The People's House tells the story of the two mansions that have housed most of Kentucky's governors. The Old Mansion, first occupied by Gov. James Garrard in 1798 and long known as the ""Palace"" - and now the residence of the state's lieutenant governor - is reputed to be the oldest official residence still in use in the United States. The parlor and formal dining room have welcomed dignitaries, artists, and poets. The New Mansion, a masterpiece of Beaux-Arts architecture, whose historical source was the Petit Trianon at Versailles, has housed every governor since James Bennett McCreary occupied it during his second term, beginning in 1914. Thomas D. Clark, Kentucky's historian laureate, writes of the buildings themselves and the people who lived and worked in them. His exhaustive chronicle provides an impressive backdrop for much of the state's political and social history and is filled with enlightening and humorous anecdotes about the many governors, their families, the scores of stellar visitors, and even the occasional horse, cow, and chicken who have occupied and visited the mansions and their grounds throughout the years. Over two hundred color and black and white photographs and illustrations, many of them quite rare, accompany the text.
Thomas D. Clark, historian laureate of Kentucky, is the author of dozens of books on Kentucky history. He lives in Lexington, Kentucky. Margaret A. Lane served as Executive Director of both the Old and the New Mansions.