The Colorful History of Valley View Farm


Farm History Valley View Farm - Original House Ruins

The ruins of “Valley Farm” are one of the oldest standing structural remains in central Kentucky and are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The original house at “Valley Farm” was built around 1784 and is noted on John Filson’s map of Kentucky that year as “Colonel Marshall’s office”.In 1795 Colonel John Smith and his wife Chenoe, bought Valley Farm. Smith was a man of “considerable wealth” who migrated from Virginia to Kentucky.  

Chenoe, a daughter of Captain Nathaniel Hart, was believed to have been the first white child born in Kentucky.She was an infant and lived with her parents in a log structure at Fort Boonesborough. Chenoe (the Indian word for Kentucky), was only two years old when her father was killed in an Indian attack on the Fort. Her sister was the wife of Isaac Shelby, the first Governor of Kentucky (1792-1796).

Col. Smith’s sister was the wife of George Madison ,the Governor of Kentucky in 1816.  Col. Smith represented Franklin County in the Kentucky State Legislature (1799-1801) and is shown to have paid taxes on 8,000 acres of land in Kentucky in 1800.  

A Grand Old House
Instead of erecting a log house as was typical of the time, Col. Smith and Chenoe resided in the small stone structure at the back of the property (Col.Marshall’s former office) until the construction of their splendid two-story house was completed in 1810 (approximately 10 years).

Few people during that period of early settlement had the means to construct such a grand residence. Constructed entirely of stone, this elegant plantation style home was “one of the most pretentious residences of its time in this section of Kentucky.”  Named “the Tempest and Sunshine,” it had a four-panel double-door entrance topped with a beautiful elliptical fanlight.  The house had 10 large rooms, each with a fireplace.  The wide central hall featured a hand-carved walnut staircase, rising on all three sides.  The grand house was truly a place of elegance.

On the Banks of the Elkhorn Valley View Farm - Spring House

The house rested on a bluff overlooking the South Elkhorn Creek. A spring house was located to the north, 200 yards from the home. The entrance, constructed of rough Kentucky stone, was located on a slope and carved into a rock cliff. A spring still flows through this structure today. The entire valley was surrounded by a stone fence, parts of which remain today.

In 1819, a bridge was built  across Elkhorn Creek to access Smith’s Mill. The stone pillar used to support it can be found in the middle of the creek, and thick wire cables remain embedded in the trees belonging to a footbridge built in the 1890’s, after a flood swept the road away.

The Smith’s sold the farm in 1831, and built a frame house in Hendersonville, Kentucky, an exact replica of the original stone house at Valley View.

Valley View Farm - 4606 West Leestown Road - Midway, KY 40347

(920) 819-1103

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