Our initial Preservation Plan in general is as follows:
The Howell House being our first objective has been surveyed by members of the Association. The building is primary farmhouse of a medium sized farm. It is built on the east-side of a hill in Larue County Kentucky, overlooking the Rolling Fork river and the small town of New Haven. To the north is the right-of-way of the old L&N Railroad that leads from Lebanon Junction to New Haven Kentucky with access by a private road leading across the tracks from State Highway 52 to the north. Closest town is New Haven Kentucky, while the closest settlement in Larue County is Lyons Station, Kentucky. The building appears to have been constructed on an artificially leveled area on the hill and to the south side of the structure is an additional flat area that may have been gardens or the location of a second building. The ground behind the structure grows increasingly steeper as you continue west. There is a large cistern located to the west of the southwest corner of the house, capped with a six by six foot by ten-inch thick limestone block.
The home was originally constructed as a single room, single story log house, with a clapboard exterior and a north-facing doorway. Construction date unknown, but perhaps as early as the 1830s. In circa 1850-1855, the structure was expanded both outwards and upwards with a wood frame addition expanding it into a two-story "I" house with a single story extension off of the back. This addition visually converted the building into a Greek Revival style.
The addition consisted of a central hall way with staircase set to the left and a single centered doorway with sidelights and skylight facing east and a smaller door off-centered facing west. A formal parlor of the same size as the original single room is set off to the right, with a duplicated bedroom directly above it. Ceilings are approximately ten feet tall on each floor. The new rooms each had two windows facing east with no windows facing west or north. A fireplace with wooden mantel and facings is built into the room centered on the north end in the Greek revival pattern. The parlor has very intricate woodwork around the windows and door, as well as a much fancier mantelpiece. The parlor has two built in closets in the inglenook on either side of the fireplace, each closed with a pair of doors (missing). The upper bedroom also has two closets in the same manner as the parlor, with the east closet (right) having access to the attic crawl space.
Over the original room was added a second story, with a narrow and steep covered staircase starting in the southwest corner and winding around the corner and up the west wall. As with the parlor, there is a single room of the same size as the one below with a fireplace centered on the south wall. There are two six-over-six double hung windows placed equidistant along the east wall with none on the south or west walls. The only access to the room is through the staircase. A single closet is built into the inglenook to the left of the fireplace originally closed with two doors (missing). The mantle facing has been removed, but was located in one of the lower rooms of the house. The floors appear to be of milled poplar.
The added kitchen was not closely inspected, but is a frame extension centered on the west side of the original log home, but narrower than the normal rooms. It originally had, in addition to the doorway from the second parlor, two additional doorways -one facing north, the other south, close to the main portion of the house. In addition there is was at least one window on the north and south sides of the extension, close to being centered in the structure. A large limestone step is placed in front of the south facing door.
A single story ¾ size porch was added to the structure sometime in the late 19th century and the original front steps, constructed of limestone blocks, were moved forward to make room for it.
The roof is metal but in poor condition. The structure is pier mounted with an added, single story porch across the front of the structure. It seems clear that the building has been re-covered at some point, but has not been painted in at least 25 years. There are no gutters and drainage is poor on the west-side. All windows appear to be double hung, six-over-six, windows. The wood is silver-gray overall with some boards having come loose. The building is settling and will require to be leveled - as this is causing some stress to the plaster inside. The roof supports should also be inspected and repaired. The front porch is in poor condition and should be removed if the building is to be returned to its antebellum condition.