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the Louisville, Kentucky, home of the Taylor Family
In the spring of 1785, Colonel Richard Taylor brought his wife, three sons, and slaves to a plantation on what was then the eastern outskirts of Louisville, Kentucky. The family lived in a log home until the current main house was completed in about 1790; the log home was moved to the back of the property for use as slave quarters. The new house was a large red brick two-and-a-half-story Georgia Colonial with two rooms on each floor. An addition was built sometime between 1810 and 1820 that added another six rooms to the house. The plantation eventually expanded to about 700 acres, and at one time Colonel Taylor owned a total of about 10,000 acres, spread out over seven Kentucky counties.
Zachary Taylor spent most of the first 23 years of his life at Springfield, and all but one of his eight siblings reached adulthood here as well. He left the home to pursue an Army career in 1808, but returned while on leave in 1810. It was during this period that he married Margaret Mackall Smith, on June 21, 1810. Five of the couple's six children were born at Springfield. Although he spent most of the rest of his life at various military postings, Taylor probably returned periodically to visit his father, who continued to live at Springfield until his death in 1829.
Taylor died in the White House on July 9, 1850, and was buried in the family cemetery on the plantation.
The main Springfield house remained in the Taylor family until being sold in 1867, by which time much of the surrounding land had already been parceled off. It is privately owned and closed to the public, but the owners have allowed the Commonwealth of Kentucky to maintain a historical marker on the property. The plantation on which the house once stood is now part of an affluent Louisville suburb, and the Taylor Family Cemetery is now part of the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery.
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This page was last updated on June 25, 2017.