Library Catalog - Kentucky Historical Society

Object Record

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Object Name Cup
Catalog Number 1986.62
Date 1800-1851
Material(s) Horn
Dimensions H-2.625 Dia-2 inches
Description The cup is made out of a piece of animal horn. It was used in the early nineteenth century by Col. George Lansdowne. The cup has a circular base with a grove around the exterior of the base. The cup flares out slightly towards the top and is finished with a narrow line that wraps around the exterior of the opening.
Notes Old exhibition label reads: 'Old horn drinking cup once the property of Col. George Lansdowne, our grandfather, who used it on lo[n]g hunts with his friend Henry Clay, of whom he afterward bought the "Olympian Springs" where many times Mr. Clay would come and spend his summer visit.'

Olympian Springs was a famous resort that was a War of 1812 camp site.

Originally known as Mud Lick Springs, the springs' supposed medicinal properties made it a popular site. In the early nineteenth century, the area was purchased by Colonel Thomas Hart, who was Henry Clay's father-in-law. Colonel Hart built a hotel, changed the name to Olympian Springs, and promoted the site's health benefits. It soon became a popular resort that grew during the next few decades. As the number of visitors increased, so, too, did the need for better transportation. Therefore, in 1803, the first stagecoach route in Kentucky was established between the springs and Lexington. One legend even held that Henry Clay owned and then lost the springs during a poker game.

During the War of 1812, the 28th United States Infantry Regiment camped at the site. In 1833, as cholera ravaged central Kentucky, many Lexington residents visited Olympian Springs to escape the disease. During the Civil War, a sharp cavalry skirmish was fought there, and several of the buildings were burned. The resort's popularity ultimately declined, and, by the mid-1940s, it was used for farmland.
Collection KHS Museum Collection
People Clay, Henry
Lansdown, George Col.
Subjects Drinking
Drinking vessels
Horns
Horns (Animal)
Hunting gear
Springs
Search Terms Bath County (Ky.)
Olympian Springs
Physical Holder Kentucky Historical Society - KHS