Clarifying Ripley: Federal Hill in Bardstown KY

The May 22 Ripley’s Believe It Or Not comic panel had a blurb about “Federal Hill”, a mansion in Bardstown Kentucky that has 13 windows in the front, 13-inch thick walls, 13-foot high ceilings, 13 mantels and 13 stair steps.

I tried looking it up and found all sorts of picture galleries and such, including a wiki entry for it, but no particular mention of the business of 13 in those.

A visit to the official page, however, (or more specifically, the site’s History section) uncovers the truth:

Federal Hill is a Georgian style mansion that originally had 13 rooms. The number 13 is repeated throughout the house, supposedly to honor the 13 colonies at the time of America’s independence from Great Britain. The front of the home has 13 windows, and there are 13 steps to each floor of the house. Completed in 1796, the rear wing of the house contains a kitchen, two bedrooms, and a smokehouse. The first floor has a dining room, parlor, and library. The second floor has bedrooms, and the third floor contained the nursery. The house is built of brick and has six large rooms that are twenty-two feet square. Ceilings are 13-1/2 feet high. The floors are made of yellow poplar and the walls are 13 inches thick.

Federal Hill also happens to be the structure depicted on the tails-side of the United States Quarter that commemorates Kentucky.

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