Photo Credit: Elijah Devin Bishop

One of my favorite Facebook groups is Abandoned Kentucky. I’ve told you before that I am obsessed with anything abandoned. When I go exploring, I find myself dreaming of how it used to look, when people were using it, living in it and enjoying it.

Often, I will visualize the rooms in their original splendor. Maybe there was a party going on, family dinner, serious porch time conversation, business deal, marriage proposal or the laughter of children. The walls of every abandoned property have stories to tell, things they have seen and heard. The Glenmary County Club, in Kentucky, has quite the story.

First, I saw the pics that Elijah Bishop posted on the Abandoned Kentucky FB page. It was an abandoned county club, but he didn’t mention the name. The only thing I knew was that it was in Jefferson County KY. I was totally intrigued and had to know more.

As I read through the comments, looking for clues, some said that the county club had been abandoned because of a dispute about the property being a historical Civil War site, while others said that it was more about zoning and then there were a couple of people who said it was haunted. With no name to research, it took me forever. But, what I found takes us all the way back to the 1860’s.

I found the beginning of the properties story in an article from the Courier Journal, who referenced the book Louisville's Fern Creek, that said,

...it was purchased by Dennis Long in the 1860s. His brother, John Long, lived at Glenmary Farm year-round, while Dennis resided downtown near his foundry company, which made the Cornish pumping engines for the Louisville Waterworks.

The main farm house became the clubhouse for today's Glenmary Country Club, in the area where several Glenmary subdivisions also are on former farmland.

One of the co-authors of the book is a direct descendent of the Long family. According to the book, it appears that the Wildwood Golf Course, later to become the Glenmary Country Club, officially teed off in the 1950’s.

The first round of golf was played on May 30, Memorial Day 1953, and the formal opening of the club was celebrated with a dinner dance Nov. 14, 1953...

For more history about the county club including the trolley golf carts to take golfers up the Kentucky hills, click here.

Take a look.

After posting the story on Facebook, I got some great information from people who live in the area.

One of the commenters on our FB page, Jessica, stated this,

There were also many different buildings on the original glen art property. The reason why the then and now photos you have don’t match up is because they’re of different buildings. Also the reason it closed is because of a legal dispute over land use. Not because it was haunted. Not because it was a Civil War site..... a legal dispute between the homeowners associations and an investment company. Side note.... saying it’s a civil war site makes people think a battle or skirmish happened there. While there were several very small skirmishes that took place in the area of fern creek during the civil war, those did not take place on the glen art farm property. Next up. Wildwood and Glenmary are 2 different places. Wild wood is where the trolley carts brought golfers back to the clubhouse. The Long family was not the original family to own the property. The Hancock family was. The main house you speak of did carry the name Glenmary while another main house carried the name Glengary. The property was used for generations as a summer home for some and a main residence for others

See, I told you the country club and property had quite the story.

According to another comment on our FB page from Alan,

I lived in Glenmary I did research on the original house and property. The house where it sits now was moved it was originally down by the barn. The swimming pool was the first in ground pool in Kentucky and is built where at one time was a fort. There is a 300 foot escape tunnel that leads from the house to where the fort was. At one time there was a piano that was given as a gift that belonged to Napleon and a table that was a gift from Alexander Hamilton. It is true that it was said to be haunted by a lady that was beheaded during a Indian raid.

YIKES! Thank you Alan for the additional info.

See a 3D photo of the abandoned Glenmary Country Club, here.  You can also see a video of one of the waterfalls, here. Thank you so much Elijah for allowing me to share your incredible pics and video.

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