However, compared to it remaining where it is and continuing to deteriorate (although the roof has been repaired and the front door and windows boarded over) and possibly vandalized more, perhaps it isn’t a such a bad idea after all, if the money can be found to support it.

So, I present to you…

Chalfant Rock House.

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One of the chimneys that would have to be dismantled if the house is relocated.

One of the chimneys that would have to be dismantled if the house is relocated.

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Backwater from the Ohio river, made this a prime piece of real estate.

Backwater from the Ohio river, made this a prime piece of real estate.

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A newspaper article about the Chalfant House.

A newspaper article about the Chalfant House.

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~ by trippybeth on March 18, 2013.

15 Responses to “Chalfant Rock House, Bracken County, KY”

  1. Thank you, Mordecai is my 5th great grandfather.

  2. My parents were there last week and drove around for two hours unable to locate the house. My mom, Katie Chalfant Crow, was very disappointed. Locals tried to help, but it just never happened.

    • That’s so sad, I can’t believe any locals couldn’t help… It’s right on Route 8, I’m sure the summer foliage disguised it somewhat… If they back let me know, I’d love to help!

  3. Man, I wish I had looked you up last week. 🙂 I’ll be sure to pass that on, thanks!

  4. I drive by that house every day! It’s a little creepy. I never knew it had history.

  5. The Chalfant Cemetery, including Mordecai, is located on my property. I’d be glad to show the cemetery by appointment to those with an interest in it. I also have extensive Chalfant genealogy information I’d share with family members.

    • Bob, I’d Love to see and photograph the cemetery!!

    • I’m also interested in the barn that I’ve seen mentioned, that was a distillery (?) is that located on your property? Or does it even still exist?

      • I’m not sure of what barn you speak of, but the only barn of note around the Chalfant house sits next to the RR tracks on a narrow plot next to Rt 8. They’ve subdivided the property behind the barn, between the RR tracks and the river. That area was a town called Tietzville. The barn was not a distillery but rather was a warehouse. People stored their goods there while waiting for a packet boat to arrive at the wharf at Tietzville. Let’s wait till it warms up in the spring. Then, I’d be glad to give you the tour. I’ve talked to locals and to Caroline Miller at the historical society to get a good historical overview of the area. I’d be glad to share that with you. The cemetery is 0.6 mile off of Rt. 8 and is located in my front yard. For those reasons, I don’t want people up there when I’m not home. But I’d be more than happy to show you around with an appointment. Contact me as warmer weather arrives.

      • That sounds fantastic Bob!!
        Could you email me with your contact info?? trippybeth@gmail.com
        I’m a Bracken county native and love Bracken county history.
        I’ll have to dig up the article I read mentioning a distillery….

  6. Hi Bob,
    Mordecai was my ancestral uncle. My line is in Trimble County Ky through Thomas Chalfant and Mary Gray Chalfant.
    I would love to come and see the Chalfant House and Cemetery. I too have an extensive amount of Chalfant genealogy dating back to the 1100s if you are interested.
    Thank you for putting up this site and sharing a wonderful piece of our family history. I had no clue that this house existed. Your efforts are more than appreciated. God bless you.

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