Junius R. Ward was born in Georgetown and moved to Mississippi in 1820. He became a major planter and slaveholder. At his Kentucky Bend plantation in Washington County, slaves raised hemp and cotton, which made him extremely wealthy along with his shipping and mercantile interests. Although they resided in Mississippi, Junius and his wife Matilda never lost their Kentucky ties. They traveled north to Kentucky for the summer months. Junius commissioned the construction of this home, now known as Ward Hall, the grandest Greek Revival house in Kentucky, and in many opinions, one of the finest examples of a mid-19th century classical building in the United States. Junius paid $50,000 in gold for construction of the grand mansion, which was completed in 1857.
The imposing mansion sits atop a hillside on the Frankfort Road a mile west of Georgetown, Kentucky. When built, the mansion overlooked a 500-acre estate. The massive 12,000-foot mansion measures nearly seventy-five feet square and forty feet high and boasts twenty-seven foot high Corinthian fluted columns, a nautilus-chambered double elliptical staircase, fourteen-foot ceilings, and a central hallway, sixty-five feet long and fourteen feet wide. Hand-carved walnut woodwork, imported marble mantels and Sheffield silver adorn the home. This mansion served as the Wards' summer residence; their plantation house in Mississippi served as their winter residence. In addition to serving as a summer villa, the Scott County estate was also a working farm.
Ten years later, Ward went bankrupt and was forced to sell the estate. The mansion and property had several owners before it was sold to Victor K. Glass, who owned Ward Hall from 1880- 1887. Records show that Mr. Glass was involved with hemp production at Ward Hall.
In mid-2004, Ward Hall was acquired by the Ward Hall Preservation Foundation. The Ward Hall Preservation Foundation is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Kentucky's premier antebellum Greek Revival mansion and grounds as an educational center for Kentucky and Southern agriculture, culture, history, manufacturing, and products. The foundation is focused on the much needed restoration of the exterior of the building. Click here to learn more about Ward Hall.