Lexington in Fayette County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
Isaac Murphy's success in racing enabled him and his wife, Lucy, to buy a grand house that stood on this site. The house, called a mansion in some accounts, was located off the present East Third Street. It was brick and had two stories and 10 rooms on seven acres, with a roof observatory that offered a view of the nearby Kentucky Association racetrack.
The Murphys purchased the house, which was likely built around 1850, for $10,000 in 1887. (It was their second Lexington residence after their marriage in 1883. They kept their first, on what is now Eastern Avenue, a few blocks from here, for several years as a rental property.) Their home became known in Lexington, and its African American community in particular, for the Murphys' fashionable social events. Area newspapers carried accounts of their all-day reception for jockey Anthony Hamilton and his fiancée and of their own 10th wedding anniversary party.
Isaac Murphy died in the house in 1896. Lucy sold it around 1903 and lived with family elsewhere in Lexington. She died in 1910. Over time, the house was lost to history; it was demolished in the 1930s and its precise location forgotten. There are no known photographs of it. Archaeological investigations in 2010 and 2011 discovered its foundation, a section of which has been preserved and incorporated
More than 500 people, including black and white dignitaries, attended Isaac Murphy's funeral.
Location. 38° 2.579′ N, 84° 28.92′ W. Marker is in Lexington, Kentucky, in Fayette County. Marker is at the intersection of Nelson Avenue and Midland Place, on the right when traveling north on Nelson Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is located in the Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden. Marker is at or near this postal address: East 3rd Street & Midland Avenue, Lexington KY 40508, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden Trailhead (a few steps from this marker); Isaac Burns Murphy (a few steps from this marker); Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden (within shouting distance of this marker); George Washington (approx. 0.4 miles away); William S. Farish (approx. 0.4 miles away); John S. Knight (approx. 0.4 miles away); Lexington (approx. 0.4 miles away); Robert A. Alexander (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lexington.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Isaac Burns Murphy
Also see . . .
1. The Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden. It is the first (Submitted on June 22, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden to honor Lexington jockey. The park, which was once the site of Isaac Murphy’s home, honors the contributions of African-Americans in the horse racing industry. The garden serves as a beautiful gathering place, a showcase of public art and a starting point for Lexington’s marquee trail. (Submitted on June 22, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Categories. • African Americans • Sports •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 24, 2018. This page originally submitted on June 22, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 33 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 22, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.