The annual Whitehaven Welcome Center Open House is put on by the Department of Transportation and the Kentucky Tourism Department. This year it will be held on December 15. The majestic old mansion will be decked out in its finest for the Holidays. The house has been decorated by local garden clubs and lots of help from their “volunteer ladies” - both inside and out.
The students of the Blewett Music Studio will be on hand playing Christmas music in the Music Room of the house from 1-3pm. Michael Vessels will also be playing in the Music Room during the afternoon. From 3 - 4pm, Ian Bastida will be entertaining visitors on his fiddle.
Roy Hensel will be playing Scrooge from 1-3pm and Bill Baxter (from the Lloyd Tilghman House) will be in attendance playing Charles Dickens. From 4 - 6pm, Santa will be there seeing each child that comes in. They will each be given a toy, with the help from his trusty elf.
Light refreshments will be served including hot chocolate, hot cider and cookies. WalMart, Sam’s Club, Banks Market and Hannan Plaza Kroger have donated money to purchase all the necessary items as well as napkins, cups, stir sticks, etc. This is a real community event!
Whitehaven’s Welcome Center is open Monday-Saturday from 8 am - 4:30 pm. The lobby is open 24 hours. Visit kentuckytourism.com/whitehaven-welcome-center for more information.
Whitehaven is a majestic landmark that is cherished by the citizens of Paducah and the surrounding areas. This gracious mansion was once destined to be destroyed, but was saved by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. The Transportation Cabinet saw a vision for this grand old home and restored it to an award winning Welcome Center.
Whitehaven possesses great architectural and historical significance. The main portion of the house, which was a two-story brick structure, built in the 1860s by Edward L. Anderson, a tobacco farmer and dealer. The residence remained in the Anderson’s family until 1903. It was then sold to Ed L. Atkins, who was a cashier for the American German Bank in downtown Paducah. According to the McCracken Co. deed records, the property was conveyed to Mr. Atkins by Norton B. Anderson on April 7, 1903 for the sum of $4,000.
In March of 1984, Whitehaven was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in the United States. By having this distinction, Whitehaven was recognized for its outstanding historical and architectural significance. That same year, a local group known as Paducah’s Growth Inc. purchased a collection of former Vice President Alben “Veep” Barkley’s memorabilia at an auction of the Barkley estate. Barkley was our 35th Vice President of the United States and a native of Lowes.
Items included was a hand-carved teak desk and chair given to him by the President of the Philippines, Congressional roll-top desk, a collection of walking canes, senatorial shaving mugs, the first Vice Presidential Flag and the 1948 Inaugural Bible and Tuxedo, as well as other Barkley mementoes. There is now a Barkley Room on the second floor which exhibits these items and highlights this local figure’s life and political career. Items can be seen on a guided tour given by the Travel and Tourism Dept.