ASHLAND, THE HENRY CLAY ESTATE
120 Sycamore Rd., Lexington, KY 40502
Ashland was once a 600-acre plantation and home of Kentucky’s favorite son, Henry Clay. Clay grew thousands of pounds of hemp at his Ashland Estate, having it manufactured primarily into rope and cotton bagging. Hemp became such a principal element of Henry Clay’s personal economy that it greatly influenced his public career.
It even inspired major elements of his political plan called The American System. Clay was the staunchest and most recognized supporter of the industry and he was known to work tirelessly for “American Hemp – Kentucky Hemp – Ashland Hemp.” Even after his death, his sons continued in the hemp business until the Civil War.
Today, The Henry Clay Memorial Foundation currently owns and operates Ashland, maintaining the estate as a national historic landmark and educational center for the cultural and social history of the 19th century and specifically, interprets the life and times of Henry Clay, the Clay Family and other residents of the estate for the public. In 2016, hemp returned to Ashland as part of the Kentucky Hemp Pilot Program. A small demonstration plot grows near the mansion for visitors to view. Click here to learn more about Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate.