The Gaines House, marking 200 years, is a local landmark that predates that official founding of Walton, Ky. (Photo courtesy: City of Walton)
WALTON, Ky. - Editor's Note: Readers may have noticed that our regular feature, "Meet the Mayor," has been missing for about a month. We put the series on hiatus, reworked it, and now are pleased to bring you "Living In..." in its place each Wednesday.
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Paula Jolley has lived in Walton for twenty years. Although her day job is as an office manager in Hebron, she has found her calling in civic service.
When there was an opening on Walton City Council in 2002, a group of women urged her to run because they wanted someone who wasn't afraid to speak her mind. She has served her community ever since, including a year as interim mayor in 2012.
Become a WCPO Insider find out why Jolley decided to raise her children in Walton. And, learn about the city with--not one--but two claims to fame.
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WALTON, Ky. - Editor's Note: Readers may have noted that our regular feature. "Meet the Mayor," has been missing for about a month. We put the series on hiatus, reworked it, and now are pleased to bring you "Living In..." in its place each Wednesday.
If you think WCPO.com readers should know about your community, drop me line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"I have been a very involved person," she said.
Looking for a change after a divorce, Jolley moved here from West Virginia--choosing the small, clean town as the place to raise her son and daughter, both of whom attended Walton-Verona schools. The city adopted her. Today she serves on the Walton-Varona Board of Education.
Jolley may not be a Walton native, but she's as proud as any local of a major milestone: The 200th anniversary of the Gaines House. This summer will offer many celebratory events; including a Gaines family reunion in July.
"Everyone has memories of this house when they were growing up," said Jolley. "There is a lot of connection."
More about the Gaines House
As early as 1795, Archibald Reid ran a tavern on the site of the house, which faces what would become the Covington & Lexington Turnpike, and was active in the early formation of Boone County in 1798.
The Abner Gaines family apparently resided in a wooden tavern house at this location beginning in 1804. Gaines was issued a tavern license in 1808. The license allowed him "to keep a tavern at his dwelling house in the county of Boone...and provide in his said tavern good wholesome cleanly lodging and diet for travellers and stableage provender or paustrage for horses."
The license also stated that Abner "shall not suffer or permit any unlawful gaming in his house nor suffer any person to tipple or drink more than is necessary or at any time suffer any disorderly or scandalous behavior to be practiced in his house."
The community around the house became known as Gaines Cross Roads, and a United States Post Office was established here in 1815 with Abner’s son, James M. Gaines, as the postmaster. The town of Walton, just south of Gaines, was not officially established until 1840.
In 1818, Abner Gaines began the first stagecoach line between Cincinnati and Lexington, which made one round trip weekly. Because the trip took more than 24 hours, the Gaines House may have been a meal and rest stop.
The two-story house is built in the Federal style of architecture, constructed of brick, likely made and fired on site. Although it remains speculative, it is likely that the construction of the Gaines House was a combined effort of local craftsmen and skilled African-American slaves, according to the website. In Boone County, the Gaines House stands as an excellent example of a historic 19th Century home.
The city of Walton bought the house for $300,000 in 2006.
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(Photos courtesy of City of Walton)
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